There is something so appealing about taking a glimpse inside people's lives and homes. It must be larger than my own inner Peeking Tom, or else how could we explain the guilty pleasure of the Real Housewives and other 'reality' shows?
In Her Kitchen, Stories and Recipes from Grandmas Around the World is a lovely book that gives us an exciting peek into homes and kitchens of all types. The author, the sweet and humble Italian Gabriele Calimberti takes us on a couch-surfing world tour and documents the whole culinary trip for her own grandmother. The result is this wonderfully quirky collection of photos and recipes.
Each story gives us a peek into another culture, another way of living, a taste of somewhere - exotic or not. Gabriele gives us a snapshot of her hosts' homes, their ingredients, and accompanies them with a short story, recipe, and photo of the final dish. Each page feels like a little adventure!
In terms of a cookbook, In Her Kitchen is a great reminder of why our own grandmothers' food is so wonderfully cozy and comforting. I can't say that all of the recipes or dishes are entirely appealing, or even ethical (lets please all pass on page 75's endangered sudsud shark soup!!)...but they are an interesting world tour of home cooking.
I'm charmed by this collection, and although none jump out the page at me as recipes I'd like to make myself, my heart is warmed by the grandmothers who contributed and who are so proudly featured in this collection. Their homes, humble and extravagant, are open to us as readers, and the cultural tour alone is worth a perusal.
Disclaimer: I received the book reviewed here from Blogging for Books