Young Adult graphic novel review – Relish: my life in the kitchen by: Lucy Knisely

relishI’ll admit that it took me almost a full chapter to really get into this book.  I’m so used to graphic novels being in a set format, there was so much more text above each comic box that it threw me for a loop initially.  But once I was I used to the format, it was pure love.

Lucy Knisley tells a delicious tale (quite literally) of growing up in upstate New York with foodie parents.  How her first memories are tied directly to food “I’m lucky to have grown up with cooks and bakers, eaters and critics, and meals to remember.  My memories are formed in conjunction with my palate.”

As I read this collection of vignettes from her life, I found myself smiling, and reliving foodie moments in my own life.  Laughing at the fact that I grew up in a house with three spices in the cupboard (salt, pepper, and Paprika for deviled egg decoration) and how my palate grew and changed once I left home.  Good food can bring so much joy and so many memories.  I’ve never seen someone put it to words and drawings so poignantly! I need to read it again to really savour it honestly.

Her chapter on Junk Food made me laugh many times, knowing that even good foodies love their processed food in it’s disgustingly good glory as much as the rest of us.  While her description of finding the world’s perfect croissant in Venice, and then attempting for months to recreate it without success was my favourite chapter in the book.   “The mysterious deliciousness of those croissants continues to haunt me.  I suspect that the ingredient I lacked in Chicago was the anticipation and delight of waking on a morning of possibilities, far from home and school, in an ancient, watery city.”

It’s the recipes at the end of each chapter that really bring so much more to the book, I”m excited to try them!  Always pertaining to something that happened that chapter, and with drawings and interesting descriptions on how to make each recipe, it will be hard to look at cookbooks without delightful drawings included.

I need to hunt down her first book, French Milk now!

grade 9+ (for comprehension not content)

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