>Do you remember the first cookbook that truly moved you? I remember mine well. It was a Disney cookbook for children that I got for Christmas one year. The picture of the Donald Duck chocolate cake, so shiny and sweet, is what made the book an instant favorite. I think I actually hid in my bedroom closet and tried to lick the page. I don’t remember how the cake actually tasted or if I ever convinced my mom to let me make it, but my love of cookbooks has lasted ever since. There’s nothing I like better on a Sunday afternoon than to plunge myself into the pages of a great cookbook with beautiful photography before sinking into a lazy nap filled with dreams of rich dishes.
But great cookbooks go beyond beautiful pictures and tantalizing dishes. Great cookbooks are more than a calorie-free treat for the senses. The truly great cookbooks move you to change the way you cook, like Julia Child inspired America to begin making French food. inspiration, a calorie-free treat for the senses.
The Earthbound Cook by Myra Goodman falls into that truly great cookbook category. The author runs an organic farm in Carmel Valley, California with her husband Drew called Earthbound Farm. This is her second cookbook. It is filled with page after page of gorgeous photographs of fresh food and life on the farm as well as 250 easy yet flavorful recipes that I wanted to run out and start cooking immediately. But it’s also filled with valuable information and tips to inspire families everywhere to make small changes in their kitchens to become more in tune with the environment.
I loved little tips like:
“Resist the urge to open the oven door during roasting or baking. Each time you take a peek, the temperature can drop by as much as 25 degrees Fahrenheit.”
“If you spend some time seeing how long it takes your oven to preheat to various temperatures, you’ll save energy down the road by no longer preheating too far in advance.”
“Using the food disposal is not as green as you think. Composting is a much more environmentally sound practice.”
As well as longer essays on topics such as:
- Why the carbon footprint of your food isn’t always as simple as measuring from point A to point B.
- Protecting yourself from unhealthy pesticide residues.
- Understanding eco-labels for meat
But The Earthbound Cook is much more than a textbook on becoming a more environmentally conscious family, it is first and foremost a cookbook, filled with dishes you will be inspired to cook, dishes like Seared Tuna with French Lentil Salad, Carrot Risotto, and even Chocolate Souffle Cake with Vanilla Whipped Cream. I plan on beginning my love story with this new addition to my rickety cookbook shelf with Nan’s Tomato Rice Soup – the image of the floating beef short ribs is irresistible. I have a feeling that by the time I reach the last recipe, this cookbook will have made a serious impact in our lives.
I received my copy of the Earthbound Cook as part of a campaign with the online book club From Left to Write. Myra Goodman will also be participating in Q&As with the participating bloggers and we’ll be hosting dinners featuring the cookbook’s recipes throughout the country.