Saturday, July 21, 2012

Book Thoughts: Apron Anxiety

Alyssa Shelasky's, Apron Anxiety: My Messy Affairs In and Out of the Kitchen, is a complete hoot!  Alyssa makes you cry when she does, laugh, dance, sing and...well, maybe not shout but close.  While she has had an intriguing life as a freelance journalist and food writer writing for prestigious publications (Us Weekly, New York magazine, Grub Street...), she has also had some incredibly sobering moments.

In this memoir, Alyssa shares the heights and the lows with her readers.  No matter what ethnicity you are, you will identify with this wonderful Jewish woman.  She and her family exude warm through each line and page.  The bonds in her family are so strong they are palpable which makes her tale even more poignant.  The reader feels almost like an extended family member giving the story a more intimate feel.

A key story line of this memoir is Alyssa's affair with a celebrity chef from Bravo's Top Chef, Spike Mendelsohn and how it did not end as she had originally expected.  She went from being kitchen-phobic to mastering the kitchen and becoming a respected food writer.  The memoir includes 30 recipes that are featured in the story of her life. 

At times while reading Apron Anxiety, I was reminded of the movie Forrest Gump.  Forrest seemed to be present (and part of) major events in history as his story unfolds.  I get the same feeling with Alyssa's story.  She has 'been there, done that'.

I'm not sure if you'll come away with any new insights (other than the few dozen cool-sounding recipes), but it is a wonderfully told story of a challenging period in this young woman's life and well worth the read.  There are also great celeb mentions and moments that pepper the story as well.  Some of them make you smile with  remembrances of what you were doing at the time and others are bittersweet.

Rating: 4 Blogairy Notebooks

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