Wolf, Bonny. Talking with My Mouth Full: Crab Cakes, Bundt Cakes, and Other Kitchen Stories. St. Martin's. Nov. 2006. c.272p. index. ISBN 0-312-35357-X [ISBN 978-0-312-35357-5]. $24.95.
This collection of essays about the foods that mark special occasions in the average American's home is as reassuring as a big bowl of buttery mashed potatoes. A food commentator for NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday, Wolf explores the magic of why Maryland crab cakes are the best, why wild rice is a delicacy everywhere but Minnesota, and why birthday cake is an essential part of all birthday celebrations. Her essays include recipes, and the index will make locating them easy for readers dying to make Real Texas Chili or Queen of Sheba Cake. Home cooks will find themselves smiling, either with relief or commiseration, while reading the "Dinner Disasters" chapter, and comfort seekers will find solace from the familiar dishes present in "The Comforts of Food." Wolf's writing conjures up the magic of a day at the fair, with all the treats you can manage. Her belief in the power of food to bind families together and keep generations connected makes this collection of essays a delicious read. - Shelley Brown, New Westminster P.L., B.C.