Walking back from the neighborhood nail salon, enjoying the sunshine and light breeze, I started to become incredibly envious of Molly Wizenberg, whose book A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, I'd been reading while the polish dried on my toes.
I've long been a fan of her blog, Orangette. I like the long rambly stories that end in a recipe for something yummy. But while reading the book, I felt a wave of envy come over me, because so many of her stories told a tale of a truly engaged family, with a shared love of good food.
I started to think about what my imaginary book of recipes would be like... But mine was a childhood wherein I thought green beans were only available for purchase as a frozen food item, and my birthday cakes were from a boxed mix (though their amazing chocolate bar thick icing was made by hand.)
Yes, some of my initial forays into cooking and baking were beside my mother and grandmother, but on the whole it was really the absence of family around that prompted me to learn to bake, and later to cook. My joy in procuring treats from the farmers market came from moving to San Francisco and making my first trek to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, probably in 1997 or thereabouts.
It was there at that market that I discovered how different strawberries can taste when grown by different people in different locations around the Greater Bay Area. And fell in love with my favorite artichoke producer, Iacopi Farms. And the avocados from Brokaw. It opened up a whole new food world for me.
But back to the book. If you are a fan of the blog, you will find the book to be a thoroughly enjoyable, quick read. She starts out with her father's potato salad. If you read this recipe and think yum, like me, you will want to keep reading-- and dog ear some recipes for trying out soon. Highly recommended.