- Paperback: 508 pages
- Publisher: Nilgiri Press (June 1976)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0915132257
- ISBN-13: 978-0915132256
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.4 x 1.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Laurel's Kitchen: A Handbook for Vegetarian Cookery and Nutrition Paperback – June, 1976
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Top Customer Reviews
It starts with the simple phrase "keeper of the keys" referring to a position women held in previous years. Creating balanced and healthy meals, a full pantry and a harmonious home was considered a privilege, not an unpleasant chore. The art of providing colorful, fulfilling meals and a centered homelife that draws others into its warmth and harmony is presented as a highly valued undertaking in and of itself. Aside from the woman literally being "keeper of the keys" to the larder, a great amount of her time, skill and effort went into preparing and maintaining her household.
We are inunndated by a fast-paced, fast-food, buy now and pay later world. This extends into what we choose to eat, or, more frequently, what foods choose us - we eat now and pay later. What "Laurel's Kitchen" does is weave our propensity for food with the concepts of a joyful and healthy life. There is a melding of food choices incorporated with a lifestyle that leaves a small footprint (before the word footprint was used). What? Is a cookbook offering such a change in lifestyle? Well, I have to say yes, it is. And it works.
The recipes are delicious, easy to make with ingredients you can actually find that are affordable. Of course, there are certain favorites. I really enjoy the soups, muffins, breads and desserts; they smell wonderful, with lots of flavor and texture. A surpise section was the condiments, including salad dressings and yogurt. Very easy to make with simple ingredients; very economical when compared to ready-made. Another plus is the option to delete certain ingredients which may cause allergies - an easy solution.
One recommendation I can make for this book is that I went to some trouble to find the "Keeper of the Keys" version. My home life feels more centered and harmonious, and people seem to gather in my kitchen when I take Laurel's "keeper" philosophy and make it foremost in my everyday life. When I make an effort to provide friends with a bit of respite from life's craziness, they can move on their next activity feeling a bit more relaxed, a bit more valued. With a tasty snack for later! They know they're important to me, and who doesn't need that! All from a little book that will touch your heart (and stomach) in a big big way ...
If you are a vegetarian or vegan whose loved ones are concerned that you are not getting enough protein, read Laurel's Kitchen. You'll learn the details of the role of protein in the diet, the levels necessary for health for different age groups, health conditions and activity levels. And you'll learn how to combine food, like rice and beans or vegetables and cheese to provide complete protein. (And you'll learn what that means so well, you'll be able to amaze your well-meaning, concerned loved ones.)
The same is true of their chapters on vitamins, carbohydrates and fats. Plus, it's a good read. As Paddington Bear would say, "It's really quite good value."
I tried several of the recipies, very good but for me it is really about Laurel. It may be time to read it again.
As another reviewer noted, the description of the sumptuous and hearty lunch prepared for Laurel's husband practically makes my mouth water - I'm ready to convert then and there.
I seldom use recipes from my cookbooks - instead I read the books like novels - but I do get ideas and inspiration and this is one of my favorites for both. I pull it off the shelf occasionally and re-read favorite parts, or just straight through.