Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My Drunk Kitchen, Hannah Hart

My Drunk Kitchen: A Guide to Eating, Drinking, and Going with Your Gut

Hannah Hart

Category: “Cookbook”

Synopsis: Hart shares her recipes and tips on living an authentic life.

Date finished: 7 September 2014

Rating: ***

Oh goodness. What to say about this book?

I was unfamiliar with YouTube “cooking” sensation Hannah Hart until this book was about to be released. I was intrigued enough to trip on over to YouTube and see what the fuss was all about. The first video I watched was one where she made Eggplant Parmesan, and it was the only video I watched where the food turned out to be something I would actually eat. Because, frankly, recipes and cooking is not what My Drunk Kitchen (videos or the book) is about. Nor is it really about drinking. Though she does drink and does get alternately buzzed and hammered.

So what is it all about? Well, I’m not exactly sure. I bought the book to find out. It kind of reminds me of a live avant-garde installation. Is it cooking? Yes and no. Is it life advice? Yes and no. Is it a girl trying to find and express herself? Yes. I think this all boils down to a twenty-something lesbian who wants to love and be loved, who wants to cook and…sometimes be baked. Normally, I’m not into that kind of finding-myself-expressing-myself-it’s-all-good-so-let’s-get-a-little-wasted way of life. But I could appreciate this book for that. It seemed genuine.

Some points:
  • Hart did dispense with some good advice—even in this not-twenty-something’s eyes. Each recipe, in addition to having a cocktail recommendation, had a quote by a famous person and a one-liner by Hart. Some of these were quite astute. There were also a few longer essays where Hart delves into her life. She’s a very hopeful person, not angry or bitter for the circumstances of her past.
  • Hart is candid. Perhaps a bit too candid in spots. I squirmed a little.
  • There are a lot of puns. I love puns. I was good with it.
  • There is a whole section dedicated to squirm-worthy ways to initiate adventurous sex. (And since our guide in this is a lesbian, adventurous gay sex is where one’s heterosexual mind is forced to go, of course.) It was pretty embarrassing.
  • I want to try the Pizza Cake recipe. (You bake a bunch of frozen pizzas, layer them, and cut a slice. How unbelievably awesome is that idea? I’m a frozen pizza fan, and I make no apologies.)
  • It might be a very comforting/important book for young gay folks making their way in the world.

In all, the book was a little bit confusing, a little bit unfocused (there were no real “steps” in the “recipes,” for example), and a little bit uncomfortable. At the same time, it was pretty fun. Like visiting a crazy, hyper friend of a friend during your college days and being able to enjoy the evening simply because you knew you’d be able to go back to your own somewhat saner life at the end of the night.  
Would you recommend this to a friend?
The right friend, yes.

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I’ve never read anything like it.

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