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Playlist: FOOD

Compiled By: Daria Riegler

Caption: PRX default Playlist image
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HUNGRY: The Literary Julia Child (Series)

Produced by Leet and Litwin

Most recent piece in this series:

Hungry at the Homesick Restaurant: the Literary Julia Child

From Leet and Litwin | Part of the HUNGRY: The Literary Julia Child series | 24:58

A_tyler_prx_small Almost 30 years before "locavore" or "slow food" came into the language, before farmers' markets got popular, Anne Tyler invented a fictional restaurant that was way ahead of its time -- The Homesick Restaurant. It's a family story, with two brothers, Cody and Ezra. Ezra started The Homesick Restaurant because he wanted to give people the foods they were homesick for.  As Julia Child says, "What Ezra was homesick for was what he never had." His brother, Cody, doesn't care what he eats:

"Cody cut into a huge wedge of pie and gave some thought to food. Couldn't you classify a person, he wondered, purely by examining his attitude toward food? Look at Cody's mother -- a nonfeeder, if ever there was one. ... Why, mention you were hungry and she'd suddenly act rushed and harassed, fretful, out of breath, distracted. He remembered her coming home from work in the evening and tearing irritably around the kitchen. Tins toppled out of the cupboards and fell all over her -- pork and beans, Spam... peas canned olive drab. She cooked in her hat, most of the time... adding jarring extras of her own design such as crushed pineappe in the mashed potatoes." Anything that was left-over. And she burnt it all. This story is about bad food and good -- and people who are both good, and flawed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   As for the good food, prominent chefs step in with recipes and insights. Annie Somerville, executive chef of Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, has an easy and delicious way to make a vegetable broth -- and parchment packets of roasted potatoes, olive oil, and herbs, served in their steaming, browned, paper packages, like presents at the dinner table. Mary Risley, winner of the James Beard Humanitarian Award, tells how not to grow herbs.
This show, says Julia, is "about eating, some cooking, and most of all about people."