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Ann Tudor

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By Michele Chandler

Ann Tudor’s most recent CD release “Tales from My Table: Food for Thought.” With a glass of wine in hand, I giggled and sometimes caught myself nodding and saying “yes!” as Tudor entertained me with her muffin rant and other anecdotes from her culinary experiences.

She introduces her audio book by stating that “our memories are in our taste buds,” and goes on to tell us that like life, food can be bitter, sweet or sour. She then opens her tales with a real-life story about her neighbour’s pet hens that end up as ingredients for a fricassee. Tudor doesn’t dwell in sombre tales, but moves back and forth through a range of emotionally-charged stories.

Tudor was raised in Indiana, spent a few years in Denver and moved to Toronto when she married her husband, Dean. Her regional references such as having the “corn-gene,” which allows Tudor to eat more cobs than those who do not come from the Midwest, reflect her geographical past. On other tracks, she shares her passion for some of her favourite foods such as avocados and figs. Her stories include ingredient trivia and usually a few serving suggestions. When instructing listeners about assembly or preparation, Tudor’s resemblance to Martha Stewart, both in tone and description, is striking.

The CD’s highlights are her self-deprecating how-not-to-do-this-at-home stories. Her culinary missteps, such as using rice that had previously been used for baking a pie shell blind in a paella recipe, or biting off more than she can chew by trying to manoeuvre an unwieldy Timpano at a dinner party, add a good reality check--and remind me of all the things that have gone wrong in my kitchen.

Tudor uses instrumental music for story introductions and audio-style punctuation, which adds a nice touch in breaking up the text. As an added bonus she has also thrown in some of her favourite recipes.

A great Christmas gift for your favourite cook or school teacher, Tudor’s CD will give listeners heartstring’s a pull and put smiles on their faces.


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