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Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home

– tekijä: Jessica Fechtor

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
1317161,669 (3.9)-
"M.F.K. Fisher meets Brain on Fire in this exquisite memoir of a 28-year-old food blogger who cooks her way back to health after a near-fatal aneurysm Jessica Fechtor was on top of the world: a Harvard graduate student, happily married, and thinking about starting a family. Then, while attending an academic conference, she went for a run and an aneurysm burst in her brain. Multiple surgeries left her skull startlingly deformed. She lost her sense of smell, the sight in her left eye, and her confidence about who she was and what mattered. Jessica's journey to recovery began in the kitchen as soon as she was strong enough to stand at the stovetop and stir. There, she learned about the restorative powers of kneading, salting, and sifting, that food had something to tell her, and that it felt good to listen. For readers of Molly Wizenberg, Tamar Adler, Laurie Colwin, and Ruth Reichl, as well as Oliver Sacks and Jill Bolte Taylor, Stir is a memoir (with recipes) of what it means to fix what's broken and live with what can't be fixed, to nourish and be nourished, to remember what it is to be hungry, honor that hunger, and learn how to feed it"--… (lisätietoja)
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 7) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
It somehow took me ages to get round to reading this, and I really wish I'd discovered it sooner. Part memoir part recipe/food book - whatever you want to call this, it captivated me from the start.

Fechtor relates the events of a catastrophic medical emergency (an aneurysm) and subsequent complex recovery in a reflective tone which doesn't shy away from the difficult moments, but also doesn't linger on them. Her story, and that of her husband (she flashbacks to earlier stages of their relationship) and family are woven through with gratitude, and an appreciation for the fullness of life she eventually recovered. What I particularly appreciated was the way the recipes fit into and illuminate the narrative - these aren't gimmicky, or fitted in at random points. In writing about her life Fechtor evokes the emotions she, and we, associate with food, so that I wanted to try almost every recipe in the book.

I was pleased that unlike many other American food writers, she included weights as quantities in addition to cups etc, though I do think the UK/European version should have extra notes or explanations for a few ingredients.

I received a digital copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  RachelMartin | Feb 22, 2017 |
Even without the recipes, what a memory Jessica has! The detail in everything she experienced and described gave a full color mental picture to everything she was doing---recipes included! It sounds like a terrible series of medical events to endure but what an amazing husband and family and collection of friends she has! ( )
  nyiper | Dec 20, 2016 |
This heartwarming memoir by Jessica Fechtor describes her unexpected brain aneurysm at the age of twenty-eight, and how she redefined her life afterward with the help of her husband Eli, her family, her friends, and her love of cooking.

I didn’t expect to be as taken with this story as I was, but Fechtor not only has a delightful sense of humor, but seems like a warm, genuine person you wish you knew.

Her story keeps coming back to food, and she shares twenty-seven recipes that were part of her healing. She writes that kneading, salting, sifting, and stirring have both curative and protective powers, “because you can’t be dead and do these things.” Cooking made her feel alive again.

Food has other powers too, she explains: “Food is more than what we put into our bodies when we are wherever we are. It’s the feel of a place, something language can’t get at, the memory of a place as it forms.” And later she adds, “Food is the keeper of our memories, connecting us with our pasts and with our people.”

She believes that home is a verb, that you set it in motion, and part of how you do this is by sharing meals with friends. I have already made two of her recipes - the buttermilk biscuits and whole wheat chocolate chip cookies - and the only hard part was the “sharing” because they were so good!

If you just want to see the recipes, you could find them on her blog, Sweet Amandine, along with many other recipes. The fact is, however, her story is just as wonderful.

Evaluation: This is a lovely inspirational story, with great recipes included. (She is very into butter.) You will be very glad you made Jessica’s “acquaintance” from reading this book, and you will be rooting for her all the way. Highly recommended! ( )
  nbmars | Sep 30, 2016 |
This was recommended to me by a friend and I really only skimmed it. I found the non-linear way the backstory was slotted in around the narrative of her aneurism and recovery confusing. I did not read the recipes. I did not feel I got to know Eli, her husband, to any great extent. I would have been more angry than she seems to have been about the various medical complications which ensued after each of her surgeries. ( )
  pgchuis | Mar 27, 2016 |
Six months ago I had a stroke. I am young, a mother and of course this was completely unexpected and my life was upended. I was scared and in a very dark place. Then I was lucky enough to read "Stir" by Jessica Fechtor. Finally I had a companion, a voice guiding the way a bit. In Yiddish, Jessica would be called a mensch, just a good person. I was uplifted by her voice, by her smarts, by her everyday decency and by seeing how she kept the rhythm of her life going as much as possible, allowing others to help when needed, doing what she could for herself. Her writing is strong and descriptive and I felt part of the fabric of the community that enveloped Jessica and Eli as she moved in and out of recovery. I could imagine myself at a Shabbat dinner or just hanging out doing nothing but "being." Her intellect, her faith and her family held her. This is a book about hard times bringing out the best in each other, which is usually a cliche and not true. Here it is true and I loved witnessing the the love between Jessica and Eli and the way that her parents, though divorced came together for their daughter.

Stir is also a book about food. While I sometimes found the placement of the recipes distracting many of her recipes were so familiar. They reminded me of home, of the deli and bakeshops in my neighborhood where I grew up in Brooklyn. There was such a sweetness for me in that and I took pleasure in thinking about how I could cook some of them when I was better. I loved that she was able to be true to herself and shift gears when she realized what was most important to her. This is a true act of courage, and one thing we know from reading this revelatory and eloquent book is that Jessica has plenty of that.

Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to review this book for an honest opinion ( )
  Karen59 | Sep 25, 2015 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 7) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
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Alkuteoksen nimi
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Henkilöt/hahmot
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
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Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
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Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
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Ensimmäiset sanat
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Viimeiset sanat
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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"M.F.K. Fisher meets Brain on Fire in this exquisite memoir of a 28-year-old food blogger who cooks her way back to health after a near-fatal aneurysm Jessica Fechtor was on top of the world: a Harvard graduate student, happily married, and thinking about starting a family. Then, while attending an academic conference, she went for a run and an aneurysm burst in her brain. Multiple surgeries left her skull startlingly deformed. She lost her sense of smell, the sight in her left eye, and her confidence about who she was and what mattered. Jessica's journey to recovery began in the kitchen as soon as she was strong enough to stand at the stovetop and stir. There, she learned about the restorative powers of kneading, salting, and sifting, that food had something to tell her, and that it felt good to listen. For readers of Molly Wizenberg, Tamar Adler, Laurie Colwin, and Ruth Reichl, as well as Oliver Sacks and Jill Bolte Taylor, Stir is a memoir (with recipes) of what it means to fix what's broken and live with what can't be fixed, to nourish and be nourished, to remember what it is to be hungry, honor that hunger, and learn how to feed it"--

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