23 November 2019

Weekend Cooking: Women on Food by Charlotte Druckman

Review of Women on Food collected by Charlotte DruckmanToday I have a different kind of food book for you. I thought about waiting to write about Charlotte Druckman's Women on Food (Abrams, Oct. 29) until I had finished reading the entire book, but changed my mind.

Here's why. This is a book to savor, to dip into, and to read a bit here and a bit there. I didn't want to ruin my enjoyment by rushing through the pages. At the same time, I wanted to make sure you were aware of this wonderful collection of food writing because it would make an awesome holiday gift.

So what's Women on Food all about? It's a little hard to explain because it's a compilation of essays, photos, drawings, snippets, thoughts, memories, conversations, and interviews from and with more than 100 women involved in the food world. As the book cover says, the women are writers, chefs, critics, television stars, and eaters, and each one has definitive opinions about their relationship with food, cooking, and eating.

This hodgepodge scrapbook-like collection includes a series of essays like Sadie Stern's on her true thoughts about M. F. K. Fisher and Dorie Greenspan's thoughts about good cookies (including a recipe). The interviews and conversations are insightful and down to earth. From them we learn, for example, the role that family played in Nigella Lawson's career and the surprising first real job held by FoodLab's Davida Davidson (not in food!). There's even a fun foodie horoscope and some beautiful photographs.

My favorite sections, however, are the ones that start with a prompt. What follows each is close to 50 short responses on topics like

  • The Truth about My Mother
  • Cook This, Not That! What is a type of food you wanted to cook and were told you couldn't--or were made to feel as though you couldn't . . . and you're pretty sure it's because you're a woman?
  • The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread (in food)
Review of Women on Food by Charlotte DruckmanOne of my favorite prompts is the one titled "A Toast! What is a good thing to put on toast?" The answers range from Chandra Ram's "Please. Name one thing that isn't good on toast. I dare you" to Sofia Perez's explicit "Tomato, olive oil, and Iberico ham." I love all the answers, but that's probably because I agree with Ram.

Finally, you might ask, Who are the women who contributed to Women on Food? Some you've heard of, like Julee Rosso and Deb Perelman. Others may be new to you (or maybe just me), like restaurant owner Ning (Amelie) Kang and freelance writer Naomi Tomky. I loved hearing the voice of each of these women and am happy to have a whole fresh batch of food lovers to learn from.

Charlotte Druckman's Women on Food is one of my favorite food books of the year. I love food writing in general, and the frank honest voices collected in this volume sing to me. I was inspired, I laughed, I cried, I sighed, and I still have at least half of this 400-page book left to read. As I said at the beginning, Women on Food would make a great gift, but you'll want a copy for yourself as well.

Thanks so much to Abrams Books and the Abrams Dinner Party for the copy of Women on Food.
Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

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Mae Travels 11/23/19, 6:25 AM  

That sounds like a great idea: see what women have to say (on anything, for that matter).

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

rhapsodyinbooks 11/23/19, 6:53 AM  

I love the idea of this as an excellent holiday gift (to give to myself, needless to say!) Sounds terrific!

gluten Free A_Z Blog 11/23/19, 7:07 AM  

I am so glad you decided to post your review now and not wait. This book will make the perfect holiday gift for one of my foodie friends who is an author and poet. ( Maybe for me too)

Tina 11/23/19, 7:46 AM  

That does indeed sound like a great holiday gift. Love books like this where you keep going back. I find I’m that way with Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries. Definitely checking this out!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 11/23/19, 9:00 AM  

I love foodie books, too, so I think I must make my way over to my TBR list and add this one to it. Thank you for highlighting it for us.

bermudaonion 11/23/19, 9:25 AM  

This does sound like a terrific holiday idea! I think I'll order a copy for my sister.

Anonymous,  11/23/19, 9:32 AM  

I love the sound of this book! Definitely one for the wishlist.

Anika | chaptersofmay.com

Jackie McGuinness 11/23/19, 12:17 PM  

Also thinking I might have to give this to myself as a gift!

On toast, pate!!!

Deb in Hawaii 11/23/19, 12:23 PM  

I am loving this book too and will probably review it next week with toast of course! ;-) I am sharing a coffee table book Women, with photographs of strong women this week and this book is a nice companion for woman power!

Claudia 11/23/19, 1:14 PM  

I agree, so glad you didn't wait. This would be a lovely gift for someone, myself as well.

GypsyPlate 11/23/19, 1:59 PM  

Sounds interesting, especially the foodie horoscope part. I imagine this is the kind of book you go back and re-read a few years down the line.

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! 11/24/19, 11:03 AM  

I think I will enjoy this book, I like books that can be read a bit at a time.

(Diane) bookchickdi 11/24/19, 5:52 PM  

This sounds perfect for a holiday gift.

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