Saturday, July 31, 2010

Review: Recipes for LIfe: A Catholic Family Cookbook

Recipes for Life: A Catholic Family Cookbook is one of those cookbooks that you'll refer to ... for old standbys as well as adventurous cooking.  Published by Friends and Family Cookbooks, this cookbook is not only packed with obvious family or parish favorites; the book links nourishing the soul through saints' biographies and Catholic catechesis with nourishing the body. 

The book was written by a growing lay apostolate based in a parish in Maryland.  TASTE -- which stands for Taste and See, Take ... Eat -- is a family apostolate that grew out of the parish of St. Mary of the Mills, in Laurel, Maryland.  A weekly mom's catechesis session with children warmly welcomed, helps teach the beauty of our faith.  The cookbook is an off-shoot of this apostolate.

I like the cookbook -- and have marked many recipes to try.  I like the linkage of saints' feast days and special dishes and the tips on how to incorporate celebrating our faith with something as mundane as fixing dinner.  The catechetical portions of the book (and the prayers in the back) are a wonderful inclusion.

My only issue with the book is that it would be hard to use on a regular basis -- the saint recipes are interspersed throughout the book and altho there is a chart at the beginning linking the saint to his/her "recipe", there is no chronological listing of saints.  You need to know the saint's feast is coming up to find the appropriate recipe.  Not a big deal ... just an irritant.  I also think there is too much text and not enough white-space (for notes, etc) ... but again, not a big deal.

Overall, I think this is one of those cookbooks I will use -- the recipes are not fancy, are wholesome and the philosophy behind the book are all very good things.  Check out the website and see what you think.

Disclaimer:  I received this cookbook as part of the CWG's SOA evaluation process.  The words of the above review are my honest "take" on this book.   


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