If you are not yet familiar with Molly Wizenberg through her award-winning food blog, Orangette, you are in for a treat. Her bestselling food memoir, A Homemade Life, has just been released in paperback. Not only is her writing a delight, but so are her recipes. Like all good cooks, Wizenberg understands that sharing is at the heart of cooking. When you come across a great recipe, the first thing you want to do is share it. She hates the notion of secret recipes, and so she shares her best with us. She also understands that there is a story to be told for every recipe we have grown to love. If her recipes don’t win you over, surely her stories will.
The centerpiece of most of her stories and accompanying recipes are either her father, “Burg,” or later, her husband, Brandon. Burg, a larger-than-life man, passed on to his daughter a sense of adventure and delight in food. (When your father takes you to Paris at the age of nine and introduces you to a petit pain au chocolat, it’s hard not to become a food lover for life.) Sadly, Burg died from cancer when Wizenberg was in her early twenties, but he lives on through many of her favorite recipes.
Brandon, the other man in Wizenberg’s life comes on the scene a couple of years after her father’s death. If by this part in her memoir you have become smitten with Wizenberg, then it will come as no surprise to you that she met her husband through her food blog. Like her father, Brandon is also passionate about food and the two of them seem to be a good match. The stories about their courtship and wedding are adorable and there are many dishes that have come out of this relationship that are well worth trying and passing on.
By the end of the book if you are not yet firmly in Wizenberg’s camp, she has one more recipe left to win you over. Surely even the most hardened reader will drop everything and spend the entire afternoon in search of an 8-inch cake pan and good chocolate to make her fondant au chocolat. One bite and you will be a goner. “Thank you, Molly!” you will gush—and with that, Wizenberg will have proved her point: “that what it all comes down to is winning hearts and minds.”