Author Ann Hood has lived quite a life. And her new book of essays Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Life, Love and Food is that proof.
During her life and career she has endured heartache, joy and love. She honestly writes about her sadness and depression, her time as an airline stewardess, her marriages and the deaths of her daughter and her brother. It seems she has had not just one life, but many. But she mostly writes about how those memories intertwine with her memories of food and how food played an integral part in her family, and still does. How it soothed her sadness or made her smile at a remembrance.
Her recipes invoke memories, some happy, such as her son Sam’s first foray into creative cooking by making Sam’s Potatoes at the age of five, to her late mother’s gravy and meatballs which as child Ann would dunk bread in and eat as her after school snack. Others are to entice a memory such as Grace’s Cheesy Potatoes a dish her daughter, who passed away suddenly at the age of five loved. I especially enjoyed the visual of her entire family, and extended family, renting a beach house and the debate over Tomato Pie.
A wonderful heartwarming book of essays which shows how food can invoke joy, sadness or even how just seeing a vegetable can bring you back to your childhood. It also shows Ann’s resilience and strength and her honesty about her life. There are some recipes I will take and place in my own recipe box and will remember Ann with a smile as I make them.
And if Ms. Hood ever reads this review, I for one have written September 24 into my calendar with a note which says Pasta with Butter and Parm.