Review copy provided by author (Magenta Griffith).
The full title of this book, which would have made for a very long blog post title, is The Prodea Cookbook: Good Food and Traditions from Paganistan’s Oldest Coven. I am not a pagan, but I am a cook, and when Magenta heard me talking about doing book reviews at Minicon, she asked if I only review science fiction and fantasy. “Not at all,” I said. She already knew that I was not a pagan from previous conversations, and so this interfaith collaboration/book review was born.
And thus the other night found me staring at the hockey game saying dreamily, “Those pagans sure know how to cook an eggplant.” (The key is that the recipes for eggplant dips in this cookbook call for the eggplant to be roasted longer and hotter than what I’m used to, which is entirely a good idea. Also cayenne is the other thing my previous eggplant dips were missing. This stray observation did, however, confuse Timprov as to what, exactly, I knew about Dany Heatley that he did not, or what metaphor I was using for the Colorado Avalanche’s maroon uniform, or something.)
Also in the highly useful category: the lentil and spinach soup. I keep trying to get the internet to tell me something to do with lentils that isn’t in the dal suite of flavors for when I don’t want that, and the internet was not being optimally useful. Basil in lo, great abundance. Thank you, Prodea. The other thing that I greeted with cries of joy: the oat-flour banana bread that looks like I will be able to make my cousin a gluten-free banana bread that is still made out of food and not artificial food-like products. Hurrah.
There are essays and stories interspersed with the recipes that will probably be of limited practical use to the non-pagan cook, but on the other hand I can’t see why they should upset the non-pagan cook either. If being exposed to someone else’s faith traditions and stories while finding out how to make a pretty tasty barley mushroom dish is going to be a problem, I suspect it’s a problem with you and not with this cookbook.
It should be noted that I am nearly physically incapable of following a recipe, but that’s not a slur on any one cookbook, that’s a personality trait. So if you pick up a cookbook I liked and say, “I looked at that recipe, but it had carrots and I don’t like carrots,” I am likely to look at you in bafflement and say, “Don’t make it with carrots, then; what are parsnips for?” and so on down the list.