Ready to Eat… I Mean “Talk Turkey”?

While searching the Internet for discussion questions for G&S, I learned that Ruth Reichl is an Executive Producer for a FOX film based on her wonderful memoir about her tenure as the NY Times Restaurant Critic.  states that the film is set for release in 2008 but due to the fact that it is still in production there isn’t much information right now about the project.  I am so excited about this!

Though I have scoured the Internet for some discussion questions on “Garlic & Sapphires” I haven’t had much luck.  I did find an interview with Ruth Reichl from The CBS Early Show (INTERVIEW) with Reichl discussing some of her disguises.  Then I came across audio interviewfrom Barnes & with Reichl as well as a Q&A from with Reichl. 

I would like to know if you were happy with this Planet Books read?  What would you like to discuss about the book, “Garlic & Sapphires”. 

Personally (as you may have gathered from previous posts) I LOVED this book and have discovered a new set of taste-buds in my mouth along with a new hobby of reading restaurant reviews on the NY Times and Washington Post websites.

I hope your Thanksgiving was a filling and delicious one!  XOXO-K

What This Book Is Doing To Me

Right now Planet Books readers are delving into “Garlic & Sapphires ~ The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise” by Ruth Reichl.  I am on page 209 and am still loving this book.  I have found myself reading it at 4:30 in the morning in the last week because I couldn’t sleep due to a terrible cold, and I have even asked my hubby to read certain reviews and excerpts that I found hilarious. 

I find myself tasting food in a different way.  I have started to eat a little slower, savor a bite a little longer and really enjoy what food is on my fork/spoon/chopstick.  Last night my hubby whipped up a recipe for Potatoes Gratin by Tyler Florence.  He was using his new mandolin and was impressed with the ease in which he sliced the spuds into paper thin sheets.  After the dish had been in the oven for a good twenty minutes the scent of dinner started to make its way into the living room.  When I bit into my first fork full of creamy potatoes it was a browned corner that burst with flavor and I just closed my eyes and showed my delight by moaning, “Mmmmm Honey!”.  We are having the left overs for dinner tonight and I can’t wait.

I have also found myself perusing the New York Times Food & Wine section on-line as well as my hometown paper, The Washington Post.  I have been a faithful reader of both publications book review sections for a few years now but I have discovered a whole new world to learn about with the food sections. 

I was never a big newspaper reader, magazines yes, but the messy black ink of newspaper always leaked onto my fingers and drove me nuts.  Since moving to Memphis, TN, than Okinawa, Japan I was reading these paper’s on-line versions daily but only main headlines.  Now I find myself e-mailing articles to friends whom I think might be interested (just like my mother, and her mother sent clippings in the mail, which by the way, my mom still does to this day) and e-mailing myself articles so I can easily access these bits of information within a special folder in my e-mail account. 

Do you find yourself with your nose in your monitor more than a good book?  Please share the websites that dominate your time the most with Planet Books.  Mine are The Washington Post, Washingtonian Magazine, The New York Times, Borders, Nordstrom, and Food Network.

I Received My Copy of G&S!!

My husband called me this afternoon to tell me that a book arrived for me in the mail today.  I was so excited because I knew it was “Garlic & Sapphires”.  I told him I would swing by his office on my way to an appointment so I could start it while I was waiting.  I LOVE IT!!!!  I love Ruth Reichl’s writing style and the crazy waitress lady on the airplane from L.A. to NYC was hilarious and scary.  I showed my hubby what Planet Books was reading this month and he flipped through the book and mentioned that there were recipes.  I didn’t know this but I was pleased to find this out.  This will be a fun book and I am so excited it won (though I did not vote for it, but voted for “The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry” instead).  If you have already started G&S, please let us know what you think so far. 

On another note, yesterday I picked up the new CD release, “Complete Clapton”.  It’s a two-disc collection of Eric Clapton’s hits with Cream, Blind Faith, Derek & The Dominoes, his solo work and his duet with B.B. King.  It is just AMAZING and I had no idea just how many of Clapton’s songs I just love.  Today I did a lot of driving (and believe it or not there is a ton of traffic on Okinawa) and I got to listen to all 36 tracks and had the best day because of it.  I may be a bit under the weather with a stuffed nose and soar throat but the music was so powerful, it made me feel better.  I will admit that I had no idea that Belinda Carlisle’s song, “I Feel Free” (track number 3 on “Heaven on Earth”) was a Cream cover until this morning.  I have loved that song since 1988 and was tickled that Belinda had chosen to cover that tune.  I used to sing it over and over again in my room in junior high and high school.  When I go home for Christmas this year I am looking forward to picking up the autobiography that compliments this dual disc.  The November issue of Vanity Fair Magazine has an excerpt from Clapton’s new book, “Clapton: The Autobiography”, about the period of time when his son, Conor, fell out of his mother’s rented apartment window and fell to his death 50+ stories down.  The writing, vividness and vulnerability that Clapton’s retelling showed makes me want to know everything about this amazing artist.  (NOTE**Within the last link in this paragraph, offers a video of Clapton regarding this book.)

The November Special Is…

“Garlic & Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise” by Ruth Reichl.  I hope that everyone finds some inspiration from the former NY Times food critic and the delicious meals she reviewed.

     The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise

From Publishers Weekly: “As the New York Times’s restaurant critic for most of the 1990s, Reichl had what some might consider the best job in town; among her missions were evaluating New York City’s steakhouses, deciding whether Le Cirque deserved four stars and tracking down the best place for authentic Chinese cuisine in Queens. Thankfully, the rest of us can live that life vicariously through this vivacious, fascinating memoir. The book—Reichl’s third—lifts the lid on the city’s storied restaurant culture from the democratic perspective of the everyday diner. Reichl creates wildly innovative getups, becoming Brenda, a red-haired aging hippie, to test the food at Daniel; Chloe, a blonde divorcée, to evaluate Lespinasse; and even her deceased mother, Miriam, to dine at 21. Such elaborate disguises—which include wigs, makeup, thrift store finds and even credit cards in other names—help Reichl maintain anonymity in her work, but they also do more than that. “Every restaurant is a theater,” she explains. Each one “offer[s] the opportunity to become someone else, at least for a little while. Restaurants free us from mundane reality.” Reichl’s ability to experience meals in such a dramatic way brings an infectious passion to her memoir. Reading this work—which also includes the finished reviews that appeared in the newspaper, as well as a few recipes—ensures that the next time readers sit down in a restaurant, they’ll notice things they’ve never noticed before. “

Be sure to check the post below with discussion questions about “The Year of Magical Thinking” and post your comments.