Friday, September 16, 2011

The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister

I've been reading this beautiful book this week and finished it last night so it's not entirely fair that it already gets its own post when books I read in April are still waiting, but hey, I guess life isn't fair, even if you're a book. :-)

I wanted to post my thought on The School of Essential Ingredients before the feeling of magic and beauty that it created in me goes away and I forget just how much I liked it.

And like it I did. The storyline is so simple - a woman, Lillian, who loves food and cooking and who understands that food is magic and can change lives - wants to share her skill with others, so she organizes a cooking class. On one Monday per month, eight people get together for an evening of cooking. They are all lost but they all somehow found their way to Lillian's kitchen, where their lives will change forever, where they will learn so much more than cooking.

The writing made me want to cook but it also made me want to be happy with small things, like a beautiful red tomato. Why stress yourself out with all this other stuff when there is so much beauty in the world?

This book combines two things I love a lot, food and magic, though the magic is 'magical realism', not Harry Potter. It reminds me of other authors I love, Sarah Addison Allen, Alice Hoffman, Joanne Harris.

A lovely book to be savored slowly and remembered forever.


Melody said...

I loved this book! I'm glad you enjoyed it too!

Kailana said...

I am glad you enjoyed this! I will have to look into reading it myself. :)

Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

I'm thinking Evening Class meets Like Water for Chocolate, or The Jane Austen Book Club meets Chocolate :)

Nina said...

Great you enjoyed this book. It does sounds very nice. I like the combination too. ;)

Larissa said...

Sounds lovely. Do you think I can read it without being hurt? (aka not too many live lobsters put in boiling water?)

joanna said...

Melody - glad you liked it too!

Kailana - I hope you like it if you do!

Alex - I've never read Evening Class, but that sounds right :-)

Nina - Magic and food? Fabulous.

Larissa - there's actually a scene with live lobsters, but it's explained as honest, as in if you're going to eat it then you need to know the process. I think you'll agree! :-)