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Monday, September 17, 2012

My Berlin Kitchen by Luisa Weiss

Hi there!
Welcome back to the site that aims to please the reader in you....Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.  

Today's post couldn't be a more perfect fit, when you consider the theme of my site....insatiable readers.  Those readers that can't get enough books and are always craving more.  This time around, you'll be satiated both story wise AND hunger wise.  How so?  You'll see.  Without further ado, today's book of choice is...

A Love Story (with Recipes)

From the publisher...
It takes courage to turn your life upside down, especially when everyone is telling you how lucky you are. But sometimes what seems right can feel deeply wrong. My Berlin Kitchen tells the story of how one thoroughly confused, kitchen-mad perfectionist broke off her engagement to a handsome New Yorker, quit her dream job, and found her way to a new life, a new man, and a new home in Berlin—one recipe at a time.
Luisa Weiss grew up with a divided heart, shuttling back and forth between her father in Boston and her Italian mother in Berlin. She was always yearning for home—until she found a new home in the kitchen. Luisa started clipping recipes in college and was a cookbook editor in New York when she decided to bake, roast, and stew her way through her by then unwieldy collection over the course of one tumultuous year. The blog she wrote to document her adventures in (and out) of the kitchen, The Wednesday Chef, soon became a sensation. But she never stopped hankering for Berlin. 

This is the story of one woman's life told through her experiences of both the world and with food.  Many might label this a "foodie memoir" and rightfully so as food plays such a key player in the events that transpire, HOWEVER to merely limit its reach to those that enjoy a tasty read would be a crime against readers everywhere.  Why? To put it simply, though it is true food plays a big part within these pages, they are more of a binding agent, the string that ties things together, the memory that brings her out of her downward spiral and back to reality, the ever open heart that reminds her that even when things are at their worst, they can and will look up again.  Okay, so perhaps that wasn't simply put, but it was accurate in my mind.  ^_^

We've had this discussion before, memoirs can be a hard beast to review...but this one?  Not in the least!  Ms. Weiss has a way with words just as she does her recipes (which I will certainly be trying a multitude of!) that brings the reader in for a hot cup of tea and acquaints you with the rest of her family whether they be spread clear across the miles or in the very next room.  You travel from her childhood of being "torn" between her parents  on opposite sides of the globe to her college years of trying to find her footing amongst all those that seemed firmly set upon their ways.  We're shown love in its many forms; that which is held between friends, the one held on to for too long and the one that was meant to be.  We see the world through another's eyes and find out what it means to be of two minds as she finds a way to meld the two halves of her self...and all along the way, we are tempted by the tastes and smells of recipes from the heart.

From early morning breakfasts of Omelette Confiture in her childhood to her Dad's Depression Stew that makes the most out of so little.  From picnic favorites like Fake Baked Beans and Kartoffelsalat (Potato Salad) to Apple Tarts and Roast Goose, the spectrum of palates is covered as we make our way through a lifetime of ups and downs all the while finding a welcome respite in cooking.  Ironically enough, another blogger/cook is mentioned here.  Remember Julie & Julia (you know, the blog turned book turned movie)?  This author's story was still unfolding as that was catapulting to the big screen, and even helped give this future writer a push to get out there, start her own site (The Wednesday Chef), and eventually share her story of life, love and food with the world at large.  Traveling with Ms. Weiss from the US to Italy to Berlin to's kin to traversing the world in 80 days and yet miles covered in a lifetime.  The experiences she had with friends both new and old, the memories created and shared year in and year out...if you don't already have the travel bug, you will after reading this story.  Just desserts if I do say so myself, and a journey I was more than pleased to undertake literary wise.

So, if you're ready for a taste of something new or perhaps on a journey of your own right now in life that could use a little help staying together, I'd highly recommend this book.  It crosses the continents several times over while seeking a few universal goals....happiness and a place where we belong.  Some find it near, some find it a world away; it matters not which happens for you.  All those steps and misteps we take along the way, help shape us into who we are, making the easy road just a smidge less "new toy shiney" in the end.  So count your blessings and hold close to your heart those you love dearly; come rain or shine, they'll see you through...and a little comfort food never hurt anyone.

ARC for review possibly received courtesy of the publisher or rescued from work....honestly not certain!  In either case, this book was officially released last week and is ready for your immediate consumption courtesy of Viking Adult / Penguin Group USA.  For more information on this title as well as their complete catalog, be sure to visit their official website.  To discover more about Luisa Weiss, follow her Twitter feed or connect through the other links scattered throughout the post.

Until next time...happy reading!


Juju at Tales of said...

Well said. Great review. :)

kimbacaffeinate said...

This sounds delicious, and i want to see the recipes.

GMR said...

Juju: Thanks, Juju!

kimbacaffeinate: It is in both story AND food. ^_^

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