21 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
This book is a collection of essays and recipes explaining and demonstrating Helen Nearing's philosophy about food. Nearing is the first to point out that she does not enjoy cooking in the least. For this reason, she spent as little time as possible in food preparation. Nevertheless, as thousands of visitors would testify, the food from her kitchen was wholesome, tasty, and most of all, nourishing. Her cardinal rule was that food should take no longer to prepare than to consume. Of course, some dishes required simmering for several hours on the woodstove, but the active involvement of the cook was still limited to just a few minutes.
The first part of the book is devoted mainly to Nearing's philosophy of food. She explains the benefits of minimal processing and raw foods, for the cook as well as for health. She devotes an entire chapter to espousing vegetarianism. The second part of the book contains recipes or general directions for the kinds of foods she and Scott ate on their homesteads. Separate chapters cover breakfast, soups, salads, vegetables, casseroles, baking, desserts, and beverages. She also discusses seasonings, food preservation, and food storage. One delightful aspect of the book is her collection of quotes from old books that she sprinkles throughout the text.
Nearing is very clear about her approach to cooking-she doesn't consider the process itself a worthwhile activity. She tells us "work is only work if you'd rather be doing something else. Well, I'd rather be reading (or writing) a good book, playing good music, building a wall, gardening, swimming, skating, walking-anything that is more active, more intellectual, or more inspiring." She states that if a person actually enjoys cooking, that's fine for them, but she gets little pleasure from it herself. On the other hand, she certainly sees food as worthwhile. For this reason, she advocates eating food raw, or with as little cooking as possible. She notes that if you fuss over food and make it too good, people will be tempted to eat more than they need and get fat, but that nobody ever got fat on a diet of raw foods-they eat what they need and then stop. Seasonings and sweeteners also lead to overindulgence, and so she rarely uses them. Her breads chapter is somewhat unique in that there is hardly a recipe calling for yeast, and few that are even baked. She suggests eating foods raw that many have never considered, such as potatoes, oats, or even wheat berries. Though much of her advice is profound, she does make one suggestion that makes me pause. She notes that she and Scott were not in the habit of supplementing their food with beverages, not even water, and that a single glass of water could last a week for them. Odd. Nevertheless, it's hard to argue with someone about their diet when both she and her husband lived healthy and active lives into their late nineties.