Friday, September 7, 2012
Apron Anxiety: My Messy Affairs In and Out of the Kitchen
Alyssa has always lived a high-energy, high-octane kind of life--the best clubs, the best restaurants, and the craziest parties in New York City. She, however, wouldn't know how to cook a grilled cheese if she was forced to save her life. Through a fateful encounter she meets the love of her life, whom she calls Chef, and follows him to Washington, D.C. where she knows no one and has no job. After weeks of anxiety and feeling lost, Alyssa determines that she will learn how to cook to fill her days. She becomes obsessed--and quite good at being a home cook. As her relationship crumbles and she has to find herself in the chaos, Alyssa learns to listen to her heart and to her stomach.
I love me some good memoir, so overall I dug into this book like it was an unopened bag of Mint Oreos. I have a low threshold for dealing with the whining and self-pitying of others, so at times I wanted to reach into my Kindle and slap Ms. Shelasky and tell her to buck up and be a grown-up. I had a great time with Ms. Shelasky all through her relationship (even the bad parts!) and I cheered for her when her recipes came out how she wanted them. She has clearly written this book with her heart and with earnestness and I can't fault her for that. I do wish that Chef hadn't been such a...well, so himself.
Ms. Shelasky really likes her alliteration and puns (e.g., "Ziti was my zen and potatoes were my penance." [This is not a direct quote from the book!]), which I have to say grated on my nerves by the midpoint. Other than that I enjoyed her writing style and zipped through this book in just a few train rides. I was entranced enough by her story that I found myself picking my Kindle back up even after I arrived home.