Gabrielle Hamilton Quotes

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Be careful what you get good at doin' 'cause you'll be doin' it for the rest of your life. -Jo Carson
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
How can it be, after all this concentrated effort and separation, how can it be that I still resemble, so very closely, my own detestable mother?
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
I was purely content to sit in the car and wander around my own mind. Watching the world itself, the people in it, and my whole internal life was more than enough to keep me entertained.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
People who know me well understand fully what I am saying when I suggest that I am working an appetite and that we'd best be making our move. This means it is time to hit the road before my blood sugar-what's left of it-crashes to that point where I'm going to ruin your fucking day.
Gabrielle Hamilton
Be careful what you get good at doin', cuz you'll be doin' it for the rest of your life.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
There are two things you should never do with your father: learn how to drive and learn how to kill a chicken.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
It's hard to cook for kids, and when something doesn't appeal to them, instead of saying a polite no thank you, they instead break into a giant yuk face and shriek "eewww" right in front of you, as if you had no feelings at all.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
I had always wanted to contribute in some way. Leave a little more than I took.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
This is the crepe. This is the cider. This is how we live and eat.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
My father has said a hundred times, and I have paid attention, that it's stupid to let money be the reason you don't do something.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
[I] like to be anchored by routine, not shackled by it.
Gabrielle Hamilton
...as soon as I saw the three-bin stainless steel pot sink, exactly like ours, I felt instantly at home and fell into peeling potatoes and scraping plates for the dishwasher like it was my own skin. And that, just like that, is how a whole life can start.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
But it was from him - with his cool, long sideburns and aviator sunglasses, and box of watercolor paints (and artist's paycheck) - from him we learned how to create beauty where none exists, how to be generous beyond our means, how to change a small corner of the world just by making a little dinner for a few friends.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
That is my favorite kind of integrated person. Some of each thing and not too much of any one.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
Alone on the terrace looking up at the stars I would not feel lonely. With him glued to the screen, I feel gutted...
Gabrielle Hamilton
Each housing development has a "country" name - Squirrel Valley, Pine Ridge, Eagle crossing, Deer Path, which has an unkind way of invoking and recalling the very things demolished when building.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
It's promising and seductive, that huge Italian family, sitting around the dinner table, surrounded by olive trees. But it's not my family and I am not their family, and no amount of birthing sons, and cooking dinner and raking leaves or planting the gardens or paying for the plane tickets is going to change that. If I don't come back in eleven months, I will not be missed, and no one will write me or call me to acknowledge my absence. Which is not an accusation, just a small truth about clan and bloodline.
Gabrielle Hamilton
For the first time in probably the entire decade that had passed since I had seen or spoken to my own mother, I thought warm and grateful thoughts about her. She instilled in us nothing but a total and unconditional pleasure in food and eating.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
It became such a recurring experience during this period when I was twenty -- to be starving and afraid of running out of money -- as I wandered from Brussels to Burma and everywhere in between for months on end, that I later came to see it as a part of my training as a cook. I came to see hunger as being as important a part of a stage as knife skills. Because so much starving on that trip led to such an enormous amount of time fantasizing about food, each craving became fanatically particular. Hunger was not general, ever, for just something, anything, to eat. My hunger grew so specific I could name every corner and fold of it. Salty, warm, brothy, starchy, fatty, sweet, clean and crunchy, crisp and water, and so on.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
every session I had no fewer than sixteen girls with “allergies” to dairy and wheat—cheese and bread basically—but also to garlic, eggplant, corn, and nuts. They had cleverly developed “allergies,” I believe, to the foods they had seen their own mothers fearing and loathing as diet fads passed through their homes. I could’ve strangled their mothers for saddling these girls with the idea that food is an enemy—some of them only eight years old and already weird about wanting a piece of bread—and I would’ve liked to bludgeon them, too, for forcing me to participate in their young daughters’ fucked-up relationship with food.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
unfiltered Camels, and box of watercolor paints (and artist’s paycheck)—from him we learned how to create beauty where none exists, how to be generous beyond our means, how to change a small corner of the world just by making a little dinner for a few friends. From him we learned how to make and give luminous parties.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
The reader reads aloud, with a sing-song up … then down … then down again cadence. My mood shifts from merely reluctant to derisive. It’s a tired reading style. I’m sick of it. It attaches more importance to the words than the words themselves—as they’ve been arranged—could possibly sustain, and it gives poets and poetry a bad name.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
I am often slow in catching up to the times, but even so, I still cannot even grip this idea: With nothing more than pitocin in your IV drip, you can sooner control the date and time of the birth of a human being-- the gushing entry into the great blue world of a whole new person-- than you can the scheduling of a few line cooks in your operation.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
Badass is a juvenile aspiration.
Gabrielle Hamilton
No future graduate-level feminism seminar would ever come within a mile of the force of that first paycheck. The conviction was instant and forever: If I pay my own way, I go my own way.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
When you are the one throwing the party every night, emptying the ashtrays, making sure the tonic is cold, the limes fresh, the shifts covered, the meat perfectly cooked and adequately rested, the customers carefree and the employees calm and confident, it will leave its marks. Someone has to stay in the kitchen and do the bones of the thing, to make sure it stands up, and if it’s you, so be it.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
I came to see hunger as being as important a part of a stage as knife skills. Because so much starving on that trip led to such an enormous amount of time fantasizing about food, each craving became fanatically particular. Hunger was not general, ever, for just something, anything, to eat. My hunger grew so specific I could name every corner and fold of it.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
I was firmly in the out-of-sight-out-of-mind camp, and had cogent, unflinchingly honest declarations I frequently made about losing a shared context, and sentimentalism, and the general faint hearted ness of most people-but I knew there were people in the world who remained friends, for life, with bunk mates from sleepaway camp, and this was that group of people.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
The thing with Melissa is that I fully and completely and 100 percent understand and comprehend what she is saying -- to its fullest meaning -- within the first fifteen seconds. And unfailingly by the end of the third sentence. I'm not saying I'm that smart. I'm saying I get her that well. We Two Are One. But her purpose is not to merely convey to me the story or the information until I have comprehended. Her purpose is to take a long luxurious bath in my ear and to disgorge the entire unedited contents of her brain -- with sidebars, cul-de-sacs, dead ends, and repetitions -- so that she can examine those contents. She is processing. She long ago abandoned those one-line phone messages and three-sentence notes when we were roommates. When she senses, somehow, that she is running out of time or your patience, she'll say, 'okay, a long story short' -- and then continue on her winding circuitous, often amusing way for another several detailed chapters. And I understand every single word of it, every stop for gas, every detour. I think what she thinks.
Gabrielle Hamilton
So what is there to make of the simplistic thing I've come to utter in explanation, which is so drab, so monochromatic, so water on top of ice even though it's the most direct, most distilled path from my heart to my mouth: I feel better without her.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
I was gazing at that full bushel of apples when she made her stunning, preposterous announcement, that I have possibly never recovered from. 'Jim it's over, and the kids and I have decided you should go.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
I knew that I did not want to go to that juvenile diversion program because I had an intuitive sense that it would turn me irrevocably into the kind of character that I was now only rehearsing to be.
Gabrielle Hamilton
Nursing an infant, in the first few months, really sucks up the day. I never get over and am always totally taken aback by the amount of time in a day it takes to nurse a baby. When you are all and solely what they eat in the beginning of their lives, which I am in the habit of being for about the first year—Marco a little longer, Leone a little less—it could be, if you were a less driven and energetic person than myself, about the only thing you accomplished in a day. Certainly in a vacation day. But I imagine the total sensory pleasure for the kid—to pass out at the tap, belly full of that rich, sweet good stuff, and then he is in a little incomparable sleep coma with his cheeks still smashed up against the warm boob firmly and securely held in the arms of his mother—and so I tend to give my kids their twenty minutes of nursing and then their twenty minutes of post-hookup nap, undisturbed, in the very position they fell into it in, regardless of my own discomfort, arm cramps or list of shit to do that day. If you do the math of that, in pure forty-minute increments, factoring that an infant needs to be fed every couple of hours … well, an eight-hour day can really fly by, and what I used to accomplish in that time gets reduced to a maddening fraction. A whisper more than zilch.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
1 can sardines in oil Only Ruby Brand boneless and skinless - in oil - from Morocco 1 dollop Dijon mustard small handful cornichons small handful Triscuit crackers 1 parsley branch Buckle the can after you open it to make it easier to lift the sardines out of the oil without breaking them. Stack the sardines on the plate the same way they looked in the can—more or less. Don’t crisscross or zigzag or otherwise make “restauranty.” Commit to the full stem of parsley, not just the leaf. Chewing the stems freshens the breath.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Prune)
My parents seemed incredibly special and outrageously handsome to me then.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)