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Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Life, Love, and Food

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  554 ratings  ·  113 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, 256 pages
Published December 4th 2018 by W. W. Norton Company
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  554 ratings  ·  113 reviews

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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
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
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.
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
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
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
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A gem. Thoroughly enjoyed the stories and want to try each and every recipe some day.
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
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
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.
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
Nov 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, netgalley
Thanks to the publisher, via Netgalley, for an advance e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

Anyone who gets nostalgia for a favorite childhood meal, or who remembers events largely by what they ate, will find good company in Ann Hood's memoir. Chapters are set to memories of the meals most important to her, and she has a way with the words that describe these meals, the company she ate them with, the place they had in her life. The stories are a bit repetitive, but there are some that are u
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 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Kitchen Yarns is part memoir and part recipe exchange. Ann Hood takes the reader on a journey of the various parts of her life along with the food that becomes part of her story. These are her childhood and her grandmother's special recipes or her mom's fancy sandwiches. There are meals shared with her own young family or meals shared with special friends..each meal has a memory..each recipe has a story. I am anxious to try the stew but equally intrigued to try the perfect ramen and the special ...more
Sherrie Howey
Dec 10, 2018 rated it liked it
The book comprises a series of essays about the author's life and the foods associated with that time period in her life. She taught herself to cook but grew up close to an Italian grandmother whose specialty was gravy (otherwise known as sauce) and gravy was a staple of most of her meals.
Readers of a certain age will readily identify with some of the recipes in this book (think chicken Marbella) and their own memories from those times. The author has suffered great losses in her life, however t
Kate  TerHaar
What powerful memories food evokes. I loved reading Ann's stories about some of the food and recipes that meant so much to her. Each chapter ends with the recipe that the story refers to.
Some of these recipes stirred up my own memories of growing up and made me smile and realize the link between food and family.
Jan 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very quick and easy read. Ann tells stories of being a child/college student/mom/author, and the foods that accompany these memories. Each short piece is followed by the recipe(s), all fairly simple and mostly what I would call comfort foods. Her style of writing is warm and makes me want to get into the kitchen. (Can't forgive her for the misquote from Charlotte's Web.)
Lisa Miller
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This memoir of Ann Hood’s was like “comfort food” to me. It was nostalgic and enjoyable to read about her life’s most meaningful food memories, with an added bonus of her recipes interspersed.
Crystal King
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food, literary
I'm a sucker for any book about food and this one was no exception. Hood's latest is a dip into her life and her loves and this collection of essays and recipes will be sure to warm your soul. Make sure you don't read on an empty stomach or you'll come away from the page with a deep abiding hunger and a need to run to the kitchen and whip up a bunch of meatballs. Delizioso!
Kerry Ubbing
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
A warm hearted book - and quick read. Finished it
in one day in front of the fire!
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.
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
A slim volume of food essays perfect for winter's coldest days--had me dreaming about the perfect ripe summer tomato.
Miriam Downey
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Why is it that sometimes you just need a book that you can read without fuss or anxiety or excitement—just a book that comforts. Ann Hood’s Kitchen Yarns is just that. I began this book of personal essays just before I started preparations for Christmas, and it made me look again at the food I was cooking with an eye toward why I was cooking it. Why do I always want wild rice casserole and frozen yum yum for Christmas dinner? Because there is a story behind each of those dishes.

In Kitchen Yarns,
Literary Soirée
I was thrilled to receive a NetGalley ARC for Ann Hood’s Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Life, Love, and Food. I adore her writing, warmth and big-heartedness, and have followed her story since the tragic death of her daughter Grace at age five from a virulent form of strep.

The Publisher’s Note is perfect, so I’ll let it spin the rest of KITCHEN YARNS’ yarn, except to say I’m raising a glass of chianti as I sup on Ann’s perfect recipe for Chicken Marbella, while awarding this beauty of a meal-infused m
Lisa Leone-campbell
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Author Ann Hood has lived quite a life. And her new book of essays Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Life, Love and Food is that proof.

During her life and career she has endured heartache, joy and love. She honestly writes about her sadness and depression, her time as an airline stewardess, her marriages and the deaths of her daughter and her brother. It seems she has had not just one life, but many. But she mostly writes about how those memories intertwine with her memories of food and how food played an
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 of Hood’s own home. She cooked pork roast to warm her first apartment, used two cups of dried basil for her first attempt at ...more
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Kitchen Yarns is one of the best-titled books I have read. The title is reflective of the author’s memories and interactions with friends, family and food as she experienced bonds shared, strengthened, broken or lost. Each yarn/ or essay is a brief story that explores the meaning of her relationships and how they shaped who she became as a writer, mother, daughter, friend and partner. Personal anecdotes and the included recipes, propel the reader into the following chapters. The appetite is whet ...more
Holly R W
Dec 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks-food
In "Kitchen Yarns," the author shares her favorite recipes and tips for cooking and combines them with personal memories relating to the food. I was very interested in the recipes and will try a few of them, beginning with Silver Palate Chicken Marbella.

Ms. Hood shares her early attempts and kitchen disasters. She talks of the cooks who shaped her - Her dad, who was an enthusiastic, but not so good cook and her grandmother who cooked delicious dishes without real recipes. She is now married to
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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
“That even in grief, we must take tentative steps back into the world. That even in grief, we must eat. And that when we share that food with others, we are reclaiming those broken bits of our lives, holding them out as if to say, I am still here. Comfort me. As if with each bite, we remember how it is to live.” 0 likes
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