As a Christmas gift in 1978, I received a copy of "Laurel's Kitchen, A Handbook for Vegetarian Cookery and Nutrition."
I have used this cook book more than any other one I've ever owned. There were years when I'm betting I opened it nearly every single day to check a nutritional fact or to try yet another recipe from it.
It's true that you can tell a cook book has been used by the splatters and splotches on the pages. Much of this book looks like the above page with my scribblings jotted on the recipes.
There was a period of about fifteen years when we followed a vegetarian diet. Because those were years when our daughter was growing up, I made a concentrated effort to be sure our diet was adequate not only for Papa Pea and me, but I was super-concerned our young child received proper nutrition. I consider this book to contain the best, most well-balanced vegetarian recipes I've ever come across.
But it is definitely not a cook book strictly for vegetarians. It contains lots of common sense, highly readable, easy-to-understand information for the dedicated whole foods advocate. The part of the book devoted to (what I believe is) sound nutritional information is large and impressive.
The basic philosophy of "Laurel's Kitchen" is explained in the section entitled, "The Keeper of the Keys." That's you. That's me. As the chief cook and selector of food that is put in front of our families, we have a uniquely important role. The foods we choose, prepare and serve to our families determine, to a large extent, how their bodies will be nourished.
The recipes will give you highly nutritious, appealing vegetarian meals using only basic, economical, easily available foods. Even though we do eat a certain amount of meat these days, I still regularly use these recipes because of their good nutritional balance and value along with their eye and taste appeal.
But back to the original intent of this post.
In 1991, again at Christmas time, I was given a paperback copy of the updated edition called "The New Laurel's Kitchen." ( Gak, even this "newer" edition might well be considered a relic now.)
The funny thing was, although "The New Laurel's Kitchen" has been on my cook book shelf all this time, I found I was so attached to my original 1978 edition that I haven't used the newer book. I'm not even sure exactly how it was updated but I have perused it enough to know it still contains the majority of my favorite recipes and other useful information.
So what all this rambling is leading up to is that I'm offering the "new" book pictured above (all 510 pages of it) as a give-a-way here on my blog.
If you would like to receive it, just tell me so in my comments section.
I'll draw a name out of the hat this coming Wednesday night at 8 p.m. and send it on to the winner.
St. Patrick's Day
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