The Year of Miracles

by Ella, Risbridger is a bittersweet follow-up to the author’s previous cookbook/memoir Midnight Chicken, which chronicles Risbridger’s efforts to cook and comfort herself through suicidal depression, with the support of her partner. But, soon after she wrote Midnight Chicken, Risbridger lost her partner, lovingly called Tall Man in the book, to a rare form of cancer at 29 in 2018. The Year of Miracles is about her attempt to cook her way through her year of grieving, a year that also happened to be the start of the pandemic. Risbridger writes that 2020, which was supposed to be her fresh start, turned out to be the year it felt like the world was ending. Like everyone else, she stayed home, cooked, and savored the small miracles of everyday life. Risbridger’s recipes, like her writing, are cozy and comforting, occasionally messy and labor-intensive but meant to be savored: cardamom buns, peanut butter brownies, cheese scones, Turkish-style eggs, pancetta, and leek pilaf, fish pie, and blackberry miso birthday cake. (Cookbook)