Saturday, July 28, 2012

Quiet Food and the Cake the Buddha Ate

A few years ago, while browsing at a Waterfront bookstore in Cape Town, I discovered a true treasure: quiet food: a recipe for sanity which is a wonderfully illustrated cookbook. The black & white images invite contemplation and you definitely feel like trying out the "Zen pilaf," the "frog in the pond pudding" or the "morning glory" dishes while still perusing the book. Each recipe is more tempting than the last.

Published in 2008 by a Buddhist Retreat Center in Ixopo, South Africa, this is a very special cookbook. I call it an oasis of peace and sanity in a hurried and sometimes very disturbed world.   The experience of preparing and eating food is elevated here to a level that is rather unknown in the fast-paced, modern world. Cooking becomes meditation.

Anyone who loves cooking knows that preparation of a meal can be a very satisfying affair, especially if one can free one's mind from judgment and unnecessary criticism. This unique cookbook seems to remind us of that every time we cut a vegetable or sprinkle herbs into a dish. Cooking is a colorful journey to self-discovery and emotional fulfillment and should be experienced as such.

Last year The BRC issued another jewel: The Cake the Buddha Ate which offers even more delights. This book is just as magnificent as the previous one! 

Both books offer creative recipes for wholesome and nutritious vegetarian dishes that are not too difficult to cook, but take some time to prepare. This, of course, is intended. One has to take some time off from the daily routine and move into a different sphere in order to experience the serenity and wonder of quiet food.

Both books are wonderfully illustrated and both include delightful kitchen gossip, meditation and spiritual poetry. A rare and delicious treat, indeed.

By Dominique Allmon ©2012


Also of interest


To visit the Buddhist Retreat Center website, please click here

Images source Kiyoaki