Relish

book cover of Relish
Lucy Knisley
4
Friday, Feb 21, 2020

I am super late to the Lucy Knisley party and I'm a little perturbed with myself. I cannot believe I waited this long to read Relish. It has a lot of things I love about a good book:

- memoir
- lotsa foodie talk
- incredible illustrations
- stories about malicious birds.

I was hooked by page 8 when Knisley talks about having poached salmon in cream for her baptism day.

Other favorite moments:
* The hate writing on the wall of one of her childhood homes: "The former residents had split in a nasty divorce, prompting the furious wife to use olive oil to write 'Fred Stell is a drug addict and drag queen' in enormous letters on the brick of the kitchen wall." I can't even imagine trying to explain something like that to a child, but the thought of doing so cracks me up.
* I love how Knisley illustrates Grandpa coming to life through shared memories on page 14.
* Little details like Lucy wearing her oven mitt while watching Sound of Music, how pickling can take over your life and home, the scariest miracle whip I've ever seen chasing after defenseless food things, (especially the broccoli's look of total doom), and the perfect croissant in a frame of equally perfect croissants.
* Her small, but deeply-meaningful ode to McDonald's, where she mentions "comfort grease," and how "Anyone who can fail to rejoice in the enticing squish/crunch of a fast-food French fry, or the delight of a warmed piece of grocery-store donut, is living half a life."
* The moment Knisley talks about how her mom worked the cheese counter while pregnant with her and perched big wheels of cheese on her pregnant belly. Included is a wonderful image depicting how Knisley was "imbued with a love of cultured dairy by sheer prenatal proximity."
* Lastly, recipes! Adorably-illustrated recipes like chai and huevos rancheros.

Knisley has it all - not only are her illustrations now etched into my food-loving soul (somehow she makes an illustration of a honey bear even better than the real-life honey bear), but her writing style, love of food, and humor have completely won me over. I'm ready to read and absorb everything she's ever written and illustrated.

Hannah

Written by Hannah Jane C.