The Hundred-Foot Journey Movie Review



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Review:

This film doesn’t have a lot of depth or originality, but it’s a charming, feel-good story about an Indian family who opens a restaurant in rural France and it’s helped substantially by good performances, particularly by Helen Mirren, in a role reminiscent of her Oscar-nominated performance as Mrs. Wilson in Gosford Park, and veteran Indian actor Om Puri. The cinematography is also top-notch, with many beautiful shots of the French countryside and mouth-watering shots of various dishes and ingredients, French and Indian alike. Don’t watch this movie if you’re hungry!

My rating: (3 / 5)

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Hungry Planet: What the World Eats Book Review



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Review:

Another wonderful and thought-provoking book by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio. Though not exactly in the same series as Material World and Women in the Material World, Hungry Planet does visit a few of the same families, including the Namgays in Bhutan, the Ukitas in Japan, the Batsuuris in Mongolia, and the Natomos in Mali and it’s fun to revisit them and catch up on the news, so to speak. Other countries include France, Greenland, Egypt, and the Philippines. This time, each family is photographed surrounded by a week’s worth of food, and it is no less fascinating than their possessions.

Again, some of the contrasts are shocking (even the difference between the meager allotment granted to a Sudanese refugee family in Chad and the diet of a local family in the same country was painful to contemplate) but one of the most notable lessons of the book for me was that wealth correlated with more food, not necessarily healthier food. The Namgays, a poor farming family in rural Bhutan that got their first electric light bulb during the same period the book was being photographed, appear to have one of the healthiest diets in Hungry Planet, while the book’s introduction notes that several of the Western families (including the Revises, one of three families from different ethnicities in the USA) were so appalled by how they really ate that they changed their diet after being photographed for the book!

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My rating: (4 / 5)

The Yummy Mummy Kitchen: 100 Effortless and Irresistible Recipes to Nourish Your Family with Style and Grace Cookbook Review

Review:



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I checked this out from the library during one of my periodic attempts to add some new dishes to my repertoire. I liked the emphasis on fresh, whole foods and (mostly) meatless meals. Plus, the book is simply gorgeous to look at. Attractive food photography makes a big difference in how likely I am to actually try any recipes, and this book’s food photography is top-notch, so I ended up trying several and photo-copying a bunch more for my “To Try” folder.

The recipes I’ve tried so far were all relatively simple and easy to make, and very tasty. The Crispy Baked Fish and Chips recipe was a family favorite that’s now entered our regular rotation, and we liked the Cauliflower Mac and Cheese, too, though we preferred our old Moosewood standby, Pasta al Cavolfiore. However, some of the other recipes contained unusual ingredients or things that I don’t think I could realistically get my 7 year old to eat. (By kid standards, she’s only moderately picky, but that’s still plenty picky enough.) I would recommend this book more for families with kids who have somewhat more mature and/or naturally adventurous palates.

My rating: (3.5 / 5)