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12 June 2013

Relish: My Life In The Kitchen - Review

Publication date: 2 April 2013 by MacMillan/:01First Second
ISBN 10/13: 1596436239/978-1596436237 
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | IndieBound | Book Depository

Category: Memoir, Biographical, Nonfiction
Keywords: Food, Graphic Novel, Memoir, Recipes
Format: Paperback, e-book
Source: Purchased

Synopsis from GoodReads:

A vibrant, food-themed memoir from beloved indie cartoonist Lucy Knisley.

Lucy Knisley loves food. The daughter of a chef and a gourmet, this talented young cartoonist comes by her obsession honestly. In her forthright, thoughtful, and funny memoir, Lucy traces key episodes in her life thus far, framed by what she was eating at the time and lessons learned about food, cooking, and life. Each chapter is bookended with an illustrated recipe—many of them treasured family dishes, and a few of them Lucy's original inventions.

A welcome read for anyone who ever felt more passion for a sandwich than is strictly speaking proper, Relish is a book for our time: it invites the reader to celebrate food as a connection to our bodies and a connection to the earth, rather than an enemy, a compulsion, or a consumer product.


This may seem odd, but I love reading cookbooks and cooking magazines.  When I have time, I love cooking and sharing meals with friends. I also enjoy a good graphic novel.  So, when a friend told me about Relish: My Life In The Kitchen by Lucy Knisley, I knew I had to check it out.

I started reading Relish while hanging out at one of my favorite little cafés, Heirloom Café in South Pasadena.

Doesn't this look like the perfect treat to snack on while reading a book about food?!  By the way, this deep dish caramel apple pie was fabulous.  But back to the book...

Knisley's description of her early years.

Knisley begins by introducing herself as "the child who was raised by foodies".  Her memories of childhood were associated with food.  I got a laugh out of her making salad dressing with her father in the evening and "tossing back a capful of Kressi vinegar" or learning to open an oyster with her uncle.  She would hang out in the kitchens where her mother worked snacking on all kinds of gourmet treats.  When her parents divorced, Lucy moved out of New York City to upstate New York and the food adventures continued.

Recipe for Huevos Rancheros included in the book.

Each chapter of the book looks at a different aspect of Knisley's life from birth to college.  At the end of the chapter, readers will find a special recipe (Carbonara, Huevos Rancheros, her favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe to name a few)  that relates to the memories being shared.  The book is filled with fond memories of family and friends, the various vacations taken with her parents, and even her rebellion against her parents by choosing junk food.  Knisley manages to fit a lot into 173 pages, and if the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words"is true then the use of the graphic novel format was a wise choice.

Whether you love food memoirs, recipes, graphic novels or something with a little of all of them in it, Relish is a fun read that will have you planning your own food experience.

Visit the author online at Live Journal, www.lucyknisley.com, like her on Facebook, on vimeo, and follow her on Twitter @lucyknisley

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