Comfort Me with Apples: More Adventures at the Table
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Comfort Me with Apples: More Adventures at the Table

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  12,636 ratings  ·  741 reviews
In this delightful sequel to her bestseller Tender at the Bone, Ruth Reichl returns with more tales of love, life, and marvelous meals. Comfort Me with Apples picks up Reichl’s story in 1978, when she puts down her chef’s toque and embarks on a career as a restaurant critic. Her pursuit of good food and good company leads her to New York and China, France and Los Angeles,...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 25th 2010 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published 2001)
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Becky
Mar 06, 2008 Becky rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like memoirs and food
This followup to Reichl's first memoir, Tender At the Bone, is as lush as its predecessor, if a little sickening as a comforting marriage splinters, a self is reinvented, and a longed-for child is gained and lost.

Though she's well-known for writing about food, Ruth Reichl is just as adept at writing about the self, particularly when the self is caught in unfamiliar, transitional phases.

In the beginning of Comfort Me With Apples, Reichl finds herself embroiled in one extramarital affair after the...more
Laura
Ruth Reichl, food critic and former editor of Gourmet magazine, is a fluid and engaging writer. Her stories about the early days of California Cuisine were interesting, as were the anecdotes involving people like Wolfgang Puck, Alice Waters, and the Aidells sausage guy before they became household names. But too much of the book is about her personal life, which at this phase involved living in a commune in Berkeley and pursuing several extra-marital affairs. Even if all her descriptions of meal...more
Chana
By the time I was a quarter through this book I was freaking out (bet that is a Berkley term). I was telling myself, "Don't judge! Stop judging! Take a deep cleansing breath, another!" It only helped so much. I was definitely judging! By the time Ruth and Doug have their honest conversation I was furious. I had to keep telling myself, "This is Ruth's life not yours, Doug is not your husband so you don't have to kill him." I mean I was judging Ruth too, but man (another Berkleyism I'm sure) Doug...more
Sundry
I liked the real foodie parts of this book, but it pretty quickly devolved into the sort of memoir where I felt somewhat aghast for Ruth’s friends, family, former and current spouses, and lovers. Yikes!

TMI!

It would have comforted me if she had stuck an apple in her mouth rather than telling me quite so much about her infidelities.

[SPOILERS….]

I don’t know why this is so…she just seemed so stupidly self-destructive at some points and yet constantly fell forward into better and better jobs. I reall...more
Billie Criswell
This book picks up right where Tender At The Bone left off, which was a great comfort to me. I love nonfiction , but I am always left wondering what happened, and this satisfied my hunger for more "book." And there is no surprise why--Ruth Reichl is a great writer and I wanted more. In fact, after reading this book, I still want MORE!

I have found in my reading that second books by nonfiction authors tend to be more honest, morose, and therefore sad than the first books. This was no exception, b...more
Kim
A beautifully written, inspiring book, full of amazing descriptions of food (though some foods, like boiled brain, don't sound all that appetizing) along with recipes that are woven into this story. This book is an autobiographical account of the author's early life as a restaurant critic. I found it compelling, but perhaps mainly because I had already read her second volume of life in NYC. This book I read chronologically out of order, but had already fell in love with the author, so her descri...more
misha
Sep 16, 2007 misha rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves food, and has a heart
I read this book on one part of a flight, and ended up in tears on the plane. Oh, she is such a beautiful writer, and just the type of writer that I love. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I kept reading sections to my foodie husband, and it was just a delight to, on top of that, read about berkeley and boonville and truckee... living in oakland, my husband cooked at the boonville hotel, and my parents live in tahoe.

Her love stories are so b...more
Carolyn
Mar 26, 2012 Carolyn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Foodies, those who like memoirs, or interested in the gourmet restaurant business
I really enjoy her writing style. Even when I have absolutely no interest in eating the food she is describing, she makes it sound so wonderful, so I can enjoy it vicariously through her Reading her book is like sitting down with a friend for drinks - great conversation, some laughs, some funny moments, and even a pearl of wisdom or two. A nice way to spend some time. A couple of the recipes looked like I might try them (like Danny Kaye's lemon pasta, yum!)
Meg Powers
I would be embarrassed to read this in a public place, but it's a mindless read and I have a hard time resisting descriptions of food. This is a good break-up book so far: all the romantic relationships Reichl describes crumble, and her writing is too cheesy for me to feel like she's a real person (see: Made From Scratch, the Sandra Lee memoirs), so it's pleasantly cathartic. Plus- recipes!
I shouldn't speak too soon, though. Maybe she'll meet some amazing guy she's still with in an inspirationa...more
Cindy
Seldom does a book stir up such conflicting emotions in me! I picked this up because I read "Garlic and Sapphires" last year and so enjoyed Reichl's writing. I also enjoyed the bizarre situations and food she wrote about - I personally hope never to sample calves' brains or caviar, or any of the other weird but fancy dishes Reichl waxes eloquent about, but it sure is fun to read about it.

This book was, to put it mildly, not what I expected. Sure, Reichl's writing was still lovely and her food ad...more
Mary Timbes
Comfort Me With Apples is a good, racy read--full of delicious stories from real life and a few actual recipes. Ruth Reichl, renowned food writer, has lived a full and adventurous life, not all of it soothing. This is the second memoir. I confess I didn't read the first but am somewhat familiar with Reichl as a food celebrity and was curious what she might reveal about her life. The book captured my interest and led me through some of the highs and lows of her life. I think it helps to have an i...more
Marcia Rodney
This was a treat to read, an escape into an appreciation of good writing, good food, good living, and good loving -- with heavy doses of not-so-good of the last on the side. Although it is truly hard to beat the sensuality of two food writers entwined in their craft and each other while immersed in an illicit affair in France. And having lived and cooked and explored the joys (and failures) of 1970s back-to-the-earth recipes in The Best Communal House in Philly, I really enjoyed hearing about he...more
Robyn
4.00

I really enjoy Ruth's writing style and her descriptions of food are amazing. I might not want to actually eat what she is eating but the way she herself enjoys the food and describes the experience almost makes me think that maybe I could try it someday. I did not enjoy this book as much as her first memoir, Tender at the Bone, simply because the subjects in this second memoir are more challenging. She discusses the death of her father, the extremely slow breakdown of her first marriage and...more
Margaret
I didn't like this quite as much as Tender at the Bone or Garlic and Sapphires. There wasn't as much food description, and I wasn't as interested in the details of Reichl's personal life here as I was in her childhood (in TatB) or her restaurant reviewing and sociological observations (in GaS). Still, there's much food goodness, and I like how she conveys her sense of comfort in food and eating.
Deborah
I wish I hadn't read this book: I ended up not liking Ruth Reichl at all. I loved Tender at the Bone, so when I saw this book at Costco I bought it on impulse. I enjoyed maybe the first 1/3 or 1/2--after all, I lived on Channing Way in Berkeley in the 70s also--and the book was an easy read, but she just seemed to make bad and then worse decisions in her personal life, and then justify each one, and eventually I realized I reading it just to finish the dang thing. I might try some of the recipes...more
Anne Green
The sequel to "Tender at the Bone" by Ruth Reichl, this is subtitled "more adventures at the table". However the adventures are by means restricted to the table, many of them take place in the book is just as much about Reichl's love life as it is about her love for food. This doesn't make it any less interesting (unless you're only interested in food), but for someone who seems to have made some impetuous decisions in regard to men, she manages to come out relatively unscathed at the end.

Some...more
Terri
This was a beautiful book. The combination of love, sorrow, travel and food all seamlessly woven together was a delight to read.

Ruth Reichl is brave enough to be truthful and it makes you love her. A hippie gal living in a commune suddenly gets the job she's always wanted, restaurant critic. Her "family" and her husband think she's sold out to the bourgeois. She takes it anyway, absolutely loves it and wears her Goodwill finds to some very incredible restaurants to review their food.

Very similar...more
Joy
This is the second of three books about Ruth’s life. I loved this one as much as the other two. This was a fun book to read because it reminded me of life in the 70’s and the values that were being explored. Ruth lived in a commune where one roommate recycled EVERYTHING and everyone showed up on Sundays for her great cooking. As a young woman she is married and starting her career working at Alice Water’s restaurant and getting her first food review gig. The book is also filled with great recipe...more
Faye
Comfort Me With Apples is a memoirs interspersed with recipe and critic of food and cuisine. It is written with in informal voice, much like how a friend would relay to you her stories and emotions.

I like how Ruth Reichl wrote about commune living and transitioning from a commune house chef to a food critic. I admire her story on finding herself while doing her work. Though I am saddened at her separation with her first husband, I felt happy that she eventually got a second love and a biological...more
Cheryl in CC NV
May 15, 2012 Cheryl in CC NV marked it as skimmed-reference-dnf  ·  review of another edition
Funny, graceful, at times interesting - but I just couldn't like her enough, with her extra-marital affairs, to keep reading carefully past p.52 (I did flip through the rest and did read most of the story about Gavi). And I empathized with Nick at the commune too much. Good food is one thing, obscene amounts of money on unhealthy food like heavy cream and excessive amounts of wine is another. I, personally, don't have the stomach for it.
Maggie
This book is much more intimate than Tender at the Bone, and in a way, much less about food. Reichl's writing about her choices within relationships can be raw at times, and absolutely riveting. I admire the openness with which she wrote about her decisions, and the goodness it takes to be honest and real about choices that some might perceive to be bad. Her boldness and vulnerability are the same thing; it's what I like about her most.
Ruth
This book made me really want to eat Chinese and Thai food! I love the way Ruth Reichl writes about food. Everything is an experience, and the setting and characters play just as important role as the food itself. I was a little disappointed by some of her personal decisions, but I certainly wouldn't pass any judgement. She has had a really interesting life, or at least does a great job of writing about it in an interesting way.
Leslie
My introduction to Ruth Reichl's 2-volume memoir was through a short free excerpt of the first volume (Tender at the Bone) through my Kindle. It was very funny and engaging, and I was committed to reading it because it was a selection of one of my book groups. Unfortunately it was not immediately available at the library, but this sequel was, so I read it first.

Probably a mistake...I enjoyed the breezy tone, reading Reichl's recipes, and following her on her travels as she opened herself up to n...more
Jenna
We're all grown-ups here. People who write books, including memoirs, aren't required to be "role models," and disapproving of an author's lifestyle choices isn't a very interesting or generous way to approach a book. One of the beautiful things about reading is that it gives us the proverbial window into another person's world - if someone else's life exactly mirrors your own, why bother? I like Ruth Reichl, I like food, I like her descriptions of New York and Los Angeles, including all the warm...more
Becky
I am reading all three of her books and pretending they are one long book. I like them more than most memoir-type books since the author lacks the typical need to jam in every story that might seem interesting or impressive. Slow-paced, easy reads. Lots of food and wine talk, which I can get behind.
Hannah
This was very breezy and fun. The food bits were mostly meaningless to me, as a vegetarian (surprising, considering how much of it took place in a Berkeley commune :)) but, it was still a good night's entertainment. What with my current recipe obsession, I'd like to find more good food writers.
Kenji Alt
Entertaining, but shoddily written and kinda trashy. Ruth Reichl's like the paperback romance novel writer of the professional food writing world. Buy this book (and Tender at the Bone) at the airport, finish it on the plane, then leave it in the seat pocket in front of you.
Megan
I'm loving this - listening to it on tape as I had a long drive this weekend.

Sometimes I think Reichl is not much of a novelist, but her story is rich and interesting, so what it lacks in literary style it makes up for in compelling storyline. She's had an interesting life.
Samira
I just could not get into this book--I have very little patience for people who want sympathy while living obviously self indulgent and absorbed lives.
Jane
In spite of some of the content--including Reichl's extramarital affairs and those of her husband, for example--this was still an enjoyable memoir. This starts where Tender at the Bone left off and covers the beginning of Reichl's career as a restaurant critic. I especially enjoyed the glimpse of the young Wolfgang Puck.
For those who don't know who Reichl is, she has been the restaurant editor, food editor, and critic for the LA Times, critic for the New York Times, and editor of Gourmet magazin...more
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Read by Theme: Comfort Me with Apples - by Ruth Reichl 1 21 Jan 01, 2013 11:33AM  
  • Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen
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  • The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America
  • The Gastronomical Me
  • Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant : Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone
  • The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food
  • The Tummy Trilogy
  • The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen
  • The Language of Baklava: A Memoir
  • Shark's Fin And Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China
  • Alice Waters and Chez Panisse: The Romantic, Impractical, Often Eccentric, Ultimately Brilliant Making of a Food Revolution
  • The United States of Arugula: How We Became a Gourmet Nation
  • The Perfectionist: Life and Death in Haute Cuisine
  • Service Included: Four-Star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter
  • Eating My Words: An Appetite for Life
  • Cooking for Mr. Latte: A Food Lover's Courtship, with Recipes
  • Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany
  • Life, on the Line: A Chef's Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat
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Ruth Reichl is an American food writer, the editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine and culinary editor for the Modern Library.
Born to parents Ernst and Miriam (née Brudno), she was raised in New York City and spent time at a boarding school in Montreal. She attended the University of Michigan, where she met her first husband, the artist Douglas Hollis. She graduated in 1970 with a M.A. in art history...more
More about Ruth Reichl...
Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise The Gourmet Cookbook: More than 1000 recipes Delicious! Not Becoming My Mother: and Other Things She Taught Me Along the Way

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“I felt that I was really living in the moment. I did not know where my life was going, but right now the future did not trouble me.” 10 likes
“and he smiled when he saw me, as if just the sight of me had improved his day.” 5 likes
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