Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley


I read this book for the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2016.  Read more about the challenge here

If this book was cuisine,  we’d have to call it fusion.  It’s a memoir.  It’s a graphic novel.  It’s a cookbook.  It’s a coming-of-age story centered around food, family, and art.   See what I mean? There’s a lot going on here!

I found the loosely sequenced stories enganging and thought provoking. As I read Chapter 1, “The Kid in the Kitchen” I thought about how my own kids were present in the kitchen  and how I encouraged them to try new tastes.  I assumed that they would like things, not that they would be too spicy, too intense, too whatever.   I see parents at the market saying to their kids I don’t think you will like that.  How sad, to assume that new is not good.  That familiar is safe.  I also felt a bit jealous, as food in my own house growing up was not really a big deal.

Chapter 3, “Getting Ours” was a great story of growing uo, but also a bit of a concern.   The publisher labels the book for grades 6 and up, but some mature interests are sketched out here and I am not sure it is for every young person.  That’s a decision best left to familes, not to me.  It’s a genuine chapter, nothing over the top or even inappropriate.   Just a bit grown up.

I’m looking forward to trying some of the recipes in the book, particularly the chai tea, leg of lamb and Huevos Rancheros.  If Knisley writes a graphic cookbook, I’ll be buying it. Her Website lists a number of books that I will be adding to my TBR list.

I’m listing this in the book challenge as food memoir, graphic, and middle grade.

Source:  public library

Audience:  grades 6 and up, but definitely engaging for adult readers



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