Since I have moved away from my mom’s yummy meals, I have had to start cooking for myself. My first year away, I attempted to try new foods and cook new things, but my heart just wasn’t in it. In January 2016, I decided I needed to eat healthier and joined the 6 week Daniel Plan to kick start my healthy living. A few months later, I discovered that cooking shows are on Netflix and became motivated to create my own dishes. I binge watched Chopped and haven’t looked back. However, TV isn’t the only way to become inspired. Lucy Knisley’s Relish is a fantastic graphic novel that combines my two favorite things-comics and cooking (recipes).
Lucy wrote an autobiography in a way I have never seen before. She illustrates and tells about her journey with food. Each chapter gives a snippet of Lucy’s life experiences and includes a recipe that goes with the story. She begins with her life in New York City. Her parents are both culinary fanatics, which means she grew up around good, healthy food. Lucy was absolutely forbidden to eat fast food and enjoyed primarily home cooked meals. This does not mean she did not eat sweets, as there is a recipe for homemade chocolate chip cookies at the end of chapter 3 and a whole chapter dedicated to her rebellion and enjoyment of so-called junk food. After her parents’ divorce, she moved out of the city and worked on a farm with her mom. There she learned how to appreciate food in a new way.
My favorite chapters were about her trips to foreign countries. Lucy and her childhood friend, Drew, went with their mothers to Mexico when they were young teens. The mothers got sick, so Drew and Lucy got to explore the town and try new foods. They ate huevos rancheros, tamales, empanadas, etc. When they were a little older, Lucy visited Drew who had recently moved to Japan with his family. The best part of that chapter was the 4 page visual recipe for sushi. It looks delicious, but way too complicated for my taste. I think I’ll just visit a restaurant for that kind of meal.
On the topic of making the food, I waited to write this post until after I had formally made the Huevos Rancheros. It was the recipe at the end of the Mexico chapter and it looked the best to me. Bonus: it was simple! The picture below is of the double page illustrated recipe and my dinner tonight! The meal did not look that big on my plate, but I assure you I am happily full.
I highly recommend Relish: My Life in the Kitchen. It is fun, witty, and full of food.