One Life Kitchen

Lemons, Literature & Lattes

Sharing several tastefully good food books by Erica Bauermeister, that I have enjoyed reading in this edition of Lemon Literature and Lattes.

The School of Essential Ingredients beautifully intertwines the poetic words of food around the students and stories that take place during cooking class. Reading this book will make you long for a delicious meal with friends.

The Lost Art of Mixing demonstrates how cooking and eating a meal together expands and enriches relationships. I think Anthony Bourdain said it well “you learn a lot about someone from having a meal together” While cooking brought these characters together, the relationships grew outside of the kitchen and table setting into loving friendships.

Lastly the book Joy for Beginner’s doesn’t focus around food but rather the profound conversation around a dinner table that challenged each woman to live life a little bigger by taking risks and tackling their fears.

If you love to read, I suggest all three. However, if you are not such an avid reader and were to only pick one book, I would recommend first and for most The School of Essential Ingredients.

To inspire you to start reading, I am sharing some of my favorite lines from each book ….

The School of Essential Ingredients

“Maybe your mind won't remember what I cooked last week, but your body will.”

“When it was mixed together, the salsa was a celebration of red and white and green, cool and fresh and alive."

"On a tortilla, with a bit of crumbled white 'queso fresco,' it was both satisfying and invigorating, full of textures and adventures, like childhood held in your hand.”

"Flour is like the guy in the movie who you don't realize is sexy till the very end. I mean to be honest, when you are dividing up the duties in the kitchen who wants to be the flour? Flour though is what holds the cake together. Mixed well you'll have a cake as seductive as a whisper in your ear."

“The more she cooked, the more she began to view spices as carriers of the emotions and memories of the places they were originally from and all those they had traveled through over the years.”

“The class stood companionably around the wooden counter, trying to navigate forkfuls of cake into their mouths without losing a crumb to the floor. The frosting was a thick buttercream, rich as a satin dress laid against the firm, fragile texture of the cake. With each bite, the cake melted first, then the frosting, one after another, like lovers tumbling into bed.”

The Lost Art of Mixing

“We’re all just ingredients. What matters is the grace with which you cook the meal.”

“Winter was a chromatic palate-cleanser, and she had always greeted it with the pleasure of a tart lemon sorbet, served in a chilled silver bowl between courses.”

“Her love of new ingredients had brought her to Abuelita, the owner of the local Mexican grocery store, who introduced her to avocados and cilantro, and taught her the magic of matching ingredients with personalities to change a person's mood or a life.”

“She had built her restaurant kitchen out of scents and tastes and textures, the clean canvas of a round white dinner plate, the firm skins of pears and the generosity of soft cheeses, the many-colored spices sitting in glass jars along the open shelves like a family portrait gallery. She belonged there.”

Joy for Beginners

“It mattered not where her feet landed because her heart was certain.”

“You're not traveling if you already know everything.”

“She quickly realized she had an affinity for the older books and their muted scents of past dinners and foreign countries, the tea and chocolate stains coloring the phrases. You could never be certain what you would find in a book that has spent time with someone else."

" is like waves, you ride one into the beach, and it's the most amazing thing you've ever felt. But at some point the water goes back out, it has to and maybe you're lucky...."

“The women ranged in age, but they were all old enough to know that in the currency of friendship, empathy is more valuable than accuracy.”

“I walked across a bridge that doesn't exist. And after that, being scared just didn't seem so important anymore.”

“A risk is a risk because it's avoidable.”

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