Life From Scratch
Belle Bridge Books, Nov 24 2010, $14.95
In her tiny New York apartment, she writes in her blog that June Cleaver, Martha Stewart and Mrs. C, etc. can cook while she can’t. Divorced from lawyer Adam the “stranger” she still loves, Rachel Goldman decides to learn how to cook in her small kitchen. Boiling and microwaving pre-fixed items do not count as Rachel plans to fry an egg without breaking the yoke.
As she writes in her blog about her failures that would have Cleaver hammering her with baking pins and her tiny successes, her blog becomes popular not as Best Kitchen or Best Food Blog but as Best Diarist. Still she focuses on one meatloaf casserole cooked evenly throughout instead of burnt to a crisp on the outside and so raw as to be dangerous to eat on the inside. She continues to teach herself with hopes that one day mom will allow her to cook the Seder and that Adam will learn what he lost especially since a man has shown interest in her.
Life From Scratch is an intriguing character driven tale of a woman needing to find something to affirm her self-worth; her choice is cooking as she starts from a zero base and uses her blog as a means to release her frustrations (and add humor to the recipe). Readers will enjoy the insightful yet jocular story line with its underlying message that Polonius advices his son Laertes (Hamlet) To thine own self be true"; especially telling loved ones your hopes and aspirations, but even more so your fears. Rachel learning to cook is a metaphor for readers to live even if it means beginning over Life from Scratch.