This week it’s a change of pace from what I have been reviewing recently. Poor Man’s Feast by Elissa Altman is part memoir and part cook book. As Altman tells her story, she sprinkles in recipes that reflect that point in her life. She starts out talking about her life prior to meeting her significant other. At that point, she compares her life to these elaborate, fancy dishes that are difficult to create. She moves through her life as she meets her significant other and the recipes she shares shows that evolution. Altman’s significant other introduces her to the idea of more simplistic, homey cooking. By the end of the book Altman’s recipes show this change.
As far as the memoir part goes, I wasn't terribly impressed. I struggled at times to follow what was happening as she sometimes wandered a bit. She also seemed to jump around at times. But, the pieces she told were wonderfully illustrated memories. The scenes are rich with the emotion she shares in them.
I have not tried the recipes, but intend to when I have time (maybe when I’m like 102). Some appear a little daunting for a novice cook. Others seem easier to prepare.
All in all, I gave this book three stars out of five. It isn't a book I would go out of my way to find, but certainly worth a read when you get there. Particularly if you love things culinary.