Sitting down to read has sort of become a priority lately, without even really thinking about it. And it’s been super amazing, mainly because reading rejuvenates my mind. A calm mind is a happy mind! :) Why all this talk of reading? Well, I recently blazed through two books, the latest being a memoir—Delancey: A Man, A Woman, A Restaurant, A Marriage by Molly Winzenberg of the blog Orangette.
Seriously, if you aren’t hungry every time you pick up this book to read, you will be VERY hungry about two seconds in. It’s ALL about pizza! You’ll hear zero complaints from me about that. I’m really good at eating very healthy, but give me some pizza + fries and you’ll probably never see me happier. I’m a junk food lover through and through. In moderation, of course. Ahem.
As soon as my eyes hit the first page, I knew I’d love this book, mainly because food is involved, but also because Molly’s writing is clear and straightforward. Anytime a book is well-written, I can fly through page after page in no time, which is why I finished this book up in about 4 days. Love when that happens. In fact, I’m already nearly halfway through another book. Score!
The second chapter of the book is what really drew me in and made my mouth water. Molly describes in lovely detail how the owner of Di Fara in Brooklyn, NY makes his pizza one-by-one, alllll on his own. The hubs and I ate at Di Fara many, many times over the few years that we lived in the City (see here). It was like a 10 minute walk from our apartment—lucky us! That is, if you call lucky two broke college students surviving on pizza that costs a whopping $30 bucks. Hey, that helps explain why we spent nearly 4 years after college paying mega bucks back in students loans (see here). Lesson: don’t spend student loan money on crazy things. Just sayin’.
So, it’s not just the pizza at Di Fara that’s so amazing, it’s the entire process…watching this sweet old man perfect his craft of pizza-making time and time again, for hours on end. I remember him telling us that he eats only once per day—when he closes up DiFara for the night, he has a meal and a glass of wine, nothing more. How he has the energy to make pizza all day is beyond me. No doubt it’s his passion that keeps him going, and you can taste it in every bite of his pizzas, or well pies as they’re called at Di Fara. Seriously, when in NYC, please find your way to Di Fara…in the words of Molly’s husband, Brandon, it’ll change your life.
Um, how it is that I’m this far in and I haven’t even described what Delancey actually is? Delancey is the pizzeria in Seattle that Molly and her husband own. They opened just over 6 years ago and are still going strong. It’s a safe bet that the hubs and I WILL be stopping by Delancey when we finally make our way to Seattle one day. You can’t beat good pizza. There’s just nothing like a simple, yet elegant margherita pizza, baked to perfection…blistered crust and all. I would no doubt order this at Delancey and then eat every last slice all by myself.
What I also loved about this book is how Molly describes in perfect detail what it’s like to open a restaurant. Stress, stress, and more stress. A lot of work, a lot of details. I’ve thought many times about owning a bakery/coffeehouse, but of course that’s just a thought. The shear amount of stress from the day-in and day-out of operating a brick and mortar business seems frightening to me. And I often wonder…do you lose your passion as time passes by? I think the book provides great insight into both Molly’s and Brandon’s role in the business and how it changed overtime, or well, became clearer.
Overall, a wonderful book about good food, finding your passion, and building a business. A lot of valuable lessons to be learned. Worth a read, no doubt!
Oh, and I leave you with just two quotes:
You have to believe in life before you can accomplish anything…Why live if not for excellence? –Jack Kerouac (Page 217)
That I can let him go, that he can let me go, and that, wherever it takes us, we find the way back. (Page 234)