LET US EAT CAKE: Memories of Food and Friendship

Sharon Boorstin, Author
Sharon Boorstin, Author . HarperCollins/ ReganBooks $24.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-001283-0
Reviewed on: 03/25/2002
Release date: 05/01/2002
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-06-001284-7
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Noted food writer Boorstin was cleaning out her desk one day when she came across a notebook of recipes she'd collected as a newlywed in the late 1960s. Each recipe brought back memories of the women who'd shared it with her and the friendships that resulted. Boorstin threads these recipes—for dishes such as Mireille's Halibut in Champagne and Ina's Brownies—through her memoir, tracing the evolution of her friendships with women through the years, from her 1950s suburban Seattle childhood (the "Age of Innocence and Frozen Marshmallows") to the days of "women's lib" and the psychotherapy-saturated '70s, when Boorstin marries, has a daughter and begins documenting the California restaurant revolution for magazines such as Bon Appétit. Boorstin shares painful memories as well—her sister's mental breakdown, her own broken engagement. As her daughter grows up and parental pressures ease, Boorstin begins to develop cherished relationships with women independent of her family. "When it comes right down to it," Boorstin writes, "a woman really is the sum of all the friends she has had in her life." The result is a charming homage to women's camaraderie. Although perhaps not as penetrating as M.F.K. Fisher's writings nor as sparkling as Laurie Colwin's, there are still treasures to be found in this likeable baby boomer memoir. (May).

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