This post is a little different, it is a kind of a big deal to me and takes the form of a book review/confession of love about how much I adore Molly Wizenberg and her blog Orangette. That may sound creepy, especially so reading it back, but I just can’t help it, I’ve enjoyed reading her blog so much since I found it a few months ago and the first recipe I made from it was Rice and Smothered Cabbage Soup. From that moment on I knew that the blog and I were friends for life because that soup is just phenomenally delicious and comforting. I sensed Molly and I had very similar attitudes towards food and tastes and I promptly bought her first memoir/life-through-recipes-book ‘A Homemade Life’ and managed some how to save reading it until my holiday last month.The book floored me in so many ways and I feel like I somehow found my foodie soul mate / am no longer alone in my relationship with food, someone else gets it and feels the same way. You may think all foodies have the same relationship with food but I am not so sure that is the case. Before I read that book I would agree but now having read it I definitely do not. The only comparison I can think of with relationships to food is that all foodies have a kind of ‘boyfriend’ relationship in their way with food to each other but then you meet someone with the exactly the same nuances in food related adoration as you do and that’s the ‘husband’ relationship. It is a big deal. Now I feel like somewhat of a stalker because Molly has never met me and yet she rocks my world, but that is ok, it isn’t about that at all, it is about knowing someone else out there ticks the same way you do when it comes to food.
There were so many similarities between Molly and I (Holly ha!) but before I go fan girling big time I want to point out how incredibly written and heart warming the book is. Molly’s style of writing is my favourite kind, I imagine she writes how she speaks and I like that. There was so much of her, nothing held back, it was honest, beautiful and emotional and I thank the world for people like that, people who put it all out there because others find comfort and companionship in those pages. The book is a kind of memoir through recipes, her life was centered in the kitchen and her memories around the food that was eaten. It is the way I live my life, from meal to meal. I’ve always said that the only reason I get up in the morning is for breakfast, and blow me down Molly wrote almost that exact line too. From the way she loves Bruce Springsteen, to her love of chocolate and developing into none chocolate desserts at a similar time to beginning her cooking adventure to meeting her husband long distance and him moving to live with her. My boyfriend lives 400 miles away and moves in with me in less than two weeks. Some of my favourite parts of the book were her descriptions of her and her then-boyfriend-now-husband throwing together meals and salads and developing their own traditions. Whilst reading the book I realised how much I enjoy just opening the fridge and cobbling together a new meal/recipe that might become a firm favourite and I vowed to plan a little less what I cook these days, something I’ve found challenging in the world of full time work and a three hour commute.
I don’t want to give any of the story away but just want to tell the world that they should read this book, discover it for themselves and be inspired. I was inspired by this book to go back to Paris and see the real Paris. By the real Paris I don’t mean the Eiffel Tower and Sacre Coeur, I mean the best cheese shops and food markets. I have been lucky enough to visit Paris but I knew even then I hadn’t scratched the surface and I hope one day to be lucky enough to go there with my lovely man and discover the gems Molly mentions in her book and a few others from friends I have who’ve lived there. I really love cheese and Molly shares that love and therefore has many a piece of advice about where to buy the best cheeses in Paris and simple but what look to be scrumptious things to pair them with.
There are so many recipes I want to make from this book, the buckwheat pancakes to start with (trying to track down some buckwheat flour, despite having a cupboard housing 11 varieties of flour, buckwheat is sadly not one of them), to espresso walnut toffee, vanilla bean buttermilk cake (dying to use my new honeycomb (dream) cake tin on this), dutch pancakes and most excitedly what she calls ‘The Winning Hearts and Minds Cake’ which is what looks to be an INCREDIBLE chocolate cake (I’m not much of a chocolate sponge kinda girl as I always think it is dry but as a chocoholic this looks to tick all the boxes and seems to be much more than a sponge cake could ever be). Molly has a pretty strong opinion that recipes are there to be shared and I therefore hope that she won’t mind me sharing them with you (credit will be given of course), so stay tuned for those.
I can only assume how much of a crazy stalker I come across in this but I am too excited to care and urge you to please head over to her blog and if you’re the foodie type to buy her book. I’ve pre-ordered her second book which comes out in May which is about the opening of her and her husband’s restaurant. You will find me casually sat by the letter box between now and then.