When I tell people I am in a book club, they often ask what types of books we read. I am proud to say that we read a variety – biographies, historical fiction, and even a graphic novel. I enjoy the variety and welcome it, but there is a type of book that I read every day that we don’t discuss. They can be found in the kitchen… in the form of a cookbook!
I love cookbooks and wonder why we haven’t read one in book club yet! It is unlikely, but cookbooks are written with the same passion and vision that novels are. There are great, lackluster, fantastic and horrible cookbooks just like any other books. You can even find a cookbook that just might change your life.
I wanted to blog about my favourite cookbook, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. I bought this by chance at Winners with a gift certificate. I finally had my own kitchen and wanted to take charge of my nightly food creations. I read Jamie’s introduction to the book and it really intrigued me. His theory of “pass it on” recipes was one that I saw value in. A week doesn’t go by without sharing a recipe and I anxiously await our book club meetings to grab new and exciting recipes from the girls.
“Pass it on” is the idea that you teach at least one person two recipes from each section of the book. The recipes in the book are simple, flavourful and healthy. They are the kind of recipes anyone can make. Jamie Oliver wants people to get away from the fast food nation we have become. I am doing alright at this concept so far, although I could be doing better! My excitement for this book has been contagious and a few friends have also purchased it, including cousin Julia Kent (read about her favourite cookbooks here).
One of my favourite things about this cookbook is that it is so clearly laid out and easy to follow the recipes. Each recipe comes with detailed photos that show step-by-step instructions. Jamie’s ultimate goal is to teach people how to cook, not just to be able to follow a recipe. The skills and techniques that are learned in one recipe can be transferred over to a different dish. An easy recipe is the Evolution Carrot Salad, where you can make it super simple or continue to add more ingredients to make different variations of the salad.
Today, it is so effortless to acquire and share recipes over websites, from magazines or through email. This is a great way to keep new and fresh recipes in your life, although they can be hard to locate again in the future (unless you are insanely organized and print a copy and file it). This is where the value of good cookbooks can be handy.
Jamie’s Food Revolution is a book that I am going to pick up weekly for the next 25 years or more. It has become a staple in my kitchen life, just like the cookbooks my mom had as I was growing up. This is how cookbooks vary from other books – they have a repetitive, useful purpose. And, cookbooks bring people together. They help you create meals that nourish and please your family and friends!
What’s your favourite cookbook? Leave a comment below!