The Year of Miracles
Recipes About Love + Grief + Growing Things
by Ella Risbridger
This book opens with a very moving poem by Marie Howe. Coincidentally, I have just heard Ms. Howe read some of her poems in a MasterClass. She has so much that is evocative to say as is surely the case in this introduction to The Year of Miracles.
This is a heartfelt cookbook that includes 67 recipes set over the course of a year. In January, there are Cardamom Buns for example, while February has a Pistachio Pie. March calls for Storm at Sea Scones and Crisis Cardamom Coffee. So it goes over the course of this year landing finally on Fried Jam Sandwiches and then Insanity Noodles in December. Following is a kind of PS Spring chapter with Love & Dumplings.
This is a cookbook that intersperses its recipes with a memoir about the author’s grief. Her life was changed when someone she loved became ill. There were the occasional miracles but also a sad inevitability. Through this experience came the writer’s conclusion that you have to make your own miracles. She shares some of how and what she did with these wonderful recipes.
Read this one in the way that works for you. It could be for the memoir or the illustrations or the recipes filled with practicality (although they did not all look so easy to me). I loved how the book’s readers/cooks were invited in.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA for this title. All opinions are my own.
Pub Date 26 Jul 2022
“[A] deeply personal cookbook of healing recipes … [Risbridger] weaves beautiful, journal-like prose among the recipes, taking the reader through the year with observations and personal reflections. Recipes are charmingly simplistic, encouraging the reader to rummage in the fridge for substitutions, and are accompanied by funny and equally endearing origin stories … This is a must for cookbook readers.” ―Booklist
“[A] sumptuous culinary equivalent to Ilene Beckerman’s Love, Loss, and What I Wore … Even in recalling her grief, Risbridger’s narration is buoyed by humor … and the book’s charming watercolor illustrations make it all the more worth savoring. Readers will find this a treat.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Ella Risbridger has a comforting talent for delivering deliciousness in a way that seems like an act of compassion.” ―Nigella Lawson
“Watercolor illustrations bring the recipes to life … Risbridger gives plenty of hints and helpful tips, making the narrative sound even more like standing in a kitchen with a chatty friend … [Risbridger] navigates her loss honestly, relying on community in every form: long walks, phone calls while she prepares dinner, feasts in the garden, leftovers with Jo around their table. The book is a tribute, as Risbridger says, to ‘cooking, and the people who love you: the two greatest and most practical miracles of all.’” ―Shelf Awareness