Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter mobile phone number.
The School of Essential Ingredients (A School of Essential Ingredients Novel) Kindle Edition
About the Author
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Table of Contents
Special Excerpt from The Lost Art of Mixing
Special Excerpt from The Joy For Beginners
About the Author
G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS
Publishers Since 1838
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014,
USA • Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario
M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Canada • Inc.) Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand,
London WC2R oRL, • England Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2,
Ireland (a division of Penguin Books • Ltd) Penguin Group (Australia),
250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia
Group Pty • Ltd) Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park,
New Delhi–110 017, • India Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale,
North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand • Ltd) Penguin Books
(South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R oRL, England
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in
any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or
encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase
only authorized editions.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
The school of essential ingredients / Erica Bauermeister.
1. Women cooks—Fiction. 2. Cooking schools—Fiction.
3. Friendship—Fiction. I. Title.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
While the author has made every effort to provide accurate telephone numbers and Internet addresses at the time of publication, neither the publisher nor the author assumes any responsibility for errors, or for changes that occur after publication. Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
For Heidi, Karin, and Dad
Lillian loved best the moment before she turned on the Lights. She would stand in the restaurant kitchen doorway, rain-soaked air behind her, and let the smells come to her—ripe sourdough yeast, sweet-dirt coffee, and garlic, mellowing as it lingered. Under them, more elusive, stirred the faint essence of fresh meat, raw tomatoes, cantaloupe, water on lettuce. Lillian breathed in, feeling the smells move about and through her, even as she searched out those that might suggest a rotting orange at the bottom of a pile, or whether the new assistant chef was still double-dosing the curry dishes. She was. The girl was a daughter of a friend and good enough with knives, but some days, Lillian thought with a sigh, it was like trying to teach subtlety to a thunderstorm.
But tonight was Monday. No assistant chefs, no customers looking for solace or celebration. Tonight was Monday, cooking-class night.
After seven years of teaching, Lillian knew how her students would arrive on the first night of class—walking through the kitchen door alone or in ad hoc groups of two or three that had met up on the walkway to the mostly darkened restaurant, holding the low, nervous conversations of strangers who will soon touch one another’s food. Once inside, some would clump together, making those first motions toward connection, while others would roam the kitchen, fingers stroking brass pots or picking up a glowing red pepper, like small children drawn to the low-hanging ornaments on a Christmas tree.
Lillian loved to watch her students at this moment—they were elements that would become more complex and intriguing as they mixed with one another, but at the beginning, placed in relief by their unfamiliar surroundings, their essence was clear. A young man reaching out to touch the shoulder of the still younger woman next to him—“What’s your name?”—as her hand dropped to the stainless-steel counter and traced its smooth surface. Another woman standing alone, her mind still lingering with—a child? a lover? Every once in a while there was a couple, in love or ruins.--This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B001Q8V6N0
- Publisher : Berkley; 1st edition (20 January 2009)
- Language : English
- File size : 600 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 268 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #154,486 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top review from India
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
"...Margaret's mother raised the cup of milk away from the pot, and Lillian looked at the sauce, an untouched snowfield, its smell the feeling of quiet at the end of an illness, when the world is starting to feel gentle and welcoming again...", and
"The beef bourguignon was bubbling in the oven, the smells of meat and red wine, onions and bay leaf and thyme murmuring like travelers on a late-night train."
There is a theme running through this novel, that of women offering themselves up for family - a noble and rewarding pursuit, but one which leaves them feeling a bit hollowed out (remember the Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein?) But another theme, that of slowing down and treasuring, savoring, indulging in, the simple things, works to help heal these people. In fact, after I finished the book, I found that the act of closing up my home for the night seemed a richer experience. I walked through the rooms thinking, "This is my beloved home. I love this room. I love these windows." etc.
The characters are well-developed and relatable, and there is a gratifying warmth between them as they struggle with the normal difficulties of life. There are several places in the book where one character reminds/asks/encourages another to answer the question, "what did you do today that made you happy?" Wouldn't we be better off for asking ourselves this question?
Top reviews from other countries
But I couldn't finish the book, didn't find my interest, too long and too sad.