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Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent…

Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef

by Gabrielle Hamilton

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1,098917,561 (3.74)62
Recently added byprivate library, sandrikoti, fkhicdawgybe, rnbwpnt, jeff.coatsworth, mzmaffei, debbie-1955
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    Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites by Kate Christensen (baystateRA)
    baystateRA: Food memoirs that both start out with the authors' relationships to their mothers and childhood family mealtimes.
  2. 00
    Anything That Moves: Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters, and the Making of a New American Food Culture by Dana Goodyear (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  3. 00
    Under the Tuscan sun by Frances Mayes (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: Under the Tuscan Sun is a dreamier book, gentler and more idealistic than the rough-and-tumble and sometimes drug-soaked Blood, Bones & Butter, but both authors adore Italy and are lavish at showing their love on the pages.
  4. 00
    Little Heathens by Mildred Armstrong Kalish (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: Right, so the story Blood, Bones & Butter took a hard left turn to big city living after childhood but the writing style was as honest and uncompromising and as full of food as Little Heathens.
  5. 00
    Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain (MyriadBooks)
  6. 00
    Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler (VenusofUrbino)
    VenusofUrbino: Hamilton's Prune is basically the same thing as Ezra's Homesick Restaurant.

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» See also 62 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
Ilyana Kadushin
  jmail | Mar 21, 2016 |
Easily the best restaurant memoir I've read yet.

Gabrielle had an odd upbringing with a casual artistic father and a French ex-ballerina for a mother. They raised their large brood in a farmhouse far from any city, raising and making most of their food. After the divorce, Gabrielle was left largely on her own, and she quickly turned to cooking and waiting tables to make ends meet. She developed a serious coke habit in the 80s (surprise!) but since she was only 17 when she hit rock-bottom, she managed to get her life together and eventually not only completed college, but got an MFA. By her early thirties, she opened her own restaurant in NYC (Prune), green-card-married an Italian doctor (the set-up of yet another Harlequin romance novel), and had sons.

Fantastic, earthy writing, and descriptions of food that felt like her real reflections, not shoe-horned in because readers expect them. She rhapsodizes on everything from egg sandwiches from a street cart to handrolling pasta with her in-laws, and it all feels equally important. I felt a little uncomfortable by her descriptions of her relationship with her husband (it's clearly a complicated marriage), but I was absolutely fascinated by her experiences, the way she talks about them, and the personality driving it all. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
I have heard/read great things about this book, and have been wanting to read it for a while. It is a fun combination of the "inside the food industry" genre and "Eat Pray Love."

The only issue I had with it is the same issue that others have expressed about books like "Under the Tuscan Sun." I don't disbelieve Gabrielle Hamilton's record of the difficulties and unhappiness that Gabrielle Hamilton has experienced in her life, but there was an underlying feeling within me of "Boy, when I have tough times in my life, there are no picturesque trips to Italy to make things better..." ( )
  magerber | Feb 22, 2016 |
I really enjoyed the author's perspective. The book's prose was really enjoyable and I admired the author's authenticity and honesty. I found the ending a little bit sad and I wish I could know more about how things turned out for her. ( )
  lovelypenny | Feb 4, 2016 |
Really quick read, engaging writing. Not the most sympathetic story, but interesting nonetheless.
  jamieschecter | Jan 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
Though Ms. Hamilton’s brilliantly written new memoir, “Blood, Bones & Butter,” is rhapsodic about food — in every variety, from the humble egg-on-a-roll sandwich served by Greek delis in New York to more esoteric things like “fried zucchini agrodolce with fresh mint and hot chili flakes” — the book is hardly just for foodies. Ms. Hamilton, who has an M.F.A. in fiction writing from the University of Michigan, is as evocative writing about people and places as she is at writing about cooking, and her memoir does as dazzling a job of summoning her lost childhood as Mary Karr’s “Liars’ Club” and Andre Aciman’s “Out of Egypt” did with theirs.
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This book is dedicated to all of my families--the one I come from, the one I married into, the one I am making with my own children, and the one I cook with every day at the restaurant. You are my blood, my bones, and, for sure, my sweet butter.
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The chef of New York's East Village Prune restaurant presents an unflinching account of her search for meaning and purpose in the food-central rural New Jersey home of her youth, marked by a first chicken kill, an international backpacking tour and the opening of a first restaurant.… (more)

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