We all eat in pursuit of memories.


We all eat in pursuit of memories. The finely diced chives on my tongue are also the moments I snipped them from the grass in late spring as a child and put them in morning omelettes with my dad. A dry unsweet cookie is the sound of my great-aunt’s gravelly voice cautioning against the perilous use of sugar. Eating a bowl of ice cream is the slow methodical churn of my grandmother’s ice-cream maker that set the tempo for a Sunday afternoon.

Such sensory evocations, and the emotional tug they exert in one’s everyday life, are never far from the mind of Amy Thielen in “Give a Girl a Knife.” The memoir charts the beautiful winding path that led the author from rural Minnesota to high-stakes Michelin-starred restaurants in New York—in search of what she thought was culinary sophistication—and then back to Minnesota, and a cabin in the woods built by her artist husband. Along the way the author learned to cook Austrian, Chinese, French and even her native Minnesotan dishes.

~ Georgia Pellegrini, from Her Place at the Heartland Table in a book review of Amy Thielen‘s new book: “Give a Girl a Knife: A Memoir

Photo: Amy Thielen.com


  1. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Tell us about one food childhood memory of yours David. The first one that comes to your mind (scent, texture, taste ), please.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The smell of freshly baked bread coming out of the oven and cooling on racks. Vine ripened tomatoes and cucumbers, fresh from the garden, sliced and layered on the same warm bread, buttered on both sides. Salt and peppered. Gripped with both hands, juice of tomato running down chin. Washed down with “Atphar”, sweet, cool fruit juice made of raspberries, strawberries and blackberries, this fruit too picked from garden.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m drooling heavily, will be making myself one of these the first chance I get. I never heard of Atphar before. Must be a home made family recipe.
        Thank you for sharing 🙂

        To me it is Zaatar. A thyme / sumac / sesame seed mix. We dip hot bread in olive oil first then in Zaatar. It great with tea. No matter how long I’m gone the first thing I smell when I walk into my parents house is Zaatar. A jar of Zaatar is home to me. A staple in any Levantine home.

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  3. what a wonderful trajectory

    Liked by 1 person

  4. LuxRiLife says:

    You’re right! My eating habits do reflect my memories and childhood! Keep up ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There is nothing like food to get all the senses going and the memories flowing. I like to hope my boys will one day feel that way about my cooking…
    Damnation. Another book to read. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your childhood garden sounds delicious Dave! Did you continue this legacy with your own children? 🍇🍓🍒🍅

    Liked by 1 person

  7. roseanne333 says:

    So many memories of food/love/nourishment…..
    *We caught our school bus at our grandparents’ as we lived next door to them. It was there that we would have our 2nd breakfast of the day!
    *Homemade bread every day.
    *When my husband met my family for the first time before we were married, he stayed with my grandparents. Each morning he was presented with a freshly picked, heaping bowl of wild raspberries.
    *Early days of marriage (aka barely scraping by), remembering how many times my parents fed us nourishing meals where after we laughed and played endless games of cribbage.
    All the love. Always.

    Liked by 1 person

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