Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry

                          The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears at the World's Most Famous Cooki

The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry was a bit of a departure from our standard fiction fare. I was torn between four different books when my pick came around, but tipping the scales in favor of Sharper (hopefully you all can follow my little abbreviation, the whole title every time would only end in carpal tunnel) was my mom’s pressure and the fact that the book was full of recipes and a legit book club guide in the back. The fact that the author also makes her home (part-time) just north of us in Seattle made it compelling as well.
In a nutshell, Ms Flinn finds herself at a crossroads when her job is eliminated and instead of returning to something familiar she cashes it all in to follow her dream of living in Paris and studying French cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu. You might think that a book primarily about food, cooking and the famed Le Cordon Bleu, might really make a reader work up an appetite, but my less sophisticated palate wasn’t moved by a lot of the recipes that the class worked up. I love cooking but Flinn’s narratives on the classes removed any desire to have “classical training”, I would have been a puddle on the floor after a tongue lashing from the Gray Chef. And my mind wanders when I understand the language, dealing with ADD and a language barrier would be too much for me. I admire her fortitude while recognizing my lack there of. As I was reading I did keep my post-it tabs handy to mark all of Flinn’s recipes, tucked in nicely at the end of each chapter. I’ve only tried two to date but I have several more on my to-do list. They aren’t nearly as complicated as the curriculum required of Flinn in Paris and most feature less foie gras.

Where some of the dishes prepared failed to move me, the descriptions of her life in Paris stirred more than a little envy and wanderlust. Just the day to day seemed romantic. I enjoyed the book, especially the further into it I got, but the fact
that this single post has been partially worked up on my computer for close to a month seems to also be a commentary my lack of enthusiasm for this particular read. I don’t think you’d be disappointed if you picked it for yourself, but it won’t keep you up at night either. Sometimes that’s a good thing. 

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