Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Call of the Farm - Bilow

Title: The Call of the Farm: An Unexpected Year of Getting Dirty, Home Cooking, and Finding Myself

Author: Rochelle Bilow

Published: Paperback – September 23, 2014
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.
Book Source: Purchased e-book
Recommended if you like: Memoirs, stories about farms and environmental stuff, books about relationships

What Its About:

Despite Rochelle Bilow's extensive culinary training and dreams of becoming an accomplished food writer, success was slow in coming. While visions of writing for a well known foodie-magazine danced in her head, she was barely making rent.

After randomly accepting an assignment writing a short piece on a small, sustainable CSA farm in New York, a small flame was lit. Bilow began volunteering at the farm and slowly worked her way to full time employee. Baling hay, feeding animals, planting and harvesting vegetables, rendering lard, making butter, and taking part in the annual chicken slaying, she had seemingly found her place. And, it didn't hurt that the job came with a good looking farmer to teach her and initiate her into the lifestyle.

Bilow cooks her way through a full year on the farm, sharing recipes and her experiences with farm work, fellow workers and customers, and the potential love of her life.

The Bottom Line:

Bilow's memoir of a year spent on a CSA farm is entertaining, heartwarming, and introspective - though a tad-bit...whiny. Her descriptions of farm life and cooking for a group of hard working farmers are enjoyable. Her obvious passion for this simpler lifestyle and knowledge commendable.

But her repeated descriptions of her unsettled relationship were just frustrating [at least for me...though of course that could more a remnant of my own experiences]. While I offer her kudos on being so self-aware and acknowledging her, shall we call them, mistakes in love, her seeming desperation was annoying. I couldn't help but look incredulously at the book and say, "Honey, he's sleeping with someone else! And if he isn't, he wants too...that is why is unwilling to settle down. Tell him to screw himself and move on!" (again, maybe it was just me).

Overall, a good read well worth exploring during a hot summer day!


Jeane said...

I like reading about farm life and sustainable living, especially accounts of people who are just getting into it. So maybe I'll give this one I try, and see if I feel the same way about the attitude!