Another Lovely Mother

Ruth Reichl

Last night, I had the extreme privilege of sitting front row, with a great friend Tricia -- the hottest food designer in town, in an old restored theater, and listen to a woman I have utmost respect and admiration for—the talented, elegant, comfortable and fiercely witty Ruth Reichl came to Portland to speak about her newest book, Not Becoming my Mother & other things she taught me along the way. She had me with her relaxed demeanor and sultry New York voice, but she compelled me with her conviction about her ability to work, pursue her dream and her mother’s inability to do such things. You see, her mother was born of a different era – and was told by the culture at large and her parents to do what she was told and marry quickly, as she was “homely.” This tragic trajectory led her to raise Ruth with an empowered, do whatever you want to do and fight for it, attitude --- that Ruth Reichl did, in spades. . .

Her magical books Garlic and Sapphires, Tender to the Bone and Comfort me with Apples all send me (and many other readers, as noted in the Q and A last night) into a fuzzy, enchanting space in my mind – one where a woman can don a disguise and be treated differently in fancy restaurants, discover new, complex ethnic food establishments, speak of cooking a meal at home with sensuality, honesty and humor. She is a mentor, a mother and a very joyful lady – I’d say a good recipe for living fully.

Her stories and reading were superb and the mood of the event was jolly and excited – I can’t wait to delve into the book and look at Gourmet’s editor notes more often – She really was superb. She signed my copy, “Good Luck.” I’ll take it!


  1. Thanks for the shout out, girl! That was an amazing lecture she gave, I am so glad we went together! As always, lovely to spend time with you :).

    xo, t

  2. dearest daughter...i am so happy with my little tribute on your food blog. you are the most wonderful daughter. i think i'll save the text for my obit--what could be more perfect! i'm happy to be known as leela's mom. xxx mommy

  3. i envy you. i love her work and admire her verve. (and yours, too). <3