It seems like every other week a new cookbook is coming out. It’s hard to get excited when they are all seemingly the same. Quinoa can only be made so many ways you know? (yes I know there’s more than just quinoa) I do enjoy a good recipe that I can whip up in 30 minutes or less, but sometimes you just want to dig in and spend some time cooking something different.
“Dining At The Ravens” starts off with a brief intro about the Stanford Inn by the Sea in Mendocino. It’s an inspiring story of not only connecting with our inner selves, but also to connect with our surroundings. They explain some rather uncanny events that brought the Stanford to life while they worked to fulfill their dream. Trees falling on their own to help with views and landscaping? Wow, that’s some serious attunement!
This is more than just a cookbook, it seriously gets to the heart of the whole food plant based/ vegan lifestyle. For the Stanford’s it starts with the land and always comes back to the land. With compassionate responsibility given to the way plants are grown to how they are used in the kitchen to how they are composted at the end; every single step is done with careful consideration. It all matters and it means something to them, it’s inspiring to say the least.
The recipes, again, are not something you are going to start cooking 30 minutes before putting dinner out for your family. These are not beginner recipes, but don’t let that dissuade you from trying. The recipes are well thought out and explained so that amateurs such as myself can easily attempt them. There are a few that are somewhat basic, but of course the presentation and photo makes them look 5-star. For instance, with summer coming soon I am interested in trying out the Potato Salad, which looks like a recipe I can handle.
The book is absolutely gorgeous inside and out. The photos are awe-inspiring and make me wish I had the culinary acumen to make half of them. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to try though! The Dolmas? Yeah I am really looking forward to making those, they ought to go perfectly at a mid summer cookout as finger food. I also can’t wait to try to make my own veggie stock, there’s a brilliant recipe for that here as well.
All cookbooks have their place. Like I said, most are quick and practical cookbooks that are targeted at the beginner to this lifestyle. Those are super helpful as they teach us how to use certain ingredients as comparable alternatives to foods we were used to. “Dining At The Ravens” is more than that and is for those that want to take a bit more time with their food. I believe that spending the proper time to cook these recipes, the cook and their guests will truly witness something magical.