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Comfort Me with Apples

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  17,207 Ratings  ·  951 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
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published February 11th 2002 by Century (first published 2001)
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“When I got on the plane, I didn’t really know why I was [going to Barcelona]. But I [did] now. I needed to find out that sometimes even your best is not good enough. And that in those times you have to give it everything you’ve got. And then move on.”

In reading Reichl’s culinary memoirs, I don’t know how I skipped over this one! This volume chronicles a momentous decade in her life that ultimately shaped her into the outstanding food writer and editor she is today. Reading her previous books
Rebecca Foster
Reichl traces the rise of American foodie culture in the 1970s–80s (Alice Waters and Wolfgang Puck) through her time as a food critic for the Los Angeles Times, also weaving in personal history – from a Berkeley co-op with her first husband to a home in the California hills with her second after affairs and a sticky divorce. Throughout she describes meals in mouth-watering detail, like this Thai dish: “The hot-pink soup was dotted with lacy green leaves of cilantro, like little bursts of breeze ...more
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
Jun 21, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Sep 03, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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!


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


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
Jun 03, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks, memoir
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.
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
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
Nov 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-clubs, cookbooks
When I picked up this book for book club (having not read the first), I never expected it to be as engaging as it was nor to have such a profound impact.

In the beginning, I was drawn in by the author's engaging writing and beautiful descriptions of the food she encounters. I also found myself captivated like someone watching a train wreck as she (view spoiler) It's so unlike my o
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sequence 5 41 Nov 25, 2013 11:59AM  
Read by Theme: Comfort Me with Apples - by Ruth Reichl 1 23 Jan 01, 2013 11:33AM  
  • The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America
  • Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen
  • Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant : Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone
  • It Must've Been Something I Ate: The Return of the Man Who Ate Everything
  • The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food
  • The Tummy Trilogy: American Fried; Alice, Let's Eat; Third Helpings
  • The Language of Baklava: A Memoir
  • The Gastronomical Me
  • The United States of Arugula: How We Became a Gourmet Nation
  • Cooking for Mr. Latte: A Food Lover's Courtship, with Recipes
  • The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears at the World's Most Famous Cooking School
  • Eating My Words: An Appetite for Life
  • Alice Waters and Chez Panisse: The Romantic, Impractical, Often Eccentric, Ultimately Brilliant Making of a Food Revolution
  • The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen
  • Shark's Fin And Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China
  • Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany
  • Consuming Passions: A Food-Obsessed Life
  • Women Who Eat: A New Generation on the Glory of Food
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 about Ruth Reichl...
“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.” 12 likes
“and he smiled when he saw me, as if just the sight of me had improved his day.” 7 likes
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