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It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: My Adventures in Life and Food By Moira Hodgson,

  • Title: It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: My Adventures in Life and Food
  • Author: Moira Hodgson
  • ISBN: 9780767912716
  • Page: 373
  • Format: Paperback
  • The daughter of a British Foreign Service officer, Moira Hodgson spent her childhood in many a strange and exotic land She discovered American food in Saigon, ate wild boar in Berlin, and learned how to prepare potatoes from her eccentric Irish grandmother Today, Hodgson has a well deserved reputation as a discerning critic whose columns in the New York Observer were devThe daughter of a British Foreign Service officer, Moira Hodgson spent her childhood in many a strange and exotic land She discovered American food in Saigon, ate wild boar in Berlin, and learned how to prepare potatoes from her eccentric Irish grandmother Today, Hodgson has a well deserved reputation as a discerning critic whose columns in the New York Observer were devoured by dedicated food lovers for two decades A delightful memoir of meals from around the world complete with recipes It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time reflects Hodgson s talent for connecting her love of food and travel with the people and places in her life Whether she s dining on Moroccan mechoui, a whole lamb baked for a day over coals, or struggling to entertain in a tiny Greenwich Village apartment, her reminiscences are always a treat.
    It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time My Adventures in Life and Food The daughter of a British Foreign Service officer Moira Hodgson spent her childhood in many a strange and exotic land She discovered American food in Saigon ate wild boar in Berlin and learned how

    One thought on “It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: My Adventures in Life and Food”

    1. The author has experienced a fascinating, globetrotting childhood, thanks to her father s job in MI6 the British Foreign Office In this book, Hodgson recounts the various foods she has eaten throughout her life s adventures and misadventures Unfortunately, despite her scintillating subject matter, Hodgson has no sense of suspense or narrative She gives the same weight to taking a ballet class as she does to being a player in Cold War geopolitics, describing both in cursory, leaden prose This may [...]

    2. After thoroughly enjoying Garlic and Sapphires The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl, I was eagerly anticipating this book, with the added bonus of a travelogue included Unfortunately, it didn t quite live up to my expectations Although Ms Hodgson has had an eventful life, her somewhat soulless descriptions of her travels left me feeling as if I were reading an itinerary rather than a memoir The recipes included seemed old fashioned and for lack of a better word, yucky I m not s [...]

    3. It seemed like a good idea at the time Moira Hodgson has traveled the world, living for many years abroad, even as a child, as she was taken along with her family as her father, in the service of the British Foreign Service is stationed in Saigon or other exotic locales She becomes a food journalist and meets and befriends many writers and artists.I enjoyed the early parts of the book, much than the walk of fame that became the second half I found her childhood recollections of life in Egypt an [...]

    4. I really tried to like this book but was never able to find any real substance in this woman s story She had all of the elements for an intriguing memoir, having traveled all over the world, a couple of traumatic events, and stories of being a food writer Even one particular life altering event in her life, which I won t spoil by giving away, felt glossed over Also, the constant namedropping of, for the most part, commonly unknown people I found off putting and boring Bottom line, Hodgson never [...]

    5. A nice counterpoint to Madhur Jaffrey s foodie memoir that I just read Moira Hodgson is English but spent her childhood moving around the world to her father s various diplomatic posts These included Egypt, Lebanon, Sweden, Berlin and Vietnam Later she moves to New York and becomes a writer, bouncing around publications and authoring cookbooks as well The memoir takes us right up to the present day 2009 when she takes her son to Alinea in Chicago for the next wave in fine dining and modern cuisi [...]

    6. Moira Hodgson had an amazingly adventure filled life growing up, living in different countries, traveling with her family, and meeting numerous types of people It made me envious of such an interesting childhood With her family connections, she grew up in the midst of and was introduced to many well known people, whether they be writers, musicians, composers, designers, politicians, artists, or chefs I enjoyed reading about the local food and cooking methods, as well as daily life in the places [...]

    7. If you know anything about me, you know that I adore food travel memoirs This afternoon, in the company of my naughty, pine needle eating cats, I finished Moira Hodgson s It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time, in which she recounts her childhood in exotic places thanks to her British diplomat father up to her adult life Currently Hodgson is a restaurant critic for the New York Observer, and this book gives you a great look into how she got to where she is now.Her upbringing seemed quite glamoro [...]

    8. I think I have very high standards for memoirs, so they rarely meet my expectations And this is one of those It started out so well, with the author describing the many places she d lived growing up as the child of a diplomat and the foods she d eaten there But like so many memoirs, once she became an adult, she seemed to become both bored by her life, and reticent to share the details and the emotions behind it This makes sense it s a sensitive topic to explain for example how you felt when you [...]

    9. Surprisingly, the text is staccato for three quarters of the book, and only smooths out when the author, who is a food writer, begins to explain her modern life Although the prose evens out, the content becomes rushed and less thoughtful, as if she had missed the publisher s deadline Although she spends pages on her father s death, she only mentions that both her parents are dead now There is nothing to indicate in the book that she disliked her mother so that her death didn t affect her as much [...]

    10. More interesting than I expected but left me feeling like I wanted Very interesting childhood living in quite a few countries Egypt, Switzerland, Vietnam, Germany , quite a bohemian after moving to NY in her early 20s, adventurous travel to Mexico and Morocco Unfortunately her writing style is lackluster and a bit flat Shame, because I think her life has the makings of a much better memoir She spends quite a bit of time telling us about growing up with her grandparents her grandmother could hav [...]

    11. The author s father was in the British diplomatic corps before switching to be an agent for M16 British secret service Her memoir tells of foreign lands where they lived, moving every 2 years to a new post Egypt, Singapore, Beirut,Vietnam pre American war , Sweden, divided Berlin before the wall They met and entertained many celebrities of the day Throughout the book there are recipes for exotic foods from all her travels As an adult, she lived in NYC when Dean and Delucca was a small neighborho [...]

    12. This lady has had an eventful life, and at first I thought romanticign travel, boarding school my childhood fantasy, thanks to Enid Blyton , writing, good food, and famous people.e met Paul Bowles ,for pete s sake And then I felt deflated at how easily she got various jobs with newspapers and magazines I felt slightly aggrieved at how some people seem to be born into the right places, move in the right circles etc,so that they have all these wonderful experiences I guess the truth of the matter [...]

    13. I liked it It s not a foodie book and it s not a travel book and it s not really a memoir in the traditional sense She just tells about her life and the traveling she s done and the food she s eaten.She s been to places that don t really exist any and I found that fascinating She lived in Berlin after the war but before the Wall went up She lived in Lebanon when it was a posh posting for the Foreign Service I think it would be difficult to cook from any of her recipes they call for ingredients t [...]

    14. Moira Hodgson is the daughter of a British Foreign Service officer and, because of that, her life has been a peripatetic one She s lived in 12 countries and meals provided a sense of continuity because food, as much as any other cultural icon, was an invariable link to a place or nation Life has been a series of adventures and meals, the one not necessarily excluding the other Without going overboard on details, she manages to bring to life her memories of engaging, humorous and fun filled momen [...]

    15. This book has taken me a minute to get into and to appreciate the way it s written The perspective is from Moira, as a child, retelling the adventures she had as a child while she lived all around the world She s the daughter of a diplomat and had to move every 2 months.I m enjoying her antics as a frisky and precocious child and I m enjoying the colorful characters she meets as she travels As she gets older, she jumps from job to job, from city to city.She ends up becoming a writer and a chef a [...]

    16. Moira Hodgson combines several of my favorite topics in this book She tells great stories about her family, her travels and food Hodgson is the daughter of a British Foreign Service officer who was fortunate enough to live in Egypt, Vietnam and Germany among other places.As a free spirit she made her own fortune finding ways to support herself and continue to travel.There were parts of this book that reminded me of Penelope Lively because of their interesting childhood and other parts the food t [...]

    17. The daughter of a British Foreign Service officer, Moira Hodgson spent her childhood in many a strange and exotic land This memoir started as a delightful read of a young girl s life and her memories of exotic locations and food, and peppered with recipes By the time Moira reaches adulthood, however, this becomes a boring tale of name dropping.I recommend the first half of the book.UPDATE After reading one of the posted reviews, I think I will go back and read the last third, as she stated that [...]

    18. This is Hodgson s memoirs in life and food She s British, now living in US and columnist for the NY Observer at least when she wrote book I recommend it for those who like memoirs, travel and food writing Her father was in the British Foreign Service so interesting accounts of living abroad and taking ships for travel, starting in the 1950s A good read.

    19. I was hoping for something closer to Jeffrey Steingarten or even Ruth Reichl s books, but this half memoir half food writing book was no joke intended neither fish nor fowl There were a few amusing anecdotes, especially about Hodgson s childhood jumping from country to country as her father worked for in the British diplomatic corps, but in general I found this book quite dull.

    20. Another book for foodies Hodgson has been a journalist for years, often writing about food A sort of less sexy and earlier version of Eat, Pray, Love Ok if you like reading about food which I do Otherwise you ll probably be bored.

    21. The author is a food writer and restaurant critic in New York though she was born in England and lived in many parts of the world as the daughter of an English diplomat The book starts off well, but it does tend to get bogged down in the minutiae of her life TMI.

    22. Yawn It should be good, but just never makes it Irritating factual errors Vietnam is not south of the equator, Ribena not made from blackberries Too much name dropping, too little substance Shame.

    23. This started off very promisingly, but quickly became boring It was set up to be a food memoir, but ended up being memoir about 1 4 of the way through the book and become a bit self indulgent at times.

    24. A fairly interesting account of the author s life as daughter of a British diplomat spy, and her interest and career in food Sometimes annoying for name dropping, careless introduction of characters and disjointedness But interesting, for the most part.

    25. Moira is a restaurant critic for New York Observer She traveled around the world as a child because her dad was a British foreign service officer Her life is so different from mine I found the book interesting but it did not touch me.

    26. I am happy to give this 3.75 stars It was highly enjoyable and has the distinct fame of being able to be picked up mid stream and you are right back in it I don t know why others gave this such low marks I was entertained throughout.

    27. Entertaining view of the world from the daughter of a British diplomat, exploring the world from Egypt to Vietnam through food and literary experiences Thank goodness I didn t go to a British public school

    28. This was a fun little daydream of a book A memoir of a life well lived, well traveled, and well savored Nothing heavy or serious, or even terribly insightful, but it was a sweet little escape perfect for the train.

    29. Fun stories of Hodgson s childhood growing up with her father in the British foreign service and all of her associated moves living experiences A very entertaining read if you like food writing.

    30. Hodgson has led a very interesting life, and overall I enjoyed reading about it However, I felt the book could have had of a narrative structure Something was missing.

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