Cover image for Comfort me with apples : more adventures at the table
Comfort me with apples : more adventures at the table
Reichl, Ruth.
Personal Author:
Large print edition.
Publication Information:
Waterville, ME : G.K. Hall, [2001]

Physical Description:
408 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
Reprint. Originally published: New York : Random House, 2001.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TX649.R45 A3 2001B Adult Large Print - Floating collection Floating Collection - Large Print

On Order



The national bestseller that picks up where "Tender at the Bone" left off, "Comfort Me with Apples" recounts Reichl's transformation from chef to food writer, a process that leads her from New York to China in pursuit of good food and good company. Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.

Author Notes

Ruth Reichl was born in New York City on January 16, 1948. In 1970, she graduated from the University of Michigan with a M.A. in art history. She became a food writer and magazine editor for New West magazine. Later she worked for the Los Angeles Times, first as the restaurant editor and then food editor. She received two James Beard Awards. In 1993, she moved back to New York to become the restaurant critic for The New York Times. She was the editor in chief of Gourmet Magazine for ten years.

She is the author of the memoirs Garlic and Sapphires, Tender at the Bone, and Comfort Me with Apples and the novel Delicious! Her latest book, My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life, was published in 2015.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

The second volume of noted gourmet Reichl's memoirs finds her as an aspiring novelist who, to make ends meet, has just accepted a position as restaurant critic for a California magazine. Married to a successful artist and living in a Berkeley commune, Reichl embarks on her new career under the tutelage of food writer Colman Andrews, who whisks her off to Paris and schools her in arts both gustatory and amatory. Although the affair ends when Andrews marries another woman, Reichl profited from her lover's broad knowledge and his insider's view of the food world. Soon she is caught up in the emergence of California cuisine and joins that influential circle that encompasses Alice Waters, Jonathan Waxman, and Wolfgang Puck. Eventually offered the restaurant critic's seat at the Los Angeles Times, Reichl moves to Southern California and into a new marriage. Lest one believe that the restaurant critic's job offers no serious challenges, Reichl recounts an early incident in which her lack of journalistic expertise jeopardized her new position and nearly cost her her job. Determined to start a family, she consults fertility specialists and eventually decides on adoption. Her tragic tale, touchingly rendered, about her struggle to adopt a daughter ends with Reichl and her extraordinarily supportive husband bitterly disappointed; however, they are soon full of new hope when she discovers that she's pregnant. Those who reveled in Reichl's portrait of her mother in Tender at the Bone (1998) will find even more delightful characters in this new volume. Recipes scattered throughout the text mark off periods in the author's growth. --Mark Knoblauch

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this follow-up to the excellent memoir Tender at the Bone, Reichl (editor-in-chief at Gourmet) displays a sure hand, an open heart and a highly developed palate. As one might expect of a celebrated food writer, Reichl maps her past with delicacies: her introduction to a Dacquoise by a lover on a trip to Paris; the Dry-Fried Shrimp she learned to make on a trip to China, every moment of which was shared with her adventurous father, ill back home, in letters; the Apricot Pie she made for her first husband as their bittersweet marriage slowly crumbled; the Big Chocolate Cake she made for the man who would become her second, on his birthday. Recipes are included, but the text is far from fluffy food writing. Never shying from difficult subjects, Reichl grapples masterfully with the difficulty of ending her first marriage to a man she still loved, but from whom she had grown distant. Perhaps the most beautifully written passages here are those describing Reichl and her second husband's adoption and then loss of a baby whose biological mother handed over her daughter, then recanted before the adoption was final. This is no rueful read, however. Reichl is funny when describing how the members of her Berkeley commune reacted to the news that she was going to become a restaurant reviewer ("You're going to spend your life telling spoiled, rich people where to eat too much obscene food?"), and funnier still when pointing out the pompousness of fellow food insiders. Like a good meal, this has a bit of everything, and all its parts work together to satisfy. (on sale Apr. 10) Forecast: Even more appetizing than Tender at the Bone, this volume is bound to visit bestseller lists. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Comfort Me with Apples, the delightful follow-up to Reichl's first memoir, Tender at the Bone, explores the author's lifelong relationship with food. This passionate, humorous, intelligent listening experience details her affairs and the breakup of her first marriage, which while tender and enduring was more of a friendship. Unable to leave her husband, Doug, she embarked on a relationship with journalist Michael Singer, who became her second mate. Reichl chronicles her apprenticeship as a food critic, including her travels to France, China, and Thailand. Eventually, she graduated to a prestigious job with the Los Angeles Times, with writing that's funny, poignant, honest, and frank. Narrated by Lorelei King, this is highly recommended for all public libraries and culinary collections. Carol Stern, Glen Cove Lib., NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

In a sequel to Tender at the Bone (CH, Jul'98), Reichl, the noted New York Times restaurant critic for several years and now editor of Gourmet, continues her autobiography with the same humor and storytelling ability of the previous volume. She describes her experiences with people and travels during her years as a freelance food writer in the Bay area when she first became a restaurant critic, and her move to Los Angeles, up to the time of her pregnancy. Clearly, she loves food, as she describes her memorable experiences with the food of the countries she visited as well as the developing cuisine of southern California. Reichl writes of her life with candor and understanding for the other people she knows. Her comments about people are often insightful in describing the philosophy of her generation, which applies beyond her personal experience. Reichl has been friends with many noted people in the food world, so there are interesting tales that include people at the forefront of the current American food scene. With each chapter she includes a few recipes that demonstrate the food events she discusses. Recommended for general readers. N. Duran formerly, Illinois State University



THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BRIDGE The primary requisite for writing well about food is a good appetite. -- A.J. Liebling Easy for him to say: He was independently wealthy. Personally, I found the primary requisite for writing about food to be a credit card. And that was a problem. I pictured myself sweeping into fabulous restaurants to dine upon caviar and champagne. Maître d's would cower before the great Restaurant Critic. Chefs would stand behind the kitchen door, trembling. "What is she saying?" they would whisper to my waiter. "Does she like it?" I would not betray, by word or gesture, my opinion of the meal. And when it was all over, I would throw down my card and cry "Charge it please!," then gather my retinue and float regally out the door. Unfortunately, the first time I tried this I hit a few snags. In 1978, San Francisco's fanciest French restaurant belonged to a chef who had cooked for the Kennedys. The valet stared at my beat-up Volvo and shook his head. He could not, he insisted, accept a car that used a screwdriver in place of a key. The maître d'hôtel was equally overjoyed by my arrival; he looked me up and down, took in my thrift-store clothing, and led me straight to the worst table, the one that shook each time a waiter came out the kitchen door. The sommelier appeared worried when I ordered the '61 Lascombes. He had, he was sorry to inform me, sold the last bottle. He was certain that a nice little Beaujolais would make me very happy. And when the captain announced that the special of the evening was freshly made terrine de foie gras, he pointedly told me the price. The biggest humiliation, however, was yet to come. "Your credit card, madam," said the maître d'hôtel frostily, "has been rejected." He stood over me looking more smug than sorrowful; clearly he had been expecting this all along. "It couldn't be!" I insisted. "I just got it yesterday." "It says, madam," the maître d'hôtel went on, "that you are over your limit." He leaned down and hissed menacingly. "Do you know what your limit is?" Unfortunately, I did. After years of righteous poverty I was prepared to sacrifice my principles and leap back into middle-class life. The middle class, however, had its doubts about me. Although I was now a bona fide restaurant critic, the banks were not impressed. Where, they wanted to know, were my debts? How had I managed to live thirty years without owing anything to anyone? Were there no college loans, no car payments, no mortgages, no revolving lines of credit? How could I possibly be trusted with a credit card? In desperation I had put on my very best dress and arranged for an appointment with the bank manager. After making me wait a suitable length of time, he graciously permitted me to show him the masthead of New West magazine. I was hoping that my association with New York magazine's West Coast sibling would impress this man, that he would recognize it as Northern California's most important regional publication. But the manager merely looked bored. As he unhurriedly put on his half-glasses, I wished that I had tamed my hair out of its usual wildness. I patted, vainly, at it and tried pulling the most excitable curls behind my ears. They popped willfully forward. He snorted. He scanned the list of contributing editors. He noted my name. He grunted. "Meaningless," he said at last. "What we are looking for is something to show that you will pay your bills. Can you show me a pay stub?" "I'm freelance," I stammered. "I don't get a paycheck. They pay me by the article." He drew visibly back from me. He looked sorrowful. "Unreliable," he sighe Excerpted from Comfort Me with Apples: More Adventures at the Table by Ruth Reichl All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.