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Walking on Walnuts

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  11 reviews
When Nancy Ring answered a newspaper ad seeking an assistant pastry chef, she though she'd found the ideal way to exercise her natural baking talent while supporting her first love, painting. Little did she realize that the kitchens of New York City's restaurants are places where only the most talented and tenacious can survive, let alone triumph. Backstabbing, fierce comp ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published August 4th 1997 by Bantam (first published July 1st 1996)
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If I didn't have a real weakness for books about cooking and food I would have given this a lower rating. The author tried to weave together way too many threads. We have her own personal experiences working in restaurants (while really wanting to be an artist), her romantic difficulties, the stories from her Jewish family history, the stories behind her favorite recipes, and the extensive history of walnuts--all interesting but not making a very cohesive mix. The flow is awkward and often distr ...more
Feb 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a memoir of Nancy Ring's struggle to make a living and to do art. Interspersed among her accounts of being a waitress and pastry chef while trying to create art are stories of cooking with her family grandparents, greatgrands and her mother) and the stories of their lives. At the end of each chapter is a recipe that she was working on while remembering. Also incorporated in each chapter are little facts about walnuts and walnut trees.

I enjoyed the history of her family, the look into he
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
A loving family memoir by a baker. Nancy Ring feels the presence of her ancestors when she bakes, especially at home. Her love and loyalty for her family shine in this lovely book. Pros: engaging writing style and beautiful family stories, passed down with recipes. Cons: bits of walnut lore seem extraneous. Also her fiance comes off as a jerk. Each chapter ends with a charming original illustration and a recipe for something discussed in the chapter. Oddly enough, I have no desire to bake any of ...more
Sally A.
Sep 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Louise Silk
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: auto-biography
I'm not a big fan of books that combine recipes with story mostly because they try to do too much. That is the case in this book. There are too many threads- past with the history of her family and present personal experiences working in restaurants, the recipes, and the stretched analogy of the walnut.
Mar 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book kind of grew on me. I like the way the author wove the story of her search for what she really wanted out of life with the stories of her ancestors. Her way with words is very artistic and descriptive. I can tell she must be a good artist and pastry chef.
Feb 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book got me started on my "food as a backdrop for meaningful relationships" kick. For some reason, I identified with the author, not because I like to bake, but because she was so connected to her family history and valued those relationships. ...more
Susan Osann
Mar 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this book years after it was released (although I purchased it as the time the book was released). It is probably a little dated but surely captures the "food" scene in Manhattan at the time - as well as her family history. Excellent writer; well written. ...more
Marie Arnold
Jul 13, 2014 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the memoir and the cooking sections, but I found the references to walnuts and the author's family history distracting. There was just too much going on at once. ...more
Oct 29, 2009 rated it liked it
This started out slow, but got better. There are lots of life stories from both sides of her family and some really yummy sounding deserts. It was enjoyable while riding trains around the UK.
Aug 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
a great food writing memoir that I read years ago and was only just reminded of the title
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