cover image Mostly True: A Memoir of Family, Food and Baseball

Mostly True: A Memoir of Family, Food and Baseball

Molly O'Neill, . . Scribner, $25 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-7432-3268-5

Former columnist for the New York Times and author of The New York Cookbook , O'Neill de-emphasizes the cooking element here in favor of cozy family gatherings around baseball games. Her memoir begins even before the courtship of her parents, minor leaguer "Chick" O'Neill and six-foot, convent-educated "Bootsie" Gwinn, in Columbus, Ohio, in 1945, and extends to younger brother Paul O'Neill's retirement as right-fielder for the Yankees in 2001. O'Neill meanders lovingly through years growing up as the eldest to five brothers who channeled their adolescent hormones into Little League. O'Neill records her first forays into cooking inspired by an Ohio Power and Electric Co. demonstration given for her Brownie troop; her brothers worshipped her for making dishes from Spam and processed cheese. In college, she secured jobs as a cook and took over the kitchen at Ciro's in Boston by 1979. Her cooking segued into writing, first for the Globe , then New York Newsday . By the time she became a restaurant critic for the Times in the early 1990s, younger brother Paul had been traded to the Yankees, bringing the whole unwieldy family to feast in New York. O'Neill charts a long-winded, pleasantly nostalgic trip. B&w photos. (May)