Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Memoir of the Sunday Brunch (Julia Pandl)

Disclaimer: When I picked this book to review from the catalog, I thought I was getting one of my favorite types of books...recipes with background vignettes.  However, be warned that there are no recipes in Julia Pandl's Memoir of the Sunday Brunch, which definitely would have added something to Pandl's heartwarming stories.

From a ripe young age, Julia was put to work in her father's restaurant.  George Pandl was a taskmaster, running his restaurant with ultra precision and requiring the same dedication from his children.  While most women went out to eat on Mothers' Day, George's wife Terry knew that he and the kids would be working the busiest brunch of the year.  She took pleasure in knowing that her day would be spent in peace and quiet.  Pandl takes us through her life when child labor laws were less-than-stringent to the days when she took care of her ill parents.  She knew that she and her siblings, while having unique childhoods in the restaurant business, were always loved.

As I stated, interspersed recipes would have added depth to this memoir.  Most of us have recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation, and throwing in, for example, George Pandl's whitefish recipe would have added an extra layer to Julia's remembrances.  However, she certainly has a wonderful story to tell in its own right...sometimes sad, often hilarious, but always one of love.