Ever wish your life was a comic? Or better yet, ever wish your life was full of cheese? Then you probably wish that you were Lucy Knisley. I don’t think I’ve envied someone’s life as much as Lucy’s since I read The Hatchet (yes, I wish I was Brian stranded in northern Canada with only a hatchet and wildlife for company. I can’t really explain why.) To this day, Gary Paulsen’s descriptions of food via a starving narrator who ate only berries continue to haunt my dreams.
Lucy Knisley’s book Relish is a girl’s love letter to food. Nevermind the fact that Knisley was born to become a foodie–her mother was an artist, one of the employees at the first Dean & Deluca in NYC, and later worked for David Bouley. Knisley starts from the beginning and tracks the role of food in her life–from her birth until her present. Not only is hers a really cute story, but the book is chock full of illustrated (!) recipes, like homemade vegetarian sushi rolls with fried sweet potato.
I also appreciate how Knisley is down to earth, open and honest with her readers throughout the panes. She has no problems sharing the (mis)adventures of her and her friend Drew in Mexico, complete with a ‘getting my first period’ story and smuggling pornographic magazines. Knisley also spends an entire chapter spouting on and on about the perfect flaky, buttery croissants and concludes it with ‘making croissants is hard’ and shares a lovely sangria recipe instead.
Plus, did I mention, there’s a full page spread devoted to classifying and distinguishing the different types of cheese? That alone is reason enough to check this one out.
Relish is a delightful change from the typical food genre books that we’re used to reading–including recipe books, memoirs, or investigative journalism pieces. Knisley reminds the reader that food is fun, food is to be enjoyed, and food is to be relished.