Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister

As if to make up for the last couple of disappointments, along came The School of Essential Ingredients! D-lite-full!

This sweet, simple tale revolves around the owner (and namesake) of Lillian's Restaurant and the small, elite cooking school she runs. I don't remember the duration of the class, but it meets once a month on a monday night and each class meeting takes us through the life story of several of the class members. You get a bit of Lillian's backstory but the bulk of it involves the students. Helen and Carl are an older couple who have been married for many years, though that marriage has not always run smoothly. Claire is a young mother of a toddler and new baby who is experiencing some panic as her life begins to revolve around those new loves. Tom still steeps in the sadness of losing his wife to breast cancer a few years ago. Antonia is a kitchen designer from Italy trying to come to terms with her new life in America. These are just a few of the people learning alot more than principles of cooking in Lillian's class.

I told Katie, this is a book I will buy and keep on my coffee table to read when I'm feeling glum. It cheered me up and made me seriously want to take Lillian's class...if she were not a made up person, obviously. I don't know how much of this is actually attributable to the book or the Julia Child high I'm still on from the Julie & Julia movie. It's a toss up, and I don't care who wins!

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