Monday, April 14, 2014

Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist

This was the perfect book for me to read in this season of my life. The chapters were short but each one contained a heartfelt story that really resonated with me. The way she talks about food makes me want to run to my kitchen to start chopping and dicing right this very instant. (Which is saying a lot because I'm a rather hesitant cook) But this book is about more that just food, it's about life. The good the bad and the ugly, how we all go through hills and valleys and just as life connects us all, so does the food.

One of my favorite quotes comes from the chapter City Love where Niequist is talking about how one of her favorite memories of her wedding day was eating the leftovers with her new husband back in their hotel room overlooking Chicago after all the wedding festivities were done. She says this...

"When we want something to be momentous, it rarely is. Life is disobedient in that way, insisting on surprising us with its magic, stubbornly unwilling to be glittery on command." (page 222)

How true is this? You can plan and practice but life will give you magical moments even in the most unexpected of times. My favorite childhood memories are from everyday life. Dancing in the kitchen with my sisters, making cities out of boxes and paper for our stuffed animals, my dad justifying the cookies the came home after his grocery trip by proclaiming they jumped into his cart.

Yes, special occasions like Christmas and Birthdays contain wonderful memories too, but there is just as much magic throughout everyday life.

Even big things like my wedding day contain unexpected moments that bring a smile to my face. I planned, pondered and made big, expensive decisions because I had dreamed about this day my whole life. I spent a lot of money on dress that I wore once but, do you want to know one of my favorite pieces of my carefully designed outfit was? At the last minute someone asked if I wanted flowers in my hair. Yes, I thought, of course I wanted flowers in my hair. So they rounded up some white orchids and the hair stylist pinned them in my hair. And whenever I see the pictures I smile because I got married with flowers in my hair. To me that is such a beautiful and romantic thing. It was last minute and I loved it.

But back to the book. The copy I read was from the library but I definitely need to own this book. The recipes sound delicious I am definitely going to make the Basic Vinaigrette and I want to try the Maple Balsamic Pork Tenderloin, the Dark Chocolate Sea Salted Toffee and the Blueberry Crisp. Even though I more of a "good reheater" than a cook, I still think I can tackle these. Reading this book has given me more confidence in the kitchen. She admits that not every recipe she tries turns out the way she hopes and that's okay. Sometimes you succeed and sometimes you don't, with food and in life.

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