This cookbook has recipes and ‘food for thought’ | Bookends

Katheryn LaFond has written a different kind of a cookbook. Although her book, “Seasoned with Gratitude,” includes 250 recipes, it holds so much more in the way of giving information about the ingredients and lots of words that are food-for-thought.

After the orange muffin recipe, she writes about the orange. One detailed page tells how to keep your flour fresh. Then, the next recipe is for smoked salmon baking powder biscuits. And after that recipe she offers information about digestion.

Each recipe and new chapter is headed by a saying that pertains to the food in that chapter. The section named “Salads as Main Meals” starts with “When I look at my food, and after receiving the efforts of so many hands to bring it to my table, I am deeply grateful and more fully nourished.”

At the beginning of the vegetable recipes I found “From the tiniest seed, you have grown so tall — pushing your way into the light, pulling nutrients up your bright green stalks, reaching toward the sun and basking in the rain. By my actions in this kitchen, may I honor all that you have experienced.”

In the “Poultry Entrees” section I found a recipe (which I’m planning to try) for Perfumed Red-Cooked Chicken, and no, you don’t have to get your Estee Lauder Perfume from the other room. This recipe makes its own lovely aroma from the ginger root, cinnamon, garlic, sherry, sesame oil and fennel.

The saying above this one is “Nothing is to remain undigested because it is our deepest nature to fully consume life and, in turn, to be life’s food.” This was a quote borrowed from Marc David of Nourishing Wisdom.

In another section, after the Chocolate Torte Muffin recipe, is a paragraph about making that dessert: “While a cake involves combining flour, sugar, eggs and fat in some form, a torte is a rich, round, often layered dessert usually containing chopped or grated nuts, eggs, sugar and fillings such as mousses, jams, butter creams, meringues and fruits. Tortes may contain some flour … but ground nuts can be a sensible replacement.”

LaFond told me that it took a few years to get this book to where it is now. This is how it got started. She said she was at a stressful part of her life and one day she said to herself, “What brings me joy?” The answer was food and the spiritual side of her life. So she decided to start gathering recipes and talking about them by adding ingredient information and how it related to our well-being.

Yes, indeed, this “Seasoned with Gratitude” is much more than a cook book and I’m glad to have my copy. You can get a copy of this book from Amazon and can see LaFond in person at the Eagle Harbor Bookstore on Bainbridge Island, at 7 p.m. on July 20. See you there.

Even though we are experiencing lovely summer weather right now, we all know that those dark rainy days are coming soon. To help fend off any boredom or worse that may come your way, why not consider joining a book club? This could be a group you gather to read books in a genre you all enjoy (like mysteries or biographies or romance novels), or you could join one that is already formed.

Liberty Bay books, both in Poulsbo and in Bremerton, offers both daytime and evening groups. Look at their website www.libertybaybook.com for particulars or drop into their stores and discuss which one fits you.

Eagle Harbor Books also offers groups in the daytimes and evenings. Look at their site at www.eagleharborbooks.com. And don’t forget your local library hosts some very active book discussions, too. And there, you just borrow the book.

My quote for this week: “Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.”

C. S. Lewis

— Donna Lee Anderson writes a weekly column on books. You can reach her at welltoldtales@aol.com.