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Love, Loss, and What We Ate by Padma Lakshmi
Genre: Non-Fiction Memoir| Pub: 6.19.2018 by Ecco
Book Jacket Synopsis:
A vivid memoir of food and family, survival and triumph, Love, Loss, and What We Ate traces the arc of Padma Lakshmi’s unlikely path from an immigrant childhood to a complicated life in front of the camera—a tantalizing blend of Ruth Reichl’s Tender at the Bone and Nora Ephron’s Heartburn
Long before Padma Lakshmi ever stepped onto a television set, she learned that how we eat is an extension of how we love, how we comfort, how we forge a sense of home—and how we taste the world as we navigate our way through it. Shuttling between continents as a child, she lived a life of dislocation that would become habit as an adult, never quite at home in the world. And yet, through all her travels, her favorite food remained the simple rice she first ate sitting on the cool floor of her grandmother’s kitchen in South India.
Poignant and surprising, Love, Loss, and What We Ate is Lakshmi’s extraordinary account of her journey from that humble kitchen, ruled by ferocious and unforgettable women, to the judges’ table of Top Chef and beyond. It chronicles the fierce devotion of the remarkable people who shaped her along the way, from her headstrong mother who flouted conservative Indian convention to make a life in New York, to her Brahmin grandfather—a brilliant engineer with an irrepressible sweet tooth—to the man seemingly wrong for her in every way who proved to be her truest ally. A memoir rich with sensual prose and punctuated with evocative recipes, it is alive with the scents, tastes, and textures of a life that spans complex geographies both internal and external.
Love, Loss, and What We Ate is an intimate and unexpected story of food and family—both the ones we are born to and the ones we create—and their enduring legacies.
Purchase link: Amazon
Book Format & Source: Paperback received as a gift from a friend
Review & Thoughts:
- This was a slower-paced read than what I normally enjoy but it was 100% worth the time. Slower writing style but very engaging. It was a wonderful, emotional read.
- Padma has been through so much trauma. As a young child she experienced sexual abuse. As an adult she experienced divorce and the diagnosis of endometriosis; something that had caused her chronic pain since starting her first period at a young age. She was in a terrible car accident with her mother and father where her arm was shattered and she was lucky to have made it out alive.
- One of the most important themes and lessons learned is the importance of staying true and embracing who you are, not who society wants you to be.
- One of my favorite things about the book is the way she included recipes throughout the book, mirroring the way recipes and food are woven throughout our lives, almost like a playlist.
- The ONLY thing I didn’t like about the book was that it didn’t contain a recipe index. I made notes while reading to share it with you for reference:
- 67 – Kumquat and ginger chutney
- 85 – Yogurt rice
- 94 – Chaatpati Chutney
- 99 – Chili cheese toast
- 101 – Cranberry drano
- 250 – Egg in a hole
- 260 – Kichidi
- 302 – Krishna’s pickled peppers
- 309 – Applesauce for Teddy
- Content warnings: racism, chronic pain, car accidents/major injury in a vehicle, sexual abuse
- Moving between India and the states brought changes that left me perpetually confused and feeling like an outsider. I had on door in each culture, but no firm footing in either of them. p 72
- Because just as everybody is not meant to be a size 4, we all are meant to be different sizes at different times in our lives. We are meant to eat different things at different moments. Our needs shift as life shifts. p 276
- The two things I remember about every important day or evening of my life are what I wore and what I ate. In fact, I can say with great conviction that food has played a central role not only in my professional but also in my emotional life, in all of my dealings with loved ones and most of all in my relationship to myself and my body. I am what feeds me. And how I feed myself at any given moment says a lot about what I’m going through or what I need. p 273
Recommend for: Anyone that enjoys memoirs even if you don’t know who Padma is!
My Review Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
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