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Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Life, Love, and Food

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  2,081 ratings  ·  301 reviews
From her Italian American childhood through singlehood, raising and feeding a growing family, divorce, and a new marriage to food writer Michael Ruhlman, Ann Hood has long appreciated the power of a good meal. Growing up, she tasted love in her grandmother’s tomato sauce and dreamed of her mother’s special-occasion Fancy Lady Sandwiches. Later, the kitchen became the heart ...more
Hardcover, 232 pages
Published December 4th 2018 by W. W. Norton Company
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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Larry H
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"First we eat, then we do everything else."
—M.F.K. Fisher

Like music, food often has such an indelible role in our memories. Many of us can remember where and when (and in some cases, with whom) we first tried certain foods, and some of us can even remember the meals or dishes we'd consider best-ever (or even worst-ever). Some turn to food for comfort, for celebration, for companionship, while some even have a complicated relationship with food. But no matter what, we can't deny the place food ha
Diane S ☔
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 As with music, I'm sure many of can remember when a particular song was played, food and meals can bring about the same type of memories. Favorite foods from our childhood, comfort food we still crave to this day, maybe even struggling to learn how to cook. Ann takes us through her life, associating food with her different memories. What a fantastic way to get to know a person, an author, up close and personal.

She takes us through her young years, growing up in an Itslian family, always a po
Diane Barnes
Dec 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Perfect light reading for a busy time. Essays on the importance of food, family and friends. With recipes, none of which are fancy or complicated. I intend to try the tomato pie very soon.
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Yummy Cozy 4.5 rounded up to 5 Stars

Update: Ann Hood fans: This book just published Dec. 4, 2018. Great read for winter!

Kitchen Yarns is a casual memoir with food. Ann Hood recounts her life through its phases of learning to cook and relationships connected to those times. It’s chatty and fun, as if you and she were sitting in her family room in two big cozy chairs, each with a glass of wine, something delicious to munch on and sharing stories of your lives.
She starts out describing her Italian
mindful.librarian ☀️
Truly, this was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and it took me FOREVER to get my hands on it because my library system only ordered a physical copy in Large Print (NO GO for me) and I had to wait for the digital copy to be available.
And......well.....let’s just say that I really loved the individual essays. But. Well. Most of them were previously published in other publications and rather than heavily editing to eliminate redundancies, they just.....plopped them all in a book. So,
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Oct 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
In the postpartum haze after my daughter was born when I began to pick up books again between diaper changes and during nursing sessions, I found a book called The Obituary Writer.  Though all I wanted to do was sleep and eat uninterrupted, I couldn't put the book down and chose to read in those few minutes I had to myself.  I made a mental note of the author so I could look for more of her books.

When Ann Hood's food memoir Kitchen Yarns recently appeared on NetGalley, I couldn't click the reque
Bree Hill
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really lovely collection of essays reflecting on life and love interwoven with amazing recipes. I truly recommend picking it up if you’re looking for something cozy, felt like I was having coffee with Ann and she was telling me about her life while also making me very hungry!
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, read-2019
Reminiscent of Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking, I enjoyed this almost as much as Hood's earlier memoir, Morningstar: Growing Up With Books.
Julie  Durnell
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, cookbook
A delightful book of essays, ruminations, and recipes! She is very similar to Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking, which I enjoyed just as much.
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
In Ann Hood, I can recognize a bit of myself as we are of an age, lived much of our single young adult lives in the somewhat seedy New York of the 80s, and of course, love to cook.

I can't say we necessarily like to eat the same foods – she loves pork, and I never touch it. I love fish, and she hates it. We both have a great respect for the food of our immigrant families, hers Italian, mine Jewish, and the childhood influence of our respective food cultures remains strong in us in our current dec
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Actual rating: 4.5/5

I loved everything about this highly readable collection of culinary essays by Ann Hood! I have so many Post-It flags marking recipes that I'd like to try that I've decided I need to own a copy of this book. Here's a sample of some of the recipes that have piqued my interested:

Indiana Fried Chicken
Glamourous Curried Chicken Salad
Chicken Salad Veronique
Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins
My Perfect Spaghetti Carbonara
Michael's Whiskey Sours
French Scrambled Eggs
Never-Fail Souffle (re
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, essays, cookery
I've never read any of Ann Hood's novels, but I very much enjoyed this memoir/recipe book. She tells her family stories well, and several of the recipes look worth trying. Actually, I've already tried one -- her "Chicken Marbella," adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook -- a few nights ago, when my dad and his fiance came for dinner, and it was a big hit. Even my sixteen year old, an unbelievably picky eater, said it was excellent, which a really nice surprise! (And the success was especially g ...more
Tena Edlin
I won this book on a Goodreads Giveaway (my first win... I was so excited!), and I loved every second of reading it. In fact, this book made me want to write, and it made me believe that if my pipe dream of writing a book is ever going to come true, it's going to be a book like this... stories about life all woven together with stories about food and the recipes to go with them. This book also made me an instant fan of Ann Hood. She writes with equal amounts of passion and matter-of-factness. It ...more
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to read this book via #NetGalley but I was not approved -- nonetheless, here is my review from a purchased copy. #yourloss :-)

From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it.

In this warm collection of personal essays and recipes, best-selling author Ann Hood nourishes both our bodies and our souls.

From her Italian American childhood through singlehood, raising and feeding a growing family, divorce, and a new marriage to food writer
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book has been bringing equal parts joy and tears to my eyes and I’m sad I finished it (although I already made her/Laurie Colwin’s tomato pie, which closes the book in the most lovely, poignant story and also helps to heal what ails you). I never would have appreciated her writing and her simply but wonderfully, beautifully told little life lessons when I was younger so I’m very grateful to have discovered Ann Hood’s writing when I did. This book is the essay equivalent of comfort food, suc ...more
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A gem. Thoroughly enjoyed the stories and want to try each and every recipe some day.
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ah, Ann Hood. I know she's written other books, and I've read other ones, but I identified with her
memoir/essay collection Morningstar: Growing Up with Books. Now, she has given us a memoir about another essential part of her life. Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Life, Love, and Food includes recipes, but it's a book about those moments in her life when those recipes were essential. Hood turns to food for comfort, in grief, in loss of a marriage, in joy. Her memoir is not in consecutive order. It's in
May 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
I'm always looking for another book like Ruth Reichl's Tender at the bone, so I was excited to read this book.

I should not have gotten my hopes up.

I'm not familiar with any other of Ann Hood's books, but I wasn't very impressed with this one. It was repetitive, kind of dull, and I didn't really believe her to be an expert in cooking. If there was any humor at all, it was lost on me.

It was a fast read especially since I skipped the chapters dealing with butchering a whole pig and omelets. None o
Emily Goenner
Jan 04, 2019 rated it liked it
A good 3.5 stars for this book--I enjoyed it. I like food memoirs and this one was like sitting down with a friend, sharing stories, repeating each other, identifying with struggles and sharing recipes, all over a cup of tea. Often, food memoirs are pretentious and so "foodie" they are inaccessible to me, but this book surprised me with a great combination of homey food (pie with pudding as filling!), traditional recipes, and more elevated fare. A warm and cozy book, it was a nice way to start t ...more
Jan 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book more, but it needs a good editor. It definitely reads like individual essays that have been slapped together in one volume. How many times do we need to be told that her son’s name is Sam? Or that she worked as an air hostess in First Class and wore Ralph Lauren? But, I have to admit that I saved several recipes.
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Part memoir, part culinary delight, author Ann Hood shares, in essay format, tidbits about her life, growing up in Rhode Island in an Italian family and the loves in her life.

In adulthood, the former airline stewardess and author moved some 14 times in 15 years yet describes herself as a "nester." To her it was important to always create a sense of home wherever she lived. Through heartaches and loss: the death of her 5 year old daughter, Grace, her brother and an aunt, as well as, through divor
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love, love, loved this book of essays that try and sum up the life and memories that make up Ann Hoods life. Growing up in a Catholic, Italian family in the east, Hood brings you into all the things that made her the writer she is today. The good, the bad, the sad and all the happiness in between, and recipes in each chapter that make you want to cook and be a part of it all. She tells the story of her life from a young girl, a wife, a daughter, a mother, a friend, losing people she loved and tr ...more
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate to read a very early copy of this and absolutely loved it. It's a fabulous companion to her previous book, MORNINGSTAR: Growing Up With Books. More review to come.

Publishing date: December 2018

Thanks to WW Norton for the advanced reading copy.
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
memoir cookbooks are one of my most favorite things. ann writes sweet stories throughout this and food that i look forward to making. not fussy, but comfort, the book, and i think the food.
Martha Reynolds

Because I’ve read her books and essays, because I’ve listened to her speak, maybe because I live in her hometown, I know a lot about the author. So it was disappointing to hear the same stories, the same memories (the airplane passenger she swooned over, the author who folded her legs like origami) yet again.
And because this is a collection of previously published essays, the reader has characters like her grandmother Mama Rose introduced and explained over and over again. Yep, Italia
Lucy Burdette
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Even before I read the last pages of this foodie memoir, the book reminded me of the food writing of Laurie Colwin. Ann Hood has a great appreciation for cooking and eating and also a great appreciation for the way that food can express love and grief, and describe powerful family connections. I read this quickly but know I'll go back to try the recipes I marked and reread lovely passages.
Esta Doutrich
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I loved this collection of essays. Beautiful, simple language around simple food. I found the food experiences here super relatable. And the recipes are just normal dishes I could easily make today. (Not how most food memoirs are as much as I love them) Ann Hood knows about sorrow but she does not sensualize it... she writes in an understated, simple way that is both comforting and startling.
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cooking-food, 5-star
Ann Hood grew up in an Italian-American household where her grandmother lived with them and cooked all their meals. Her parents cooked some as well, but somehow in a family that loved food and cooking Ann never learned to cook until she was an adult. Once on her own she cooked for comfort or in celebration or as a way to show love to her friends and family. Once she had children she made sure they were with her in the kitchen helping and learning like she didn't get to in her own childhood. In t ...more
Ian Roseen
A very pleasant set of brief essays on life and loss, accompanied by family recipes that have brought the author much comfort in a lifetime of upheaval. The writing is gentle in the extreme, and given the book's similarity to Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking collections, I couldn't help but think of (and prefer) that sort of daffy, effervescent wit and AUTHORITY that comes across with Colwin. Yet, there is steeliness running below the surface of Hood's writing, too; she has experienced much sufferin ...more
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Ann Hood is the editor of Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting and the bestselling author of The Book That Matters Most, The Knitting Circle, The Red Thread, Comfort, and An Italian Wife, among other works. She is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, a Best American Spiritual Writing Award, a Best American Food Writing Award, a Best American Travel Writing Award, and the Paul Bowles Prize for Shor ...more

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