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It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

My Adventures in Life and Food

by Moira Hodgson

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time by Moira Hodgson X
It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time by Moira Hodgson
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2009
    336 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: My Adventures in Life and Food
What captured my interest was the title. How could I not want to read this book--I quite enjoy good ideas, life, and food! This book isn't just about food; it starts out with the author, Moira Hodgson, traveling with her parents to different countries and the cuisine she and her family experience in each. An interesting aspect of this book is that it is not a cookbook but there are recipes throughout. They are not hard to follow. The stories in the book are not hard to follow either and if one likes learning and reading about different cultures, social classes, and their cuisines from a participating observer (as Ms. Hodgson is), then this book is for you.

This memoir covers epicurian delights...
Along with travel and other escapades of life. The author rehashes her life in a way that makes the reader hungry for more. The memories are wonderful. Next thing you're trying to guess what's coming up on the menu or what the next recipe is. Stories served up from Great Britain, the Middle East, boarding school and Vietnam are only hints of this banquet of living. At times wordy the reader will still crave more.

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time
Food enthusiasts and New Yorkers familiar with columnist Moira Hodgson will enjoy this biography. She lived in many exotic places and has interesting vignettes. The recipes are as unusual as her travels and include Lamb Tajine with Green Olives and John Cage's Homemade Bread -- no yeast or soda for leavening, perhaps a brick flavored with pureed veggies is the result. If you love travel, biographies and food adventures, search no further.

Wine, Dine, and Time
I quickly became hooked by Hodgson's memoir, which is fast-paced, mouth-watering, and intensely personal. The recipes that dive into each chapter look simple to make and delicious, but it's Hodgson's nostalgic prose that I like best. The author focuses both on her journey to enjoy food and on the mysteries of the kitchen, while sharing details about her family and her own life. Her travels around the world during childhood and later on as an adult went by a little too quickly to me, but I still enjoyed following her from England to America and every place in between.

A Pretty Good Idea
Part travelogue and part food commentary, this memoir by New York Observer restaurant critic Moira Hodgson brings to mind the work of Ruth Reichl but is not quite as satisfying. Hodgson exemplifies her memories with recipes, sometimes easy to follow and sometimes not. She name-drops relentlessly, particularly in the latter sections of the book, without telling us much about the names she is dropping - I guess we are supposed to know! The writing is entertaining; Hodgson's life as the well-traveled daughter of a British Foreign Service officer, and as a gadabout adult searching for a writing career is interesting and she tells it well. If you are looking for a "foodie" book, though, Reichl is a better bet.

An interesting life
I liked this book very much. Possibly because many of the author's experiences paralleled my own. She has a knack for bringing places and times vividly alive in her writing. However, I doubt this book will appeal to a large audience because of the time period. Set in somewhat "mainstream" 50s, 60s, and 70s, the author had an interesting life, but not a fascinating one. I imagine women of a "certain age" would like this book, as I did.

It Seemed Like a Good Idea At The Time
Hodgson takes her readers on an adventurous trip to the many countries she lives in and travels to and along the way introduces us to the culinary traditions (with recipes) from the various areas. She is adept at weaving descriptions of her experiences, places, incidents, and individuals together, thus making this memoir an interesting, enjoyable read.

5 stars if you are a foodie
An entertaining book about the role food has played in one woman's life. It would have been an even more compelling read had she revealed more about the other people in her life and how they influenced her. An adventurous book club could easily have a potluck dinner using the intriguing recipes included in the book. A mouth-watering discussion would be sure to follow.
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