Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Ruth Reichl is Still the Best

My new Ruth Reichl book just arrived today from Barnes & Noble. If you didn't already know, I'm a huge fan of hers. But as I looked at the bright blue and red book in the box it had come in, I started to have doubts. Tender at the Bone and Comfort Me with Apples were such delicious reads, I didn't know if Garlic and Sapphires would be up to par with them.

To begin with, the cover has too many bright, primary colors. The background is blue, Ruth's outfit is red, and the table's white. There're also yellow words along the top of the book and yellow stars dotting the i's of "garlic" and "sapphires." I knew this was what the cover looked like from the picture online, but I still couldn't help but take a hard swallow. Tender at the Bone, Reichl's book about growing up and developing her love of foods, has a soft brown and greenish cover. Comfort Me with Apples follows similarly with greenish and brownish tones. Even the Gourmet cookbook I own (yes, the AUTOGRAPHED one) is a soft yellow with maroon lettering on the cover. Why, I wondered, would Ruth Reichl ever go with a brightly covered book?

I packed the book into my bag anyway, along with my math book and calculator, and headed out to school. Finding that my teacher wasn't in his office for our four o'clock meeting, I decided to take a little dip into Central Park and begin reading my new book before class.

I sat on one of the benchs that line Fifth Avenue on the outside of the wall around the park, folded my legs Indian-style, and opened my hard-covered book. I began to read...
It steams unappetizingly up at me: a squishy brown square of meat surrounded by a sticky stockade of potatoes that might have been mashed last year. The wrinkled gray peas look as if they were born in a laboratory test tube. The roll glows with such an unearthly lunar yellow that I can feel its chill before my fingers even touch the surface. The lettuce in the salad has gone brown at the edges, and the tomatoes are too tired to even pretend that nature intended them to be red. The dressing in its little cup stares up at me, bright orange. I stare back. (That's from the third paragraph on the first page.)
After reading the line, "the tomatoes are too tired to even pretend that nature intended them to be red," I looked up and across Fifth Avenue. A man was waiting to cross the street with his huge, shaggy dog, and I repeated the line to myself, "the tomatoes are too tired to even pretend that nature intended them to be red." I looked up the side of the street I was on, and a woman wheeling a baby with huge blue eyes and even huger cheeks, was walking toward me. I said the line to myself again, "the tomatoes are too tired to even pretend that nature intended them to be red." And with that, I turned back into my book and let Fifth melt away into the city's summer and I into Ruth Reichl's words.

2 Shpeils


Blogger Mesiach said...

seemingly ruth reichel reminds me of this tomato i once new...it was a good tomato...a nice plump one at that with good cruves and nice stems... plump were it counted....Is ruth reichel also a vegetarian..cuz that would be ironic

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 1:35:00 AM  


Blogger BrownsvilleGirl said...

She's nowhere close to being a vegetarian!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 12:28:00 PM  

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