Monday, April 28, 2014

A Look at Feeding the Hungry Ghost by Ellen Kanner

I recently stumbled upon this book on Scribd and thought I'd give it a try.  I wasn't sure if it was a cookbook or a memoir and even after finishing it I'm still not certain.

In Feeding the Hungry Ghost: Life, Faith and What to Eat for Dinner, Ellen Kanner shares her history, her wisdom and her experiences alongside a collection of some of the best vegan recipes I've seen in a long time.  The recipes in this book aren’t processed; they’re primal. They embrace all cultures and are made from real food from the earth, food that goes back centuries.  Kanner takes these old recipes steeped in culture and tradition and turns them into vegan comfort food at its best.

One of the things that appealed to me the most about this book was the author's and my mutual connection with the kitchen and food.  In describing one of the recipes called the Hungry Ghost Mood Modifier, she warns the reader that the recipe requires a lot of vegetables and a bit of prep.  Embrace the process, she says, it's there to get you out of your own head.  Whenever I'm in a bad mood, I head to the kitchen to get myself into a better one.  The steps required in a recipe will always pull me out of that funk. There's no better cure for overthinking than chopping and sauteing vegetables and creating nature's aromatic anti-depressant and Kanner knows this as well as I do.

I was pulled out of many funks during the reading of this delicious book.  The author blends fun humor into her writing as evidenced in the recipe instructions for Tuscan White Beans and Winter Greens Soup where she writes, Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer unattended for 90 minutes. Check your e-mail, have a quickie, watch Mad Men, whatever.  Even if you're not interested in making a particular recipe, you will want to read each one to see how Kanner has incorporated her warm, funny humor into them.

I was only halfway through this book when I made the decision to send a copy to Dr. D.'s daughter in London.  She continually popped into my mind as I read and I knew I'd want to share it with her as I'm sharing it my readers now.  This book is food for the soul.  

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