Books & Brews: Delancey / Legend Brewery’s Oktoberfest

delancey-book

Two of my favorite things in the world are craft beer and books. On the last Thursday of every month I pair a story I love with a pint to sip while reading it. 

I’m mostly a fiction reader, as is fiercely evident in a scroll through my previous Books & Brews posts. However, if I had to pick a close second– it would be memoirs. Specifically memoirs that involve food. I loved Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and Michelle Maisto’s  The Gastronomy of Marriage. I bought and cooked liver after Julie Powell made it sound so romantic in Julie & Julia. And… I can stop, clearly using “liver’ and “romantic” in the same sentence adequately demonstrates my love. Anyway, I was doing a little updating on Goodreads recently and noticed this delicious memoir* that I had added some time ago and figured I was due for a little break from the fiction. This month I read Delancey: A Man, A Woman, A Restaurant, A Marriage by Molly Wizenberg. (*I think I’m going to officially call the sub-genre of memoir about food: “delicious memoir.”)

The book chronicles the birth of a business. It starts with the author’s husband making the proclamation that he is going to open a restaurant that serves the New York style pizza he loves, because he is unable to find an acceptable substitute in Seattle. She assumes it’s just another of his fleeting interests (like violin making or ship-building), but his interest doesn’t wane this time. Suddenly there’s a lease and a space to remodel and staff to hire and pizzas to make, and sides and desserts to plan and prep. Wizenberg’s memoir tells the story of both her whole-hearted involvement in the project and her ultimate decision to step out of the kitchen at Delancey.

Here’s what I loved about the book: Continue reading

Bad Dates & The Magic of Community Tables

I’d be hard pressed to find a writer who hasn’t had the experience of someone asking if a character in their book is based on them, or if they really do write the people they know into their books. I can assure you that I’ve never written an actual person I know directly into my books.

Unless you’re sitting across the communal table from me at a coffee shop and happen to be talking about that bad date you had. And I also just happen to be writing a book where the main character is going to go on some terrible dates. That might end up in my book.

Speaking of which, a huge thanks to the ladies across the table at a coffee shop in Portland, Oregon who gave me the amazing material below the other day. Because, truly, sometimes you can’t make this stuff up: Continue reading