Skip to main content

Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Life, Love, and Food

Review

Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Life, Love, and Food

I couldn’t raise my hand quickly enough to have the chance to read KITCHEN YARNS. In full disclosure, Ann Hood is a fellow Rhode Islander who has been a kind mentor to me. From the first time I reached out to her about seven years ago, asking her to attend a mother-daughter book club --- we were reading the first installment of her Treasure Chest series, CLARA BARTON, ANGEL OF THE BATTLEFIELD --- she has been gracious and warm. I'm grateful for her generous spirit and encouragement, and honored to consider her a friend. With that, I dove into KITCHEN YARNS eager to hear more of Ann’s stories.

From the first page to the last, readers know they are in the hands of a master storyteller. In this collection of essays, Hood tells the stories of her life --- the joyful, the heartbreaking, the healing, the grieving, the growing. Like the variety of flavors and seasonings from the recipes throughout the book, Hood’s stories are filled with the range of human emotion.

"From the first page to the last, readers know they are in the hands of a master storyteller.... Full of humor and love, overflowing with heart and life, KITCHEN YARNS is a beautiful read."

Food and cooking are at the heart of her memories, and thread through the everyday rituals and the milestone moments. Together, these individual snippets of life, these tastes and smells and traditions, create a life --- Ann’s life --- that she generously shares like a grandmother serving heaping portions.

Reading KITCHEN YARNS is like sitting comfortably with a friend, over food, of course, and chatting about life --- even the hard stuff. We are invited into Ann’s home, her family, her traditions, her heart, with a warm welcome.

I chuckled that the first story of the book includes the importance of one of my favorite recipes: Silver Palate Chicken Marbella. It’s been a while since I’ve made it, but now I have to make it again.

Wherever you’re reading this, if you eat and have a family, you’ll adore it, but if you’re also from Rhode Island, or have ever lived here, you’re in for an added treat. Even as a non-native Rhode Islander (being here only 13 years, I barely have status as a Rhode Islander at all), I loved reading about local places, neighborhoods and our big city of Providence.

Full of humor and love, overflowing with heart and life, KITCHEN YARNS is a beautiful read. It is the perfect gift book this holiday season and for gift-giving occasions year-round.

Reviewed by Leah DeCesare (www.leahdecesare.com) on December 7, 2018

Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Life, Love, and Food
by Ann Hood

  • Publication Date: December 4, 2018
  • Genres: Cooking, Essays, Nonfiction
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • ISBN-10: 0393249506
  • ISBN-13: 9780393249507