Comfort Me with Apples: More Adventures at the Table

Comfort Me with Apples: More Adventures at the Table

by Ruth Reichl

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Comfort Me with Apples 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Memoirs seldom take us into new territory. Ms. Ruth Reichl's Comfort Me with Apples is the happy exception. You will find your mouth watering, your skin coming alive, your ears perking up, and your heart breaking in this amazing story. She successfully mixes marriage, divorce, wild romances, great food, a new career, building a new life, meeting celebrities, travel, loss of a father and of a child she wants to adopt, pregnancy at 40, and recipes in this compelling book. You've never read its like, and will never forget it. Ms. Reichl is now the editor-in-chief of Gourmet, a former restaurant critic for both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, as well as the former food editor at the Los Angeles Times. But don't let this establishment resume fool you, Ms. Reichl followed her own muse to get there. Most people who experience life crises around 30-35 (almost everyone) tend to self-dramatize and feel sorry for themselves. Ms. Reichl treats life as an adventure to be embraced and tends to poke fun at herself. As a result, you cannot help but like her. She is also very down-to-earth, and is very candid about things that most people would downplay or try to keep secret. She has a lot of courage. Whether it is ignoring the orders not to talk to people in China or offering her untutored opinions to great chefs, she just dives in with whatever fits her sense of the moment. You will probably admire her courage, if you are like me. Ms. Reichl is extremely intelligent, and her imagination will stir yours. She has a great ability as a writer to help you enter into her world, and feel what she feels. At the beginning of the book, she had just been surviving as a writer by keeping her expenses low and working as a cook. Her husband's art career had started to take off, and she gets a chance to become a restaurant reviewer. This opportunity is derided by her fellow commune mates in Berkeley, and couldn't be more different than her experiences with eating macrobiotic food that she often prepared herself. She only had one dinner out a year before taking this new job. Soon, she is reviewing (after misadventures like having her credit card rejected at the first restaurant she reviews and reporting that a robbery had occurred in the parking lot of another restaurant without checking the facts) and starting a tempestuous affair with her editor at New West. The affair fizzles out when he marries another editor at the magazine. Ms. Reichl soon falls for a man who she cannot stand at first, and they also have a torrid relationship that ends happily in marriage. Some of the best parts of the book involve the difficulties of opening new restaurants. You will get most of the gory details on two, including Wolfgang Puck's Chinois. The book is filled with other restaurant celebrities, and you will enjoy what you learn about them. They are most engaging when away from the harried moments in the kitchen. The book also is filled with recipes. Now, most recipes in books are long on ingredients and short on instructions. Ms. Reichl is just the opposite. These are almost all simple recipes with oodles of details concerning preparation. For example, asparagus in balsamic vinegar has two pages of directions. Also, the dishes come from many cultures so they can allow you to have some adventure with your meals. One of the many clever devices she uses in the book is to describe meals at Chez Panisse in Berkeley as a kind of measuring stick for her connection to the world of food. She nicely uses her mother's experiences with the restaurant in the same way. I was very impressed by this method. After you finish reading this marvelous book, I suggest that you think about where you need to try more things. Ms. Reichl's life would have clearly been much less if she had not taken great strides to try things she had never done before. Where should you do the same? Seize life and experience it with full flavor! Donald Mitchel
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wonderful--reads like fiction, but it's better because its real. Any foodie, restaurant groupie, cook, or anyone who likes to eat will enjoy Ruth Reichl's zest for life and food.
etxgardener on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is a sequel to Reichl's What's Bred in the Bone and covers the disintegration of her first marriage, the marriage to her second husband and her move from San Francisco to Los Angeles when she became the food critic for the LA Times. Written in a breezy, yet honest style Reichl weaves her love of food and cooking throughout her tale of loves found and lost and a harrowing experience in trying to adopt a child. Anyone who loves food, loves life & misses Gourmetmagazine each and every month when it fails to appear in the mailbox will love this book.
MorganGMac on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Basically, this sequel is not nearly as good as "Tender at the Bone." This plot revolves around Reichl's terribly indecision/poor decisions concerning love and sex. The food's in there too, but it's not as integrated into the story. It's almost as if she's retelling all the selfish decisions she made during her marriage and what food she tasted along the way. Not nearly as compelling as "Tender at the Bone," just skip it, I say. It gets two stars because it's decently written and mildly entertaining at parts.
daniinnc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Comfort Me with Apples is a memoir written by Ruth Reichl, a well-known restaurant critic, with a few recipes thrown in. Reichl was once a chef and this book covers her transition from cooking food to writing about it for a living.

As with most of the best food writing, Comfort Me with Apples shows how good food is intertwined with your life experiences rather than separate from them. There is so much focus on diets these days that it was nice to read a book about people who love food and never mention calories. Reichl doesn't color events to make herself look good, either. She makes the reader laugh and cry with her over the mistakes she's made at work and in her life.

The only quibble I have with this book is that if feels like it is actually a section pulled out of the middle of a larger tome. I know that Reichl wrote another memoir before this one (Tender at the Bone) and after this one (Garlic and Sapphires), which gives this one an abrupt beginning and end. It didn't take me too long to fall into the flow of things so this is a minor quibble.

Overall, I would recommend this book. It is short and the narrative flows quickly. That makes it perfect reading for waiting in queues and doctor's offices.
sweetiegherkin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have to admit that when this book was chosen for my book club discussion, I wasn't too thrilled. I did not think I would like it much, but I was pleasantly surprised! Reichl writes with such simple elegance and candor that it is hard not to love every word she pens. Although this is technically a sequel, I did not feel lost having not read the prequel. Describing her life during her years as a restaurant critic, this book is peppered with a good deal of "shop talk" (if you will), but when the shop talk is about food, I have no problems with that! You will be probably be hungry while reading this book though, or yearn for something more exotic on your dinner table after reading Reichl's mouth-watering descriptions of the delectable meals she consumes as she travels from California to Paris to China to Barcelona and back again.
varielle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ruth Reichl's food and life memoir takes up where the story of her early life, Tender at the Bone left off. Her developing career, communal life and relationship dramas are peppered (punny no?) with accessible recipes throughout. Her visit to a China struggling to open to the west was particularly insightful. Her quest to become a mother was both joyful and heartbreaking. The title was taken from the Song of Solomon and the book is enough to make you want to look up the verse in the OT and bestow an apple cobbler on your best pal. Readers will eagerly long to join Reichl's friend list to tag along on a food adventure.
jojomac on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Self-indulgent biography with little insight and very little to redeem it; the polar opposite of Reichl's first foray, Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table
Niecierpek on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Further adventures and twists in the life of Ruth Reichl, a gifted cook, writer and restaurant critic. This part covers the early middle age of her life. It was interesting and entertaining to once again peek into lives of people obsessed with food. The recipes look very good- I have to try out a few.I really enjoyed the description of her and a few other chefs and journalists¿ trip to China at the beginning of the seventies, where everybody on both sides was treated like an exotic animal.
tls1215 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Loved this book -- this and Tender at the Bone are two of my favorite memoirs ever.
readingfiend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book as mucch as her first one "Tender to the Bone". I really cared what happened to her while I was reading it and I LOVED the ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Waited on her porch.
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