If You Can’t Take the Heat: Tales of Food, Feminism, and Fury

Crown. Mar. 2024. 336p. ISBN 9780593444481. $28.99. MEMOIR
James Beard Award–winning blogger DeRuiter (All Over the Place: Adventures in Travel, True Love, and Petty Theft) relates her life experiences through the lens of food. The acclaimed food writer came to love food at a young age, as it represented a way for her to control one aspect of her life while living in a strict household. She describes events in her life—particularly her childhood and relationships with her husband and parents—to explore various topics, using food memories as a connector. These topics include her child-free status, living with anxiety and fears, absent fathers, difficult mothers, religion, gender roles, anger, masculinity, and weight and dieting. With a feminist lens, she ponders why women often get stuck with the holiday cooking and are judged more harshly than men and cannot express their anger without being labeled in a negative way. She describes her love of baking, her relationships to menu histories, and the work of other food writers. She also addresses her award-winning essay critiquing Mario Batali, whose apology letter for a string of sexual harassment allegations included a cinnamon bun recipe.
VERDICT A wry look at feminism via food. Recommended for general readers.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing