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book reviews

Food and Whine:
Confessions of an End of the Millennium Mom
by Jennifer Moses
(Simon & Schuster)

Publishers Weekly
April 1999

Freelance writer Moses, a stay-at-home mother of three, claims that "most mothers of small children cook the same way" she does: "in a full, outright panic, grabbing whatever isn't speckled with mold, throwing it in a pot, and calling it 'dinner.'" True enough, but it's unlikely that most mothers are in a panic as much of the time as Moses appears to be. A little neurosis can be funny--and Moses very often is, as when, while making Chicken Salsa (with chicken pieces, canned beans, salsa and onions), she becomes "catatonic with rage" at the "Barney" theme song and composes an alternate: "I hate you, you hate me, we all live in misery." But the frequent references to her anxiety attacks, tears and psychotherapy (the "whine" of the title) quickly pall, and Moses too often comes off as overly self-absorbed. Nonetheless, like Peg Bracken, whose I Hate to Cook Book appears to be an obvious, if unsung, inspiration for this one, Moses offers some good, easy recipes while giving full voice (with a self-deprecating Jewish accent) to today's harried "supermom," who finds that despite her premarital hipness and career ambitions, her day revolves around getting food--and chocolate milk--into little mouths in a big hurry.

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