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Book Review: Cookin’ Up A Storm

Courtesy of Book Publishing Co.

Having been born and raised on Cape Cod, I feel like those of us that live here have a closeness to whales. Growing up it was a rite of passage in a way to go on a whale watch in Stellwagen Bank.  We even have the luxury when we are fifth graders of spending a week at the NEED Program in Truro, MA learning about the environment, aquaculture and the National Seashore. My son did it last year and it was great to reflect back on my time there via his experiences. Fast forward from fifth grade and those ideas of compassion toward whales have never gone away. I’ve worked personally with members of the Center For Coastal Studies and garnered friendships with past employees. I’m going a bit off the rails here.

I remember watching my first episode of Whale Wars, admiring the fearlessness of each member of the crew. I’ve been a fan of what the Sea Shepherd Society does since then.  Who are the folks at Sea Shepherd?

Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization. Our mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.

Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately balanced ocean ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations.

The Sea Shepherd are not only involved in the Southern Ocean fighting off the whalers from Japan, but they are involved in all sorts of conservation efforts. Whether its Taiji in Japan raising awareness of the slaughter and sale of wild dolphins to places like Sea World, or the Faroe Islands with the natives senseless slaughter they don’t discriminate in who gets protected as they believe all life is worth fighting for.

Courtesy of Book Publishing Co.

That’s why in the galley, you will not find any animal products being prepared. That’s right, all Sea Shepherd ships are required to only serve vegan foods. Aboard the Steve Irwin, you can find Laura Dakin cooking up tasty meals for the crew. Laura and Sea Shepherd put out “Cookin’ Up A Storm” so us land lubbers could get a taste for the deliciousness that the crew enjoys while out saving the aquaculture of the planet.Laura takes her time before an expedition and will go aboard the ship months before hand to prepare for the journey. Cooking for 50 crew members, three times a day, can be a daunting task. Keeping the ingredients simple, cooking in bulk and keeping the meals tasty is a must.

I am a huge fan of what the Sea Shepherd do and can continue talking about them, but you came here to read about the cookbook. Laura offers not only a glimpse into the Sea Shepherd, via crew bio’s, etc, but she shares some of her favorite recipes in “Cookin’ Up a Storm.” While most of the recipes can be made in your own kitchen, Laura goes over and above even crushing her own spices for curry. Her recipes are legit!

I swear Laura knows me and willfully shares multiple potato recipes. My wife and I go out or breakfast quite a bit, and I have become a potato connoisseur. So far I have made the “Far From Shore Tandoori Potatoes” and they are absolutely amazing. I kept her measurements as is, I usually will cook to taste, but I wanted to keep her recipe in place so I can try it exactly as the crew does. Amazing!

Think a vegan lifestyle is hard and that you can’t cook anything? I call BS and challenge you to pick up this book and cook any recipe, because if I can, you can. I can’t wait to delve in more and make some more meals for my family, my own little crew.


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