I love food. I love eating. I love cooking, when I get off my ass and actually do it. I love browsing markets and discovering new and interesting ingredients. I love travel writing and documentaries but can’t stand it when the local food isn’t featured. I love cooking programs that aren’t just gimmicky game shows. I don’t understand complaints about George R.R. Martin describing meals in too much detail. I don’t understand complaints about people using Twitter or Facebook to post photos of their lunches. More lunches and less babies, I say.
If this sounds anything like you, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll really enjoy this book. Lucy Knisley details her life growing up with a caterer mother and food obsessed father in a collection of small vignettes – moving to the country with her mom and being attacked by geese (and daydreaming of revenge via dinner), finding comfort through cookie baking, travelling to Rome with her dad as a bratty pre-teen and sneaking off to McDonald’s, and trying to re-create the prefect croissant from Venice. As someone who remembers a lot through food, I can appreciate the structure of the book, even if it does come across as a bit directionless.
The art in this is very colourful and fun, and she included some illustrated recipes, which are a blast to read. I wish there were more of those recipes, actually. I cooked up some mushrooms as per her instructions, and they turned out really well, so I’ll eventually try a couple of the others. The chocolate cookies, perhaps.
I read this one night when I couldn’t sleep and found myself dying of hunger at 2:00am, which put me in a rather confusing situation. I could eat something, which would likely wake me up more and make what sleep I did get very restless, or starve and be kept up by hunger pangs. In the end I think I decided to sneak a couple angry bites of bread. I’d recommend maybe reading this on a lazy afternoon instead.
Lucy Knisley has an infectious enthusiasm for food, without inhibitions or snobbish undertones, which makes this a really enjoyable read. I’ll eventually be picking up some of her other comics.