Must-Read Food Memoirs by Kathleen Flinn

As a person, as a teacher, as a writer and as a cook; the word that describes Kathleen Flinn and her work is approachable.Kathleen Flinn IFBC LRHer books, classes, writing and recipes are all approachable. New cooks and veteran cooks alike benefit from Kathleen’s honesty and wit.

Kathleen is the kind of person who hands out homemade jam to her colleagues and fans at a busy conference while taking the time to ask how they are and what they are working on.Kathleen Flinn BookLRI have read each of Kathleen’s memoirs and they are drastically different books. They are each impeccably written and researched, full of tantalizing recipes, but travel down different roads at different places and times.

The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry, took me with her as she fulfilled her dream of attending Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. As a person who has seriously considered advanced culinary training, I was all-in, through laughter and the tears.

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, took me to one of my favorite places, the grocery store. Sharing her passion for cooking and teaching, this book illustrates Kathleen’s desire to help demystify cooking and get people eating real food. As a cooking teacher myself, this book not only filled me with inspiration, but gave me empathy and changed the way I share my kitchen knowledge with others. 

Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good, took me to a different day, a time when cooking was about everyone in the family pitching in to get the job done. Some of the experiences paralleled my childhood filled with fishing, hunting, gardening and food preservation (because we were not well off and these means were economical). For those of us living a fast-paced lifestyle, this book is a welcome journey through a simpler time.

The way Kathleen documents her family history, in Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good, makes you feel like she was there, although she wasn’t even born until about half way through the book. The fact checking that went into this book would have been no easy task. There is also an art to Kathleen’s dialogue that puts the reader in the conversation. The characters come alive and weave their way into your heart. This book too, had me laughing at times and crying at others but the way Kathleen shares what made her into the person she has become is truly remarkable.

Full disclosure, I was offered a copy of Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good, free of charge so I could review, and I am writing this post as a commitment to #IFBC2015. However, I purchased Kathleen’s first two books and planned to buy her third. After reading dozens of food memoirs, I can honestly say, Kathleen’s are my favorite.

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