The Wednesday Chef was my first cooking blog love.
Luisa Weiss had me at her stockpile of food sections. I too had a ritual of cutting, pasting, and daydreaming about recipes. Totally bizarre, I thought, until I found this charming New Yorkaise girl doing the exact same thing.
By some kind of wonderful happenstance, I was sent an early copy of Luisa’s first book, My Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story (with Recipes). It’s on sale in bookstores now.
If Luisa’s blog served her life in tiny slices, this book is the feast. She writes about growing up on two different continents, living in Paris, New York, and Berlin, falling in love and breaking up with people, jobs, and cities.
There are life lessons, too. What to do when you feel like you have it all, but want none of it (been there), how to move in with a boyfriend and his a drumset (done that), where to hide a failed cake, and how to be brave.
And then there’s the food.
I now know what my favorite meal is like in Germany. And what a whirligig bun is! The recipe for these lemon, poppyseed, and semolina pudding-filled ones is on page 43. I had to do this before moving on to the next chapter.
And I plan to be rolling Pfannkuchen, or spiced plum jam doughnuts, on New Year’s Eve — if I can wait that long.
Some of the other recipes I want (and this is so I can remember) to try are the omelette confiture, depression stew, poulet sauté à la paysanne provençale, Pflaumkuchen (yeasted plum cake), swiss chard and gruyère panade, slow-baked quince, and elderflower syrup drink.
The way Luisa cooks is my favorite kind of cooking. The most important ingredients are people, places, and moments in time. Reading this book has got me thinking about the recipes that tell my own life story.
Now you go and do the same. Because every love story should have recipes.