cover image My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life

My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life

Ruth Reichl, photos by Mikel Vang. Random, $35 (352p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6998-9

When the doors closed at Gourmet magazine in 2009, editor-in-chief Reichl comes to terms with her professional upheaval by plunging herself into her greatest pleasure—cooking. Reichl gets reacquainted with her kitchen and the joy of cooking for herself and others. The year of healing and rediscovery journaled in this cookbook reveals the simple pleasures that the former New York Times restaurant critic and James Beard Award–winner recaptures when she steps back into her home kitchen, where it all started. Her recipes, introduced by haiku-like images of smells, tastes, sounds, and cityscape, read like kitchen conversations and have an inviting, informal cook-along-with-Ruth tone. The recipes are arranged by season and include comforting dishes such as roasted tomato soup, corn pudding, fried chicken, grilled cheese with leeks, and hamburgers on potato buns. There’s plenty of international fare: pastas, lemony hummus, Yanghuo-style dumplings, spicy Korean shrimp, and vegetable rice sticks. The dishes are clearly fun and uplifting for Reichl, and the unexpected shift from culinary guru to happy home cook chases her blues away. Reichl reminds readers that getting lost in a recipe can be excellent therapy. Agent: Kathy Robbins, Robbins Office. (Sept.)