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Tender at the Bone: Growing up at the Table

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  • Posted November 7, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Delicious Memoir

    Ruth writes her life story through recipes and a great deal of humor and internal fortitude. A great read, enjoyable, witty and makes you hungry for more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 6, 2010

    Tender at the Bone is a Great Story for Foodies

    Our book club selection for February is "Tender at the Bone -- Growing Up at the Table" by Ruth Reichl. I had to keep reminding myself that this is non-fiction.

    Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet magazine which is no longer being published as of November 2009, has an entertaining history with food. While she had no formal culinary training, she has cooked since she was a small child. This is the story of her life with food and her no holds barred personal life, including dealing with a manic-depressive mother who was known as the Queen of Mold.

    Here's a little excerpt from the first chapter:

    "Oh, it's just a little mold," I can remember her saying on the many occasions she scraped the fuzzy blue stuff off some concoction before serving what was left for dinner. She had an iron stomach and was incapable of understanding that other people did not.

    This taught me many things. The first was that food could be dangerous, especially to those who loved it. I took this very seriously. My parents entertained a great deal, and before I was ten I had appointed myself guardian of the guests. My mission was to keep Mom from killing anybody who came to dinner.

    She tells about learning to cook from her Aunt Birdie's maid, Hortense, as well as their own family's maid, Mrs. Peavey; being sent to boarding school in Montreal to learn French and getting an education from the local deli owners; spending time with a fellow student's millionaire family where she was introduced to gourmet food; traveling abroad with her college roommate; marrying and making ends meet -- then moving to California and living in a commune; being hired as a restaurant critic by a San Francisco magazine; going to France on a wine buying trip; even attending a party in honor of James Beard.

    I found her story interesting and fascinating. She really went through some ups and downs with her mother's illness and came out on the right side of happy.

    Ruth Reichl has written and edited a number of books and cookbooks over the years and I believe I'll read them all. "Tender at the Bone" includes recipes throughout the text as well.

    http://www.ruthreichl.com/?ID=2

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2007

    Made me want to eat and travel....

    I enjoyed the eclectic stories of Ruth's journey through life. I really liked how she choose to accompany each story with a related recipe. It gave the story a personal touch and made you feel that these tales where indeed true. During the story, she visits and lives in many different cities and countries. It made me want to visit every place she has been. In a foodie's head, you always equate places and experiences with food. This story only solidifies this way of thinking. Anyone would enjoy this book, especially people that have a special place in their heart for food and cooking.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2004

    It delights my heart

    I went through some difficult time and needed a book to uplift my spirit, in a way. I am still thinking of the deep fried oyster and I think I will go back and read those recipes again and try making some of them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2003

    It will make your mouth water with anticipation...

    What if you could tell what kind of person someone was just by observing what, where and how they eat? In Ruth Reichl's, Tender at the Bone- Growing up at the Table, you will learn to do just this. Her book is a well-written and interesting look at life, food, and relationships. Her descriptive details and life reflecting commentary give an instant understanding of the author's experiences. Which include living with a neglectful father and manic-depressive mother. The catchy dialogue between characters leads the reader deeper into the book. With each page more connections are made between people, what they eat and how food can dictate our emotions. Ruth suggests that good times and good food co-exist, while those experiences that are unpleasant involve less appetizing meals. Growing up constantly shielding herself, and her friends, from her mother's food makes Ruth a very unique person. Ruth discusses how her mother's illness often drove her crazy and made her paranoid about having friends over or throwing parties. When she is old enough she leaves town; going to college and eventually living on her own. It is then that she meets her husbands, travels throughout Europe, and becomes a "food guru." There are always interesting and slightly odd things occurring throughout the duration of this book. Ruth gets slightly crazy, eats rotten food, digs through garbage and does several other eccentric things. From youth to adulthood and all the recipes in between, this book never falls short. Ruth Reichl's, Tender at the Bone- Growing Up at the Table, is an excellent read, and well worth the paper it is printed on.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2002

    wonderful

    this story is not only wonderfully written, but hysterical. I laughed the whole time! I loved it!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2002

    Simply a good memoir

    I loved this book because it was witty and truly a good read about how one little girl grew up dealing with a totally dysfunctional mom. Although I'm the type of cook who boils eggs till they explode, I loved the recipies sprinkled throughout the book. I'm going to try some. But, I especially loved Reichl's approach to the struggles of life...hilarious and insighful!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2002

    Very well written, even non-foodies (like me) will like it

    Tender at the Bone is so well written I enjoyed the whole thing. I am not a foodie in fact, I can barely cook. But I like memoir and both of hers are excellent. They are funny, wise, honest and well, tender. Her writing is accessible, fluid and clear. I was surprised to learn that the powerful fancy food editor, Ruth Reichl, had a manic-depressive mother and such non-conformist 'anti-agribusiness' views! After reading Tender at the Bone, I was even inspired to make a creative dinner two whole nights in a row!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2000

    An absolute delight

    I love it! Witty and mouth watering! Don't read when you are hungry!

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    Posted December 29, 2008

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    Posted July 14, 2010

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