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Sacramental Magic In A Small-town Cafe: Recipes And Stories From Brother Juniper's Cafe Hardcover – September 20, 1994


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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Reinhart and his wife, Susan, are the founders of the acclaimed Brother Juniper's Bakery in Santa Rosa, California. His Brother Juniper's Bread Book (Addison-Wesley, 1991) told the story, with recipes, of the bakery; this new book is actually a prelude to that one, as it describes the evolution of the cafe that grew into the bakery, with recipes for the dishes the tiny restaurant served. Reinhart's writing is completely absorbing, reminiscent of John Thorne, with dashes of Calvin Trillin and even M.F.K. Fisher; he is passionate about good food, but far from strident, and has a wry sense of humor. And the recipes are good too. "Holy Smoke" is the story of his search for the perfect barbecue sauce, with three recipes (though not for the "secret" sauce); "Man Can Live by Caesar Salad Alone" is about the cafe's famous version of that salad; "The Chocolate Queen Reigneth" presents Susan's rich desserts. Unique and captivating, this is highly recommended.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Reinhart (Brother Juniper's Bread Book, not reviewed) is back with philosophical musings and recipes from the California restaurant he and his wife began as members of a Christian order. (He has since sold his interest in Brother Juniper's Caf‚, named after a hapless but generous monk.) His writing is cheerily helpful, and he exhibits a quirky sense of humor in relating episodes like the time he visited Israel with his Jewish father and was expelled from the Mosque of Omar for engaging in prayer. (``Only Muslims may pray here...It is the rules of the management,'' a guard insisted.) Recipes are straight out of the Chez Panisse school--the black-bean chili was inspired by a very similar dish served at San Francisco's top-flight vegetarian restaurant Greens--but Reinhart gives preparations an original spin. A simple mesclun salad is enhanced by fresh herbs and a lemony caper dressing, and hummus gets a lift from freshly toasted sesame seeds pureed with olive oil in place of the usual pre-fab tahini. On the other hand, a heavy dose of buttermilk intended to moisten oversize lemon muffins instead gives them an unbearably acidic taste. Reinhart apparently has the heart of an entrepreneur: He has marketed a bottled barbecue sauce called Holy Smoke and admits to fantasies about ``putting Coke and Pepsi out of business'' with natural brews like root beer made with sarsaparilla and wild cherry bark. Spiritual (not preachy) and sweet (not saccharine). -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 243 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press; First Edition edition (September 20, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201622599
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201622591
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #907,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

PETER REINHART is widely acknowledged as one of the world's leading authorities on bread. He is the author of six books on bread baking, including the 2008 James Beard Award-winning WHOLE GRAIN BREADS; the 2002 James Beard and IACP Cookbook of the Year, THE BREAD BAKER'S APPRENTICE; and the 1999 James Beard Award-winning CRUST AND CRUMB. He is a full-time baking instructor at Johnson and Wales University and the owner of Pie Town restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
75%
4 star
0%
3 star
17%
2 star
0%
1 star
8%
See all 12 customer reviews
My son was so excited to receive his book.
Kathy
And if you ever have an opportunity to attend one of his classes, by all means do so---even if it's just to meet the man.
C. Stevens
The puttanesca sauce in here is the best I've ever tried, as is the Split Pea soup.
Kristen C.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I love cookbooks. They are as exciting and gripping as novels. But, very few cookbooks are made to be read like a novel-but this one is. Before each recipe is a short essay by the author explaining the addition of or the history behind each recipe or group of recipes. Some of the stories are wildly funny, such as the author's quest for the perfect barbecue sauce...
The recipes really shine, though. The only weak part of this cookbook is the section on soup (although, the Lentil-Spinach-Chorizo Soup is one of my all-time favorite soups). Otherwise, this cookbook has definitive recipes for some popular food: the Hummus, Baba Ghanouj, and Tabbouleh. The Tuna Salad (in connection with the Tuna Grinder in the sandwich section) is stellar, as is the Coleslaw. But, the very best recipe in the book: Caesar Salad with the accompanying croutons. Once you try these recipes, you will never, ever look at other recipes for these foods! Be warned, however: Br. Peter Reinhart LOVES garlic. This is not a book for people who are squeamish about garlic!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By C. Stevens on July 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I discovered only one of the many dimensions of this truly amazing man, Peter Reinhart, a few years ago while trying to learn to bake bread. After meeting him in his bread classes, I became a "Reinhart Groupie"---for he truly is amazing!---as is this book.
Published in 1994, he has described in vivid verbiage in this book his continuous quest for the best in all things, including but certainly not limited to food and all its components as they relate to each other and to the human body and soul.
The recipes in this book are absolutely outstanding! Peter's commentary is even more so, reflecting his unfailing faith in God, his spiritual journey, and his understanding of the communion between the joy and comfort of good food and the human spirit.
It's a good read! It's also a great cookbook with fantastic recipes you will die to try before you finish reading even one!
And if you ever have an opportunity to attend one of his classes, by all means do so---even if it's just to meet the man. You will never forget him or be quite the same again.
...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. G. Caldwell on December 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I've owned a copy of this book for years and years, and purchased many more to give to friends and family as gifts. The stories in this book are excellent, but the recipes are even better. The recipe in this book for Tuna Salad is, in my humble opinion, the best in the world, and I wish that it would be more widely adopted (it's a little different - tart, not sweet). Other fabulous recipes are the recipe for a very garlicky hummus, the greek salad, the recipe for tabbouleh, the pasta dishes, the sandwiches, and a way to make your own homemade ginger ale.

I very highly recommend this book. I have tons of cookbooks, and this is one of my top five.

Also, I don't eat beef or chicken, and there's still plenty of recipes that I can make and love.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 30, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This is one of my most favorite cookbooks, with easy-to-prepare, unique recipes such as tasso sandwiches and cream of watercress soup that are fun to make and delightful to eat. Stories that accompany the recipes give an added special flavor to each one.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Two Ravens on May 1, 1998
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Reinhart has a real storyteller's gift, as he relates stories of cooking for a tiny restaurant and bakery for his small religious order located in Forestville, in the California Sonoma wine country. Funny anecdotes introduce each recipe - the barbecue sauce story is one of the best. The recipes are easy and many are fresh twists on old favorites, including cole slaw that will make you change your mind about slaw.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Shea HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
There are billions of recipe books out there, and if you have a reliable internet connection, you could get any recipe you wanted with a simple web search. Sacramental Magic In A Small-town Cafe reminds us of why food is more than just a list of ingredients. It is about the meaning behind the food, about the story behind the restaurant.

Written by a couple who worked for a Jesuit-based ministry, they were about feeding peoples' souls as well as their stomachs. They did research and testing into their recipes, trying out ancient recipes and new ones, looking to see what felt comforting and what was nutritious. They tell fascinating background stories about what they cooked, what worked, why people reacted the way they did.

Food is the way we connect with others, nourish ourselves for another day, This book is an awesome way to get that message.

Well recommended.
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