Sunday, March 1, 2009

Mama's Reading - The School if Essential Ingredients

One of my very favorite things to do for "me time" is curl up with a good book. Unfortunately "me time" is often on very short supply; so I like to make every minute count when I get the chance.

I just finished a book by Erica Bauermeister called The School of Essential Ingredients; and it was a perfect choice for me.

This book is a great read for anyone who:

1. Loves a beautifully written story.
2. Enjoys the journey of preparing beautiful meals.
3. Revels in character development and human relationships
4. Needs a "quick read" (but will find themselves sitting down for hours engrossed in the pages.) - just sayin' - you've been forewarned.

The School of Essential Ingredients had me up late into the night following the lives of eight students who gather in Lillian's Restaurant every Monday evening for a cooking class (and unsuspected life lesson).

The book is written in short chapters narrated by the 8 students enrolled in the class. As a reader, we find ourselves looking into the lives of these 8 students. We get a glimps into their past; understanding what lead them to Lillian's class and where their future might lead them. Probably my favorite character in the book was the story of Tom, a man who lost his beautiful wife to cancer.

Although the novel is short (only 240 pages), you will find yourself reading it slowly, drinking in the beautifully written and sharply articulated live lessons Lillian prepares with each culinary class. The book will do more for you than provide quiet entertainment. It will inspire you to slow down, to create loving relationships and to savor each and every bite of life.

This is Author Erica Bauermeister's first novel, and I'm crossing my fingers it's not her last. I think a perfect follow-up book just might be a cookbook with some of Lillian's secret recipes; such as her made from scratch pasta.

Let me warn you - this is not a book about food and food alone. It's a book about how food and cooking relate with the everyday events of everyday people.

Now go, read The School of Essential Ingredients. You will be glad you did.


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