Looking for the perfect summer read to bring along for a relaxing day down the shore? We recommend getting lost in New Hope-native Gabrielle Hamilton’s New York Times bestselling memoir, Blood, Bones, & Butter.
Before Gabrielle Hamilton opened her acclaimed New York City restaurant Prune, she spent twenty years trying to find purpose in her life, quietly forming an attachment to the kitchen that she would later learn to embrace. Her story begins in the backwoods of a still very rural New Hope in the 1970s, where her parents hosted a magnificent annual party, spit-roasting a lamb and cooling drinks in the waters of a stream that ran through her backyard. Gabrielle introduces us to her family, including sister Melissa who is part of the duo that produces the popular Canal House cookbooks (often found in Lambertville’s Blue Raccoon).
The story follows an unconventional journey through the many kitchens Hamilton has inhabited through the years, including the rural kitchen of her childhood in New Hope; the kitchens where she was first introduced to the restaurant industry including New Hope’s Mother’s; the kitchens of France, Greece, and Turkey, where she was often fed by complete strangers and learned the essence of hospitality; the soulless catering factories that helped pay the rent; Hamilton’s own kitchen at Prune, with its many unexpected challenges; and the kitchen of her Italian mother-in-law, who serves as the link between Hamilton’s idyllic past and her own future family—the result of a difficult and prickly marriage that nonetheless yields rich and lasting dividends.
You’ll get lost in Gabrielle’s rich storytelling and work up an appetite while reading about her tasty adventures – fried eggplant in Italy; creamy Burratta cheese in lieu of a cake at her New York City wedding; a refreshing mixture of apple, honey, and milk in Greece. Prepare to sit by the water reading until the sunsets and to plan a delicious post-beach meal to fulfill your sure-to-come cravings!