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The Mindful Cook: Finding Awareness,…
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The Mindful Cook: Finding Awareness, Simplicity, and Freedom in the…

by Isaac Cronin

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375502750, Hardcover)

What do cooks do when they're doing their best? If you answered "make great food fast," or gave another goal-directed response, you're ready for Isaac Cronin's The Mindful Cook. Positing that cooking is a journey rather then a destination, Cronin offers to help both experienced and novice cooks, cooking lovers and those kitchen-wary, find new fulfillment and self-understanding in the food-making process. Taking the time to be mindful of what we do when we cook, Cronin says, not only optimizes the possibility of producing wonderful food, but also allows us to experience greater freedom in all we do.

In a series of essays such as the "Spiritual History of Food" and "The Mindful Kitchen," Cronin explores various aspects of cooking. These include culinary history, the kitchen as a place, flavor balancing, improvisation, and dealing with cooking mistakes. Exercises follow that involve meditation, self-questioning, and hands-on experimentation, all designed to improve individual awareness. In a section devoted to focusing one's cooking intentions, for example, Cronin suggests that readers take twice as long as usual when preparing a favorite menu to appreciate the true nature of the task at hand. Cronin also provides 25 simple recipes for dishes like Tunisian Tuna Salad and Mexican Chicken Sauté, meant to nourish the body as well as the spirit. Readers will find themselves dipping into the book often as a spur to self-investigation and for timeless truths about cooking, one of humankind's most fundamental activities. --Arthur Boehm

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:52 -0400)

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