cover image My First Popsicle: An Anthology of Food and Feelings

My First Popsicle: An Anthology of Food and Feelings

Edited by Zosia Mamet. Penguin Books, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-0-14-313729-0

In this nourishing collection, Girls star and Glamour columnist Mamet gathers food stories and recipes from an A-list cast of actors, comedians, musicians, and other celebrities. Contributions range from sweet childhood memories, such as Girls costar Andrew Rannells’s nostalgic Jell-O cake tradition and Patti Lupone’s love for the seafood she grew up eating on Long Island, to tart self-deprecating humor, including David Sedaris in true form, expounding on the humble hot dog. Other selections trend earnest, with several reflecting on recovery from eating disorders, which Mamet has struggled with herself; Fleabag star Sian Clifford’s take on intuitive eating is a standout. Each is accompanied by a recipe, such as for Rosie Perez’s tia’s pollo guisado (Perez defends store-bought Sazón seasoning) or the “Poor Man’s Cake” that Patti Smith’s mother made when the family ran out of eggs. A professed “potluck of words,” the tone and depth of the essays vary, though they are all generously served up, even when acerbic. “Isn’t that when food tastes best,” Mamet asks, “when it’s made with love?” There’s a cozy vibe, like a church supper cookbook (with famous congregants). It’s nifty to glimpse stars of the stage and screen through their menus in this delectable project. Agent: Mel Flashman, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (Nov.)