It takes courage to turn your life upside down, especially when everyone is telling you how lucky you are. But sometimes what seems right can feel deeply wrong. My Berlin Kitchen tells the story of how one thoroughly confused, kitchen-maid perfectionist broke off her engagement to a handsome New Yorker, quit her dream job, and found her way to a new life, a new man, and a new home in Berlin—one recipe at a time.
Luisa Weiss grew up with a divided heart, shuttling back and forth between her father in Boston and her Italian mother in Berlin. She was always yearning for home, until she found a new home in the kitchen. Luisa started clipping recipes in college and was a cookbook editor in New York when she decided to bake, roast, and stew her way through her, by then, unwieldy collection over the course of one tumultuous year. The blog she wrote to document her adventures in (and out) of the kitchen, The Wednesday Chef, soon became a sensation. But she never stopped hankering for Berlin.
Luisa will seduce you with her stories of foraging for plums in abandoned orchards, battling with white asparagus at the tail end of the season, orchestrating a three-family Thanksgiving in Berlin, and mending her broken heart with batches (and batches) of impossible German Christmas cookies. Fans of her award-winning blog will know the happy ending, but anyone who enjoyed Julie and Julia will laugh and cheer and cook alongside Luisa as she takes us into her heart and tells us how she gave up everything only to find love waiting where she least expected it
This was like "Eat, Pray, Love for the Cook". It also reminded me of Julie and Julia - who actually inspired Luisa to start her food blog, The Wednesday Chef in the first place. I felt for Luisa during a lot of the book. I completely commiserated with her thoughts on constantly being divided between her mother in Berlin and her father in New York...except in my case it's feeling divided between Pennsylvania and New York (and a much shorter trip, I might add). Each chapter ends with a recipe that ties everything together. Her recipes use ingredients and items some of which I've never even heard of! Quark? Quince? I have to google a number of the items she uses on a regular basis...yet I still found myself copying recipe after recipe out of this book. She seems to have quite a way with food, and knows exactly how to pair everything together, how to entertain, and how to make the perfect dish for any occasion. This was an enjoyable and light read, which left me hungry after every page! I hope to start trying out some of her recipes soon!
You can follow Luisa and her other recipe adventures at her blog The Wednesday Chef.