Cooking · Mental Health

Book Review: My Drunk Kitchen

This year, like every year, I set my new years resolution to have read at least 52 books by the end of 2016. In 2014 I finished this goal before I’d even reached the end of the year, and I believe I actually had 60 books under my belt when the New Years day of 2015 came around. However, in 2015 I only read a measly 17 books… This year I’m hoping again to surpass my goal to try and make up for that last year! I’d love to have read an average of 52 books a year from here on out, it just feels like a good number.

52 books in a year as a broke, jobless college student might seem undoable to some, but I was determined to read without breaking the bank. The idea that reading is a rich woman’s hobby is a complete myth, and I know I spend far too much buying books so I wanted to do something different this year and try and take advantage of other methods of obtaining books. I love B&N, but I can’t drop $20 every week on a new book. So, of course, I turned to my college’s library!

Browsing the best sellers section one day, I came across this gem:

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I’d known about Hannah’s book before it was released. I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve been a youtube fan since around 2007. I spent my formative middle school and early high school years watching the vlog brothers, and one of the very first concerts I went to was a Driftless Pony Club concert held in the record store next to my middle school. So I’d casually watched Hannah’s videos for years and they were enjoyable. Not something I would pay to access, but something I would gladly spend a few minutes of my day watching.

She put out her book right at the beginning/height of the book craze on youtube, which is probably still going on though I’m not plugged in enough to be sure. I never had plans to read it even though I knew it would be a fun read for the following reasons:

  1. Cookbooks are expensive.
  2. Hardback books are expensive.
  3. Everyone and their mother were releasing books and…
  4. Not all of them were good. I liked Hannah’s content, but would that be enough to warrant buying a book?

The answer to the last question: yes, it is absolutely worth it. Though I do recommend checking it out if you can, you should check out any book if you can, Hannah’s book would be a valuable addition to any library.

What Hannah does differently, what she’s always done differently, is approached cooking from a place of play. Mistakes and experimentation are encouraged, creativity is king, and cooking is just one of many doors to the Good Stuff. No, not alcohol, though she does have plenty of that. Hannah has her eye on the real desires and fears we all have: the need to be loved, the fear of being alone, becoming self aware even when it’s painful. Hannah isn’t a cook so much as a guide through life, using cooking to bring her life philosophies straight into your home. She embodies the modern online culture that has developed on youtube (the good parts at least): community, participation, creativity, diversity and countless of other values that exist within the Harto, nerd fighter and other communities. Her book pulled me back into cooking, a childhood hobby I’d largely left behind after leaving home. She has permanently changed the way I look at food and life, and that’s really all you can ask of a good cookbook, isn’t it?

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