My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl

My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl

I love listening to podcasts. And I especially love listening to podcasts about books. In fact, between my husband sneaking in extra steps for his Fitbit competitions and my love of podcast listening, our dog is the most over-walked pooch in the neighborhood. Some of my favorite podcasts include Books on the Nightstand, The Book Riot Podcast, All the Books, Get Booked and The Readers.

A few weeks ago, Michael Kindness from Books on the Nightstand reviewed Ruth Reichl’s latest, My Kitchen Year. At first, I thought it was odd that he was reviewing a cook book but then I realized this book was far more than cooking instruction.

Ruth Reichl’s My Kitchen Year is part cookbook and part memoir. Reichl had been editor in chief at Gourmet Magazine for ten years before it’s last issue was published in 2009. When she left, she fell into a depression, unsure where her next steps would take her. She found her way out through the kitchen and through the recipes, old and new, that kept her company as she transitioned in to a new phase of her life.

Recipes are interspersed throughout the pages of this book in a way that feels totally natural. Each time my husband saw me reading My Kitchen Year he would say, “Are you still reading a cookbook?” and I understood his confusion. While I know some of my really talented friends read cook books cover to cover, this is not something I typically do. This book though, read like a story. I connected to Reichl as she tried to answer the familiar question, “What next?” Each season brought new answers to that question and new foods to her kitchen. The book starts in the fall with turkey stock and apple crisp and ends in the summer with both answers and grilled London broil.

I dog-eared many pages of My Kitchen Year with recipes to try. That said though, what I took more from this book than cooking advice was life advice. When in transition, find that thing that makes you happy and do it, a lot. It will take you to the other side.


Stacey Loscalzo is a reader and writer living outside of New York City with her husband and their two daughters.

She writes for various local parenting publications and blogs at and Stacey loves to read anything at all from adult novels and memoirs to picture books. Stacey can be also be found on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (all @staceyloscalzo).

Have you read My Kitchen Year? We’d love to hear what you think — please share in the comments below. Thanks!

Link to buy My Kitchen Year at your local independent bookstore (we love them!) or at Indiebound by clicking here.