Friendship and Food from the Novels of Erica Bauermeister

The School of Essential IngredientsLillian’s restaurant is known for its delicious food, but the restaurant is also a magnet for bringing people together. Once a month, a class of only eight students meet and learn about the art of cooking, though their journey in the class is more than culinary. Each of the students has a story that blends and combines with the food that they are cooking, tasting and experiencing. The School of Essential Ingredients began the story of Lillian’s restaurant and the people that are drawn there, and the new book, The Lost Art of Mixing, continues their stories.

These two books by Erica Bauermeister are like slow simmering stews where each person is an ingredient to be mixed in and savored. Their individual backgrounds and memories vary from an account’s interest in rituals, to a new mother who must learn to cope with her new responsibilities, and even a long time married couple that still harbor a secret between them. These novels are gentle reads that celebrate ordinary lives and the friendship that can move and change them.


Christina Callison has been blogging about books for the library’s website since 2006. She has read hundreds of books that include mysteries, fantasies, horror, thrillers, non-fiction, general fiction, and some science fiction. She continues with her goal of finding new books and authors to recommend.