I never tire of reading books about people who make unconventional decisions to pursue unfulfilled and seemingly crazy dreams. And I can’t get enough of learning about food and travel, especially if I can do so by reading memoirs that inspire me to cook new dishes at home and get me excited about travel.
My good friend Chrissy knows this. For my birthday, she gave me a copy of The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry, Kathleen Flinn‘s memoir about her time at the Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris, which I couldn’t wait to read. The book is an inspirational story for anyone who has an unfulfilled, maybe crazy, desire that just won’t stop tugging at you, especially if that desire involves food, cooking, or travel.
Having enrolled in a graduate program for nonfiction writing, which will begin this fall, I am on my way to fulfilling my own less-unconventional but just as expensive dream. But the book leaves me with the desire to try some French recipes (and the desire to learn the French language – but, since I am infrequently studying Spanish right now, I am hesitant to take on infrequent study of a second language).
Even though Flinn includes recipes in her memoir, I go to my local library looking for a cookbook and leave with Patricia Wells’ The Paris Cookbook.
With my fridge still stuffed with zucchini, I decide to make Wells’ fresh almonds, zucchini, curry, and mint, a dish from Joël Robuchon. Although I feel like I cheated the dish of its Parisian qualities – it calls for fresh almonds, which I have no idea where to find, and homemade curry powder, which I didn’ t have the ingredients to make – I still feel like I’ve taken a tiny step into Finn’s world. Find a copy of Wells’ recipe here.
If you’re yearning to be immersed in Paris, read The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry, then try some recipes from The Paris Cookbook. I love to travel, but in this time of tight budgets, exploring different countries through books is the next best thing (which can also sometimes be a bad thing if you’ve seen the movie of the same name – but don’t worry, we’re talking about good substitutes in this case!).
Happy reading, eating, and armchair travels!