Kitchens of the Great Midwest eBook Ø the Great PDF


Kitchens of the Great Midwest [PDF / EPUB] Kitchens of the Great Midwest When Lars Thorvald's wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wineand a dashing sommelierhe's left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own He's determined to pass on his love of food to his daughterstarting wit When Lars Thorvald's wife, the Great PDF ↠ Cynthia, falls in love with wineand a dashing sommelierhe's left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own He's determined to pass on his love of food to his daughterstarting with Kitchens of Kindle - puréed pork shoulder As Eva grows, she finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota From Scandinavian lutefisk to hydroponic chocolate habaneros, each ingredient represents one part of Eva's journey as she of the Great Epub Û becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive popup supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that's a testament to her spirit and resilience Each chapter in J Ryan Stradal's startlingly original debut tells the story of a single dish and character, at once capturing the zeitgeist of the Midwest, the rise of foodie culture, and delving into the ways food creates community and a sense of identity By turns quirky, hilarious, and vividly sensory, Kitchens of the Great Midwest is an unexpected motherdaughter story about the bittersweet nature of lifeits missed opportunities and its joyful surprises It marks the entry of a brilliant new talent.

    Kitchens of the Great Midwest eBook Ø the Great PDF tells the story of a single dish and character, at once capturing the zeitgeist of the Midwest, the rise of foodie culture, and delving into the ways food creates community and a sense of identity By turns quirky, hilarious, and vividly sensory, Kitchens of the Great Midwest is an unexpected motherdaughter story about the bittersweet nature of lifeits missed opportunities and its joyful surprises It marks the entry of a brilliant new talent."/>
  • Hardcover
  • 310 pages
  • Kitchens of the Great Midwest
  • J. Ryan Stradal
  • English
  • 15 September 2019
  • 9780525429142

About the Author: J. Ryan Stradal

J Ryan Stradal's NYT the Great PDF ↠ bestselling debut, Kitchens of the Great Midwest, won the American Booksellers Association Indie's Choice Award for Adult Debut Book of the Year, the SCIBA award for the year's best Kitchens of Kindle - fiction title, and the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award for debut fiction His second novel, The Lager Queen of Minnesota, was an instant national bestsellerBorn and raised in Minn.



10 thoughts on “Kitchens of the Great Midwest

  1. says:

    this is a book that uses that kooky structure i so enjoy when it's done right. like John's Wife and The Life and Death of Sophie Stark, we learn about the life of one character, here eva thorvald, through the eyes of the people who knew her at various stages in her life. in a series of episodic stories told by her father, her first boyfriend, a jealous rival, her cousin, etc etc - people who knew her well and people who knew her briefly, we watch her progress from an orphaned baby to a master chef, successful and bold.

    like those other books, everything we know about eva comes through the filter of another, with their own perspectives and prejudices. and while i liked this book very much, i don't think the potential of the unusual structure was exploited to its fullest extent. normally in a book set up in this way, there's some psychological unpacking required of the reader, a complexity that needs to be dissected in order to fully comprehend the voiceless character. this one doesn't have much in the way of subjective intricacies; eva's character remains consistent throughout, and while some characters (well - one character) interpret(s) her behavior in an unflattering light based on their own prejudices, the eva on the page comes through the same regardless of the narrator's stance - good-hearted, a little clumsy, driven and talented. this is more of a charming read centered around a likable character than any sort of commentary about how we perceive others or construct our own narrative around them. it's light and sweet and fun, which is not usually my cuppa, but i must have been in the right mood for it this time, because i enjoyed it, to my own delighted surprise.

    there were a couple of things that halted me at the four-star mark - while i loved braque's chapter overall, it was a little jarring when it dipped its toe in the magical realism pool, when the rest of the book was straight realism. and then the ending was a bit contrived and treacly, in that coincidence jubilee way that always makes my teeth itch.

    but those were minor, karen-specific complaints. overall, this book was great - i loved the food writing, i loved the bake-off chapter, with its spotlight on how obnoxious modern-day foodies can be, and i even liked the inclusion of the recipes, even though they weren't the most staggeringly exotic dishes in the world.

    but this passage made me so hungry and jealous:

    The third dish, a tiny cut of venison steak, about half the size of a playing card, with tomatoes and sweet pepper jelly, was a different matter. The venison, firm enough to meet your teeth, and soft enough to yield agreeably in your mouth, revealed subtle, steely new flavors with each bite, while the tomatoes were so full of richness and warm blood, it was like eating a sleeping animal. Their pairing, the light-bodied Pinot, didn't erase these senses, it crept beneath their power, underlining them. It was about as much flavor as fifteen seconds were capable of; after one bite and one sip of wine, Cindy felt luminous and exhausted.

    and this cracked me up:

    You want to feed carrot cake to a four-month-old? Dr. Latch asked.

    Not a lot of carrot cake, Lars said. I mean, a small portion. A baby portion. I'm just concerned about the nuts in the recipe. I mean, I guess I could make it without nuts. But my mom always made it with nuts. What do you think?

    Eighteen months. At the earliest. Probably wait until age two to be safe.

    I could be wrong, but I remember my younger siblings eating carrot cake really young. There's a picture of my brother Jarl on the day he turned one. They gave him a little carrot cake and he smeared it in his hair.

    That's the best outcome in that situation, probably.

    Well, now he's bald.

    Looking over your dietary plan here, I'd have more immediate reservations.

    Like what?

    Well, pork shoulder to a three-month-old baby. Not advisable.

    puréed, maybe? Lars asked. I could braise it first. Or maybe just roast the bones and make pork stock for a demi-glace. That wouldn't be my first choice, though.

    You work at Hutmacher's, right? Dr. Latch said. You do make an excellent pork shoulder. But give it at least two years.

    Two years, huh? He didn't want to tell Dr. Latch that this conversation crushed his heart, but the doctor seemed to perceive this.

    I understand your eagerness to share your life's passion with your first child. I see different versions of this all the time. The time will come. For now, just breast milk and formula for the first three months.

    That's awful, Lars said.

    so cute.

    it's a light and enjoyable read, touching on the issues of nature v. nurture, family loyalty, reluctant maternity, the evolution of food culture, and the ripple effect of intersecting lives. a delicious debut. (groan)

    also - on the back of my arc, in the publicity section, it says there will be a magazine editors farm-to-table luncheon and bookseller dinners. someone please come feed me food!!

    come to my blog!

  2. says:

    Warm and charming. Interesting narrative structure. At times, Eva felt a bit manic pixie dream girl. But it is really nice to see such a lovely novel about people from the Midwest. A really fine debut.

  3. says:

    This is a charming foodie novel. I had expected a sweet story, but the book ended up surprising me with its richness and depth.

    What I liked best about this book was how each chapter was told from a different person's perspective. First we meet Lars, a chef who who adores his baby daughter, Eva. Lars' wife abruptly abandons them for another man, forcing him to be a single dad. The next chapter focuses on Eva as a young girl. Eva has inherited her father's gift for cooking, and we watch her grow into her talent. Future narrators are all tangentially linked to Eva, and it was fun seeing the different viewpoints. I especially liked the description of a Lutheran church bake-off, and the story of an unusual pepper-eating contest.

    I am from the Midwest, and I enjoyed the references to the regional foods, including lutefisk and dessert bars. If my grandmother were alive, I would give her this book, and she would smile.

    Recommended to those who like heartwarming, foodie stories.

  4. says:

    Kitchens of the Great Midwest (or more aptly called “Eva’s Life by Way of Briefly Mentioning Food) takes Eva Thorvald rather rapidly from a newly-orphaned babe to a Scandinavian goddess with chipped fingernail polish who has a palate for either extremely hot peppers or one able to discern individual flavors from the most simply and exquisitely prepared dish. I grew up in the Midwest and lived in both Iowa and Minnesota so was excited to read this book. I knew many of the place names and was able to picture the settings, but to me it wasn’t enough to save this book. It’s not good chick lit and it’s not a good foodie book. The title is a misnomer. There is very little to tie this book together and the ending was so abrupt I couldn’t really believe I’d reached it.

  5. says:

    My, oh my, did I love this book.

    I'm not sure if it resonated so strongly because:

    a) I spent most of my growing-up years in the Midwest
    b) I married a man from Minnesota
    c) I have actually eaten lutefisk
    d) My in-laws once, as a gift, gave me The Central Lutheran School of St. Paul, MN Cookbook (and it wasn't a gag gift). Said cookbook includes an entire chapter dedicated to bars.

    Stradal's book isn't quite a novel, and isn't exactly a collection of short stories, but more like snapshots of life, with each chapter told by a different narrator. These snapshots take place at different intervals in time, often with major gaps in time in between, but in some way involve the character Eva Torvald. We follow Eva from infancy though adulthood and see her challenges and triumphs. Each of the snapshots is strong, though my favorite was the one titled Bars.

    Stradal does a fantastic job of capturing human character and foibles. He deftly (and hilariously) contrasts typical Midwestern culture with foodie hipness.

    Although I was provided a galley of the book, I ended up listening to the audio version, which was superb.

    4.5 stars, rounded up to 5.

    Thank you to NetGalley and Viking for a galley of the book in exchange for an honest review.

  6. says:

    Kitchens of the Great Midwest is hilarious without being cynical, touching without being overly sentimental, and wholly original. It is one of those rare books you can finish in a day or two, but won't stop thinking about for months, and J. Ryan Stradal's voice is one of a kind. He captures the cadence of the Midwest perfectly and lovingly, and while he allows the reader to laugh at some of the more stereotypical midwestern characters, it never feels like these characters are being mocked.

    As the title implies, the novel (structured as a series of vignettes, each from the POV of a different person in the main character's life) centers around food and the Midwest, but it is not necessary to be a foodie or a midwesterner to relate to its vibrant characters. I spent the entire novel growing to love each character, being horribly disappointed when a chapter would end and the book would switch POVs, growing to love that new character even more, then starting the cycle all over again.

    An absolute unmissable must-read.

  7. says:

    Was I entertained? Yes.
    Did I love the book? No.
    Can he write? Definitely!
    Was I frustrated with the narration? Yes.
    Did I like the ending? I think so. The final chapter was far-fetched, but I enjoyed the final paragraph.

    I'll try to explain myself. This is a very different type of book. Without giving away any spoilers, the story is about Eva - her infancy, childhood and young adulthood. She is born with an amazing palate and has always been absurdly obsessed with food.

    There are numerous characters in this book and the frustration for me is in the narration. Each chapter is a new story - a new character, a new time period and a new event. While the chapter's story furthers the timeline of the overall arc of the book, you are initially trying to figure out how this person figures in with Eva's life and how old Eva is now & what she might be doing at that point in her life. Each event becomes very compelling and then the author will simply stop the chapter and that story without a resolution to the climax. Was Eva suspended? Did Braque have the baby? How did Jordy get beat up? Did the police officer find the drugs?

    This book might not be as confusing if you can sit down and read it in its entirety. But, for me, it was hard to pick up again and try to figure out where I was. Kudos to the author for making me care about so many people and about the unanswered questions. The contemporary references to music, fashion, and the foodie trends are really fun. And, for originality, he gets an A+! Including the ending - which easily could have been botched. It was not anything I would have anticipated.

    3.5 stars for me. Recommended for those who are looking for something very different to read.

  8. says:

    I told a friend yesterday that this book is almost perfect. It’s so rare to read a novel that just makes you happy–that makes you smile at the end. I loved the story, starting from the moment Eva’s chef father asked a confused pediatrician why he couldn’t feed his three-month-old daughter pork shoulder. (For now, just breast milk and formula for the first three months. That’s awful, Lars said.) The book starts and ends with food, and in the meantime, each chapter focuses on a particular family member, friend, or acquaintance in Eva’s life. It’s almost short story-like in this way, with those singular characters being real and interesting enough to warrant full-length novels about their own lives. The last chapter and the final moments of the book are genius, with Eva’s story coming to an effortless (and beautifully-written) conclusion. I want to give this book to everyone I know. It’s maybe the most fun I’ve had reading this year and I’m only disappointed that the story had to end. Thanks to Penguin for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a review.

  9. says:

    3.5 On the surface, and of course from the title it seems like this would be a book about food. It is but also much, much more. We first get to know Eva as a baby and from there each chapter is narrated by a different character and highlights a different food. Almost more like connected narratives, than one continuing story. We learn about Eva, and her wonderful palate as well as her cooking talent from others, connected to her either loosely or personally. Found this to be a novel concept and construct.

    This is a novel about friends, family and acquaintances, about loyalty and trying new things and ideas. I loved how this all came together, hearing about bits and pieces of Eva's life. I did not feel close to this character, but I did feel I knew her, what she stood for and whom she valued. The ending I thought tied everything and everybody together. Also liked that it was left somewhat open, not a typical cliched ending. Kept, I thought with the spirit of the book.

    Well written, first novel about the ties that bind, the things that matter and the importance of the people who enter our lives, however fleetingly. Looking forward to seeing what this author tackles next.

  10. says:

    The title and cover of this book give the false impression that it will encompass a warm and maybe historical feel of the food traditions and people of the midwest. The only reason I read over 80 pages in this is because I grew up on some of the streets mentioned and the places that provided the setting for this abysmal story. The adults have few redeeming qualities, the college student was just so trashy (the attitude toward her pregnancy was pretty revolting too) and the food aspect of this is really weak to me. I get no feel of kitchens or the great midwest. The only connection to food I can make here is with the compost pile or the garbage disposal.

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