The School of Essential Ingredients

by Erica Bauermeister | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0425232093 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Dove-i-Libri of Cape Coral, Florida USA on 1/27/2011
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
5 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Dove-i-Libri from Cape Coral, Florida USA on Thursday, January 27, 2011
OT-i-Libri gave me a desk calendar from BORDERS Bookstore. This was one of the recommendations that we thought might be interesting, so when I saw it on sale for 3.99 at Books-A-Million, *AND* in a BOGO-Free clearance, you KNOW I just HAD to get it! I'm going to give it to her tomorrow at work, and then read it myself when it eventually finds its way back to me!

Journal Entry 2 by OT-i-Libri at North Fort Myers, Florida USA on Saturday, April 16, 2011
I've had this book on my desk for a couple of weeks already, and haven't gotten to it yet!

Journal Entry 3 by OT-i-Libri at Buckingham, Florida USA on Wednesday, August 31, 2011
I LOVED this book! It reminded me of Maeve Binchy's "Evening Class."

Journal Entry 4 by Dove-i-Libri at Fort Myers, Florida USA on Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Received this back from Kim today, and at the same time, she gave me another book. Just what I need. Another book to go on my TBR pile! You know I love it!

May 24, 2013: Short List!

July 14, 2013: Started today! I love this book. It is a study of different characters, each framed by a cooking lesson that applies to their life story. A wonderful idea for presenting their stories and personalities!

Here is a link to a description of the book at the author's website: (Click Here).

You can read about the author and the book!

July 16, 2013: FINISHED!!! What a pleasant and enjoyable read. I'm presenting this book as an international book ring - slash - recipe journal and hope I get it back this time! See this forum thread: (Click Here) I can't wait to see how this book's journey turns out!

August 18, 2013: Sadly, the International Book Ring/Recipe Journal never got off the ground due to a lack of participants. Oh, well.

September 24, 2013: On its way as a US Bookring/Recipe Journal, instead! See the companion recipe journal at the following link: Recipe Journal

Here is the list of participants:

Done! Dove-i-libri
Done! hotflash
Done! Bkind2books
Done! Tchaikovsky
It's Here --> Stephario

and then, back to Dove-i-libri

Journal Entry 5 by Dove-i-Libri at ~ An Exchange!, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, November 07, 2013

Released 6 yrs ago (11/9/2013 UTC) at ~ An Exchange!, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases


☺ Happy Traveling, Book! ☺ On its way to hotflash! Have fun!

Journal Entry 6 by LynnWrites at Tucson, Arizona USA on Sunday, November 24, 2013
I am the first book-ring recipient for this book. Looking forward to reading it. Since I have received it (and the accompanying recipe journal) just before Thanksgiving, it probably won't be journalled again and sent on it's way until early December.

Journal Entry 7 by LynnWrites at Tucson, Arizona USA on Tuesday, December 03, 2013
In an ideal marriage, two halves blend to create a more perfect whole, where individual characteristics complement rather than overpower each other. It’s a delicate balancing act, much like combining ingredients to create the perfect dish.

Lillian, the chef and proprietor of a small but elegant restaurant, runs a cooking school in the kitchen on Monday nights, the one evening the restaurant is closed. Lillian intuitively knows how individual ingredients will blend to create something perfectly balanced and pleasing to the senses. She teaches not just cooking, but how to respect the process. Her students learn to understand each ingredient’s unique qualities, so they can foresee how each element of a dish will play off another, melding with but not overpowering the more delicate flavors. It’s more about gut-feel cooking than it is about blinding following a recipe. Her students learn that creating the perfect dish is the result of slowing down and being mindful, cooking with all one’s senses, feeling one’s way through. Lillian’s cooking lessons become life lessons.

Erica Bauermeister has created a little masterpiece of book here. It’s sensual and rich, subtly layered like the flavors in Lillian’s exquisite dishes. The prose is lyrical but readable and earthy. Bauermeister's characters are people that you want to get to know, and more importantly, want to continue having a relationship with once you’ve reached the last page. She hit upon the perfect balance of backstory and present-day narrative to deepen and round out her storyline.

I devoured this book. It was delicious.

(will pass along as soon as I add a recipe to the accompanying journal)

Journal Entry 8 by wingBkind2bookswing at Clarksville, Tennessee USA on Tuesday, December 10, 2013
This came in the mail today and I hope to get to this soon. With the holidays, it may be a few weeks until I get finished with this and get a recipe entered in the journal.

Journal Entry 9 by wingBkind2bookswing at Clarksville, Tennessee USA on Saturday, December 28, 2013
I truly loved this novel - the interweaving of the characters and their lives with the cooking school and the ingredients that they are learning to prepare is amazing. The eight people come together mostly as strangers to each other and sometimes even to themselves. Their motives for taking the class vary - Claire is escaping her role as mother once a week, trying to forge a separate identity. Helen and Carl are an older couple with a past that is surprising. Antonia moves to America as a change of pace from her native Italy. Each character brings their own flavor, their own essential ingredient, that makes this novel more than the sum of its parts. Lovely and warm and comforting.

Quotes to remember:

"We're all just ingredients…What matters is the grace with which you cook the meal."

"…there are many kinds of love and not all of them are obvious, that some wait, like presents in the back of the closet, until you are able to open them."

"I used to know a sculptor…He always said that if you looked hard enough, you could see where each person carried his soul in his body. It sounds crazy, but when you saw his sculptures, it made sense. I think the same is true with those we love…Our bodies carry our memories of them, in our muscles, in our skin, in our bones. My children are right here." She pointed to the inside curve of her elbow. "Where I held them when they were babies. Even if there comes a time when I don't know who they are anymore, I believe that I will feel them here."

Journal Entry 10 by wingBkind2bookswing at Clarksville, Tennessee USA on Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Released 5 yrs ago (1/7/2014 UTC) at Clarksville, Tennessee USA


Sent to the next person in the ring

DC #9114 9011 5981 5253 8931 83

Journal Entry 11 by tchaikovsky at Charleston, South Carolina USA on Saturday, January 11, 2014
I picked this book up off my doorstep just SECONDS before it began to downpour - it was a miracle, and perhaps a sign that it will return to Dove-i-libri, along with the journal, safely. I'm going to begin reading this book tonight, and will ship it off to the next person in the bookring as soon as I'm finished.

Journal Entry 12 by tchaikovsky at Charleston, South Carolina USA on Saturday, February 15, 2014

Released 5 yrs ago (2/15/2014 UTC) at Charleston, South Carolina USA


This was such, such a heartwarming read! I truly believe that everyone else will enjoy the novel just as much as I did. As Bkind2books did, I'm going to put just a few of my all-time favorite quotes from the book. I won't include any spoilers :)

"I am starting to think that maybe memories are like this dessert. I eat it, and it becomes a part of me, whether I remember it later or not."

"I loved to walk in her garden after dinner; it felt alive, even in the winter. She always told me that rosemary grows in the garden of a strong woman. Hers were like trees."

"They rented a small car and spent days exploring roads that wound like grapevines up through towns set on the tops of hills, their limestone houses drenched in wisteria, their shutters pale blues or violet or faded sage green, the smells of lunch and dinner slipping out of the windows like children playing in narrow streets that curved and meandered and made no sense, if only you cared about where you were going, which they didn't."

I will be sending this book, along with its accompanying journal, to the next person in line for this bookring, Stephario. Enjoy :)

Journal Entry 13 by Dove-i-Libri at Fort Myers, Florida USA on Thursday, June 26, 2014
I contacted Stephario a few weeks ago. She does have the book and the accompanying journal! Hopefully, it will be travelling again soon!

March 9, 2016: Sad. Two more years have come and gone, and Stephario still has not stepped up to continue the ring. Sigh. It was a beautiful novel, and the journal/recipe book was also lovely. The people who were faithful did lovely work, and deserved to have everyone share in the fun ... Oh, well. Back to the drawing board, I guess. But after six different tries at recipes journals, I've just about had it. I put so much work into the pages I created.

July 21, 2017: Believe it or not, I've reached out again, but there is little hope this will ever finish its trip, So sad.

Are you sure you want to delete this item? It cannot be undone.