Ode to a Cookbook

I bought tofu for the first time yesterday. No, we are not becoming vegetarians, we are just going to try and eat less meet. Mainly because good, organic meat is expensive, and Americans eat too much meat anyway. A pound of organic tofu is costs much less than a pound of organic meat.

Anywho, I bought tofu. I was inspired by one of my favorite cookbooks to do so — The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen (called “New” because it is a second edition). I first encountered this cookbook when I lived on the World Hunger Farm (where Ryan and I met). Here is a picture of some of the cool people that were there that summer (what a summer).

At the farm, everyday a different person would make lunch for all the interns/volunteers/whoever happened to be around. When it was your turn to cook, instead of working on the farm that day, you’d spend the whole morning in the kitchen. I dreaded the days when it was my turn to cook. I barely cooked for myself, let alone 20+ people! I only ended up cooking two days that summer. The first time I made fried rice with a wonderful assistant.

The second time, I discovered this awesome cookbook and made fabulous, world famous, quiche. Ryan helped by also making some tomato basil soup or something (I think he had professed his feelings for me the night before, so it was kinda awkward, but awesome). I don’t have a picture of that cooking adventure, so here is a picture of him tie-dying with our friend Whitney.

So cute and hairy.

Anywho, all that to say, I fell in love with that cookbook (and that boy). Not only does it have fabulous, vegetarian recipes, it’s also just very encouraging. For instance, before introducing the quiche section, she has a few paragraphs of encouragement,

“If you can make a pie crust, you can make a quiche. But maybe it’s the crust itself, shrouded in mystique, that is intimidating. In the following pages you will find recipes for a variety of both traditional and fanciful pie crusts, spelled out in full detail, so that even the least confident beginner can quickly become proficient.”

I was definitely a less confident beginner, but ended up making about 4 or 5 fabulous quiches.

She also has a nice little introduction to tofu, followed by some intriguing tofu recipes.

“So what is this stuff called tofu? Are you afraid to ask, because it seems that everyone else knows, and they’ll think you are a dope? I am happy to offer a few words on behalf of tofu, having been completely won over by the charms of this humble and versatile food.”

And she goes on to explain what it is, which tofu to buy, and why it’s awesome.

So tonight I will try her Broccoli and Tofu in spicy peanut sauce recipe. I’ll let you know how it goes, if I remember. Looks pretty easy.

Forgot to mention that Ryan bought me my own copy of The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest for my 23rd birthday (Two and a half years ago!). The first page of my copy has a super sweet note from him, so that makes the cookbook ten times more special.

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3 thoughts on “Ode to a Cookbook

  1. I’m anxious to find out how that broccoli/tofu dish turns out!

    You are daring.
    You take after your father that way.

    (It was SUPER to see you today!)

    Congratulations again…. on getting that Master’s degree. Woohoo!!!!!

  2. Actually ended up having a delicious in and out cheeseburger instead… Tofu tomorrow though hopefully, Nancy. I’m glad you like the present I got you. Hope you like the ones that come this Christmas … :/

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