Sunday, March 24, 2013

Bread & Wine - A Book Review

It's the sweet cinnamon and sugar, flaky dough in your nails, tart apples peeled. It's just another attempt at Gran's apple pie.

Breakfast burritos, fragrant, warm, and wrapped in tin foil. Me, hoping I didn't get the one with extra habanero's expertly hidden by my trickster uncle.

The cabbage is scattered across the cutting board, sesame oil and ginger sizzling. It's my father in laws expertise at Asian cooking.

This week I know it will be there, dry bread, sweet juice, those little plastic cups. I enter in to my Lord's suffering.

Food and memories almost inexplicably connected, but the truth is each fragrance, taste, and empty plated aftermath reminds us of something.

Shauna Niequists newest release, Bread & Wine is a beautiful memoir full of poignant essays that focus on life, God, and the beauty of sharing ourselves with one another through meals of love.

In a world that says thin = perfection, we have forgotten that it is okay to savor a good meal, to relish in the hard work of an excellent cook, to walk away satisfied or to even admit that we are hungry.

"Sara loved to eat and believed it was her right and pleasure. She didn't overeat or under eat, cry or hide food. She just ate, for sustenance and enjoyment both, and I was fascinated. Still, it took almost a decade more for me to say those words... "I'm hungry" - without feeling ashamed." - Bread & Wine

Shauna has given us permission to feast, permission to fast, permission to give and permission to receive.

The book is filled with delicious recipes - some easy peasy like her Basic Risotto and some more challenging, including Steak au Poivre with Cognac Pan Sauce.

But, with each recipe she challenges us to give - mercy, grace, food to those we know need it
and challenges us to receive the help, self compassion, and friendship that others offer to us.

"What people are craving isn't perfection. People aren't longing to be impressed; they're longing to feel like they're home. If you create a space full of love and character and creativity and soul, they'll take off their shoes and curl up with gratitude and rest, no matter how small, no matter how undone, no matter how odd."  - Bread & Wine

If you know me at all you know I am a fan of Shauna's. While occasionally it was difficult to enter in to her life (we do live very different lives) there are still an abundance of ways I saw myself and those I love in the pages of Bread & Wine. I have already started a short list of people that I know would LOVE this book because of a mutual love for food, friends and family.  Shauna is an excellent story teller and this book is easy to devour.

You can pre-order at Amazon and I suggest you do (it's 9 bucks off!). Her books Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet are also available (and one of them is sitting in my Easter Basket right now).

*I received a pre-release copy of Bread & Wine in exchange for my honest review. 

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