Last week Kathleen Flinn’s newest book Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good: A Memoir of Food and Love from an American Midwest Family got me out of my reading slump. Flinn friendly voice and writing made me feel like I was one of her girlfriends. Her family’s story made me wish I grew up with her and her family.
Flinn’s memoir recounts family adventures such as taking Route 66 on their move to California to help run a family pizza restaurant and then back on the scenic highway once again to return to the midwest. The youngest of her three siblings, Kathleen Flinn spent her early childhood living on a farm. Due to necessity and debts, her parents lived off the land by raising chickens, hunting, and gardening. In a time where frozen dinners were trendy and a sign of wealth, her family still cooked every meal from scratch. Each chapter concludes with a recipe either created by the family member highlighted in that chapter or a recipe that Flinn associates with that memory.
I absolutely loved reading this book. And I flew through it! I finished it in just a few short sittings. My parents are immigrants to the United States, but reading about Flinn’s family made me wish that I’d grown up on a farm with chickens and orchards full of fruit trees. Can you tell I like to eat?
After reading Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good, I’m feeling inspired to learn about my family’s history and adventures. And, of course, the food involved in those adventures. If you like cooking or eating food, you’ll love Kathleen Flinn’s memoir. The book releases this Thursday, August 14 but you can pre-order it. Here’s a recipe from the book to whet your appetite (click image for bigger size and to print):
I discovered Flinn when I was considering culinary school, in her first book The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears in Paris at the World’s Most Famous Cooking School. You should pick up that one too.