Writer Ann Hood Photo courtesy of Louis T. Graves Memorial Public Library

Writer Ann Hood will visit the public library in Kennebunk next month to speak about, read from, sell and sign her new memoir, “Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Life, Love and Food (W.W. Norton & Co., $24.95). The book is a collection of touching essays (and recipes) about food and — through its lens —her first love, her parents’ romance, raising children, the death of her daughter, the death of her marriage, the birth of new love, and more.

Hood, who lives in Rhode Island, wrote her first novel, “Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine,” in 1987 while working as an airline stewardess, or, as she puts it in her author bio, “on international flights and on the Train to the Plane, which was the subway out to JFK.” Since then, Hood has written nine other books and been published in The New York Times, The Paris Review, Bon Appetit and elsewhere. She has also won two Best American Food Writing Awards. 

Cover courtesy of Louis. T. Graves Memorial Public Library

Here’s an excerpt from chapter 2 of the bittersweet but ultimately optimistic “Kitchen Yarns” entitled “The Best Fried Chicken”:

“I have massaged it with herbs. Bathed in it buttermilk. Immersed it in water, sugar, and salt. Rolled it in cornflakes, panko, seasoned crumbs. I have spent three days tending to it, double-dipping and double-dredging and double-bathing. Ham has been involved. Also, hot pepper flakes. But now I know that the finest way to make fried chicken is to dust it with heavily salted and peppered flour and fry it in lard until crisp. That’s the way my father did it, and his mother before him. That’s the way they still do it in his part of Indiana, which is to say the southeast corner, whose Hoosiers are more Kentucky than Midwest. But like all children when they grow up, I doubted and questioned him and his chicken.”


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