“I think the big misapprehension that people have is that cooking is time consuming. The shopping part is the time consuming. The part where you’re sitting around saying ‘What are we going to have for dinner tonight?’ is very time consuming. If it’s 4 o’clock and you’re in your office and you haven’t figured out what you’re having for dinner tonight, the battle’s half lost.”—Ruth Reichl on cooking.
“I think the most important thing you can do for your children is sit down to dinner together.”—Ruth Reichl tells Terry Gross why she stopped being a restaurant critic: she wanted to spend more time with her son. [complete interview here]
“We have a history of, you know, first we eat only grapefruits. Then we decide that eggs are terrible for us, and now eggs are good for us. … We go back and forth all the time, and there’s always some diet craze that’s on the best-seller list. I can’t remember a time in my lifetime when there wasn’t some diet that everybody was saying: ‘You have to eat this.’ They always go away, and they get replaced with something else. But sensible people still have to eat and cook, and I personally think that a world with no carbohydrates is a pretty sad place.”—Ruth Reichl on dieting. [complete Ruth Reichl interview on Fresh Air here]
“While cooking demands your entire attention, it also rewards you with endlessly sensual pleasures. The sound of water skittering across leaves of lettuce. The thump of a knife against watermelon, and the cool summer scent the fruit releases as it falls open to reveal its deep red heart. The seductive softness of chocolate beginning to melt from solid to liquid. The tug of sauce against the spoon when it thickens in the pan, and the lovely lightness of Parmesan drifting from the grater in gossamer flakes. Time slows down in the kitchen, offering up an entire universe of small satisfactions.”—
How bad does it feel when you have to beak someones heart and tell them that This American Life is not part of NPR?
Whenever I have to beak someone’s heart I feel terrible.
In all honestly, I’m a big TAL fan. One of Fresh Air’s associate producers left our show last year to join TAL, and I always get excited when I hear his name….
(Technically Fresh Air is distributed by NPR but not produced by NPR. We’re produced by WHYY. You can find a list of programs — and a much more techincally-detailed explanation of production vs. distribution vs. other distribution channels here.)
“I would probably have to say that reading fiction — those stories fill the space that other people might use religious stories for. The bulk of what I know about human life I’ve gotten from novels. And I think the thing about novels that make them important to the people who love them is that there’s always another perspective.”—Tom Perrotta, on the importance of fiction in his life.
“I don’t feel like I’m a satirist. I don’t even think I ever was, but that label has stuck to me because the movie Election was a brilliant satire and it amped up some elements that were muted in the book to do that. And that’s the first way people became familiar with my work. Labels tend to stick and first impressions tend to stick, but I will say that what happens for me is that I do start in a place that feels like it might lead to a satire and then the process of spending time with characters — getting inside their heads, trying to see the world the way they see it — pulls me away from satire. And I think a lot of times you can’t see where you’re going to end up.”—On today’s Fresh Air, Tom Perrotta talks to Terry Gross about his novels.