Monday, April 3, 2023

JUSTICE IS SERVED: A Tale of Scallops, the Law, and Cooking for RBG - Guest Post by Leslie Karst

Leslie Karst: 
Justice is Served: A Tale of Scallops, the Law, and Cooking for RBG

RBG’s Most Enduring Legacy


As soon as I commenced writing Justice is Served, I realized that this memoir was not simply about me. Yes, the underlying tale was that of my being tasked with hosting this momentous meal and my planning and preparation of (and angsting and obsessing over) the coming event, as well as my personal journey separate from the dinner itself—how the experience affected me, and ultimately completely changed my life.


But it quickly became apparent that this book was also about the celebrated and iconic Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose own story needed to be woven throughout as part of the structure of the memoir. And so I came up with what I term the “interlude” sections that occur in each chapter: snapshots of the justice’s life and life’s work, each of which relate back to what was going on at the moment in my own life. 


A key element of RBG’s story, of course, is the legacy she left behind. For the legal battles she won in the area of women’s rights—both as a legal advocate and as a jurist—are among the most important in the history of American law. 


To my mind, however, notwithstanding the magnitude of these many victories, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s greatest legacy is not simply the legal rulings she secured, but rather, just how she secured those results. Although RBG is often thought of has having been this firebrand ninja warrior, storming into courtrooms spouting feminist dogma and cutting down her adversaries with scathing dissents, the opposite is in fact true: As director of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, and then later as judge and justice, she achieved the results she did, not by fireworks and emotion, but through embracing collegiality and compromise, and in seeking seeking to gently woo others to her way of thinking. 

Now, more than ever, with people so intensely polarized regarding political and cultural issues, I believe that this is the most important lesson we can glean from RBG and her life’s work: the importance of embracing collegiality and common ground in our dealings with others. 


RBG often spoke of her mother, Celia, and how she gave the young Ruth Bader this sage advice: To always conduct herself civilly and not let emotions like anger or envy get in her way. To hold fast to her convictions and self-respect, but be a good teacher and never snap back in anger, because emotions like anger and resentment only waste time and sap energy. 


Not only is this a healthy and harmonious way of approaching life, but it’s also—given all those legal victories RBG secured over the years—a strategy that clearly works. We could well do with a lot more of that collegiality today. 


Book Blurb:

In this true-life Julie and Julia meets Notorious RBG mash-up, former attorney Leslie Karst recounts how finagling her way into hosting an intimate dinner party for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sends her on a journey of culinary discovery—and, ultimately, completely changes her life.


Justice is Served is Karst’s light-hearted, earnest account of the journey this unexpected challenge launched her on—starting with a trip to Paris for culinary inspiration, and ending with the dinner itself. Along the way, she imparts details of Ginsburg’s transformation from a young Jewish girl from Flatbush, Brooklyn, to one of the most celebrated Supreme Court justices in our nation’s history, and shares recipes for the mouthwatering dishes she came up with as she prepared for the big night. A heartfelt story of simultaneously searching for delicious recipes and purpose in life, Justice is Served is an inspiring reminder that it’s never too late to discover—and follow—your deepest passion.  




In addition to Justice is ServedLeslie Karst is also the author of the Lefty Award-nominated Sally Solari Mysteries, a “snarky cozy” culinary series set in Santa Cruz, California. Leslie and her wife and their Jack Russell mix split their time between Santa Cruz, California and Hilo, Hawai‘i. Visit her at 



1 comment:

Edith Maxwell said...

So true, Leslie - lessons for life. And I love that picture of the Justice with the wine bottle!

Congratulations on the book's release. I know it's going to make a big splash.