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Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent…
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Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef (edition 2012)

by Gabrielle Hamilton (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,4961088,729 (3.72)68
Before Gabrielle Hamilton opened her acclaimed New York restaurant Prune, she spent twenty fierce, hard-living years trying to find purpose and meaning in her life. Above all she sought family, particularly the thrill and the magnificence of the one from her childhood that, in her adult years, eluded her. Hamilton's ease and comfort in a kitchen were instilled in her at an early age when her parents hosted grand parties, often for more than one hundred friends and neighbors. Blood, Bones & Butter follows an unconventional journey through the many kitchens Hamilton has inhabited through the years: the rural kitchen of her childhood, where her adored mother stood over the six-burner with an oily wooden spoon in hand; the kitchens of France, Greece, and Turkey, where she was often fed by complete strangers and learned the essence of hospitality; the soulless catering factories that helped pay the rent; Hamilton's own kitchen at Prune, with its many unexpected challenges; and the kitchen of her Italian mother-in-law, who serves as the link between Hamilton's idyllic past and her own future family -- the result of a difficult and prickly marriage that nonetheless yields rich and lasting dividends.… (more)
Member:Dianecooker
Title:Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef
Authors:Gabrielle Hamilton (Author)
Info:Random House Trade Paperbacks (2012), Edition: 1st Edition, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Food, Memoir

Work details

Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton

  1. 00
    Anything That Moves: Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters, and the Making of a New American Food Culture by Dana Goodyear (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  2. 00
    Hotbox: Inside Catering, the Food World's Riskiest Business by Matt Lee (DetailMuse)
  3. 00
    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.
  4. 00
    Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy 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.
  5. 00
    Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain (MyriadBooks)
  6. 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.
  7. 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 68 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 108 (next | show all)
A really good combination of great writing and cooking inspiration. ( )
  EllenH | Nov 23, 2020 |
I loved the first section, about Hamilton as a kid and about her parents' relationship with food. The other parts were less engaging - more about her catering career and her marriage than being a chef and opening a restaurant. ( )
  szbuhayar | May 24, 2020 |
Ugh. If you are looking for a book that talks somewhat about food and a lot about griping/complaining about all of the parts of the author's life outside of the kitchen, then this book is for you. I would have stopped this book, but I have a unrelenting obsession about never quitting a book that I've started. Ms. Hamilton, when actually writing about food is a fabulous writer. Her passion for it is incredibly evident. The problem it gets lost in all her grousing about her life and the world that is happening around her. She is great at pointing out flaws in everyone around her, but rarely turns the mirror to herself. And when she does she blows it off like her issues are excusable while the problems of others are inexcusable. Like a mountain of dishes, this was just a chore for me to finish. ( )
  Schneider | Aug 2, 2019 |
I really liked the first section, "Blood", which is the story of the author's young childhood. I would teach that section as a mini-memoir on its own. The description is almost lyrical. The section section, "Bones", I would take in sections and would teach that way. I skimmed the third section, "Butter". I got bored with the story of the author's married life. The main reason is that through the whole book, she's a lesbian, which she barely mentions except in passing, and then suddenly she's married to a man. And it's a Green card marriage. And she has kids. And they don't live together. And this whole relationship is just too New York for me. And she never explains what happens to being a lesbian all of a sudden. It's not cool; it's boring. I was most interested in her getting back to the story of her mother. ( )
  TheLoisLevel | Jul 21, 2019 |
I loved the parts about food and childhood and setting up her restaurant, but cringed at her bad relationships and marriage. I usually have trouble with the narcissism of memoirs and by the end, it had started to overshadow the good parts. ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 108 (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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We threw a party. The same party, every year, when I was a kid.
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Before Gabrielle Hamilton opened her acclaimed New York restaurant Prune, she spent twenty fierce, hard-living years trying to find purpose and meaning in her life. Above all she sought family, particularly the thrill and the magnificence of the one from her childhood that, in her adult years, eluded her. Hamilton's ease and comfort in a kitchen were instilled in her at an early age when her parents hosted grand parties, often for more than one hundred friends and neighbors. Blood, Bones & Butter follows an unconventional journey through the many kitchens Hamilton has inhabited through the years: the rural kitchen of her childhood, where her adored mother stood over the six-burner with an oily wooden spoon in hand; the kitchens of France, Greece, and Turkey, where she was often fed by complete strangers and learned the essence of hospitality; the soulless catering factories that helped pay the rent; Hamilton's own kitchen at Prune, with its many unexpected challenges; and the kitchen of her Italian mother-in-law, who serves as the link between Hamilton's idyllic past and her own future family -- the result of a difficult and prickly marriage that nonetheless yields rich and lasting dividends.

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