Yay! A book celebrating women and food….”Women Who Eat” is a collection of about 30 essays written by women about one of my favorite topics: FOOD. The purpose of this books is to allow women to celebrate food and eating instead of having to dwell on diets or being the happy housewife (i.e. being duty-bound to cook a meal). I absolutely love the cover photo on this book. It made me want to go sit on some patio in the South End and eat fries as I enjoy the last moments of summer.
The writers in this collection have a whole range of culinary experience…some are professional chefs, other’s are untrained at-home cooks…and some women simply recall childhood food memories. Some of the esssays include a recipe for the food mentioned by the author.
Like any collection, some of the essays shine brighter than others and a few were duds. Amongst my favorites were:
School Lunch by Pooja Makhijan– an Indian-American who recalls her school girl days when all she wanted was an American lunch like all the other kids in her class instead of the aloo tikis and daal that her mother packed for her lunch.
Sex on a Platter by Kate Chynoweth– a food writer that is writing a piece on romantic food, creates an eating itenerary for her and boy friend to discover foods of romance. She packed a bit too much eating into their trip, leaving them feeling very unromantic.
Making Tapioca by Cheryl Strayed– the writer makes many failed atempts to recreate her boyfriend’s favorite childhood food: his grandmother’s homemade tapioca.
Big Night by Camille Cusumano– two sisters travelling in Sicily are baraged with course after course of food at a restaurant after the restaurant staff overhears them ranting about a meal they had the night before.
Fundamental Pleasures by Amanda Hesser— about the joys of simple, fresh food.
And the most bizarre and memorable (and somewhat disturbing) essay of the bunch was After Birth by Alisa Gordaneer — this is a tale of a formerly vegetarian woman who after having a baby fries up her placenta with garlic and onions (and even turns some into a pate). And yes!– this essay DOES have a recipe!
Playlist to listen to while reading:
- Cherry — Amy Winehouse
- Honey Honey — Feist
- Happy Meal 2 –The Cardigans
- Sprout and the Bean — Joanna Newsom
- Sweet Potato — Sia
- Milk — Garbage
- Blackberry Blossom — Michelle Shocked
- Eat for Two — 10,000 Maniacs
- Junk Food — Patty Larkin
- Eat the Music — Kate Bush
- Know Your Chicken — Cibo Matto
- Eat to the Beat — Blondie
- Black Cherry — Goldfrapp
- Peach, Pear, Plum — Joanna Newsom
- Come on in my Kitchen — Cassandra Wilsom
- Eggs Over Easy — Rita Chiarelli
- Ice Cream — Sarah McLachlan
- Yummy — Gwen Stefani