BookBrowse Reviews The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister

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The School of Essential Ingredients

by Erica Bauermeister

The School of Essential Ingredients
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2009, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2010, 272 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Joanne Collings

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A lesson in cake-making leads to reflections on a marriage, while tortillas teach a girl to believe in herself ....

The new year is not so new anymore, and as we tear those daily calendar pages off, many of the carefully made and sincerely meant New Year's Resolutions begin to be discarded as well. The government, which keeps track of such things, lists "lose weight" and "eat right" as among the most popular resolutions of Americans. I suspect that Lillian, the wonderfully intuitive cook and slightly mysterious central character of Erica Bauermeister's nourishing first novel would advise those resolution-makers to instead seek a better relationship with food, and to learn what cooking is really about: healing as well as comfort.

Lillian and the eight students attending her current cooking class (held monthly in the kitchen of her restaurant) each get a chapter, a structure that can be difficult to build a novel around when there are so many characters and...

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