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Cooking like a Unitarian


There’s no place where I feel less like a lefty activist hippie than at a UU potluck.

In fact, when I look at all those mysterious bowls of exotic grain salads and veggie-laden casseroles, I feel like the one thing I can’t admit is that I’m a meat and potatoes kind of cook.

Fortunately, Liesl’s tastes are solidly Midwestern, a good match for the farmer’s daughter cooking I learned from my mother, who grew up in southwestern Ontario.

But I’ve discovered at UU potlucks that I like exotic grain salads and veggie-laden casseroles.

I just don’t know how to make them.

cookbooksSo, hey there, UU cooks (and other lefty activist hippies). I have these two cookbooks that I’d like to use as a primer for learning your kind of food. I suspect you’ve heard of them.

Do you have a favorite recipe from either of them? If so, please share.

I can’t see the Enchanted Broccoli Forest for the trees.


7 thoughts on “Cooking like a Unitarian

  1. I was raised on these cookbooks! But my mom is also a midwestern, meat and potatoes soul at heart, so one of the things she did was to change that iconic Broccoli Forest recipe. Mashed potatoes and cheese instead of the rice to stick the broccoli into. 🙂 And there’s a soup in one of those … I think it’s “Inspiration Soup” …. with artichoke hearts, and my mom always added fish to it. I love that. Mmm, and the frittata, and the kugel … ok I think I need to go dust these darlings off and do some cooking!

  2. Reblogged this on Politywonk and commented:
    Well, I guess I grew up lucky, because my grandfather always had tomatoes and such in the backyard garden, and even when he was a James P. Duke Professor, he put his own salad on the table. My dad has always saved whatever could be reused — much to the despair of my mother. But she could cook up a storm, thanks to her mother.

    So here are my tried-and-true vegetarian cookbooks:

    Please note that it takes several years to really work your way into and through a cookbook. And then you will get tired of your favorite recipes, and it’s time to move on to another.

    Always remember to make enough to freeze to put about two serving-sized containers in the freezer.

    Williams Sonoma put out a series of little highly-focused cookbooks, which are probably the absolute biggest bang for the buck of any I own. After twenty years, I still use the one about potatoes incessantly, almost weekly. Liesl will be happy to know that it has more ways than you could imagine to use cheese and potatoes. This was the place I first learned that it’s worth it to shell out the money for special types of cheese. And the beans one is a true winner.

    Also, it’s good to cook from other cultures, to use their own cookbooks, or those of their expatriates, if you can get them. My Asian cookbooks are from time living there, but if you word search Indian Cookbooks, you’ll get lots of answers.

    Another heavily used book in my kitchen is this one:

  3. Yow! I didn’t realize “reblog” can’t do formatting! I’ll lift it over to Politywonk so you can find the links there.

  4. Okay, my computer’s just slow, there come the links.

  5. If I had to have just one, it would be Chris Hardisty. Two, it would be followed by the Potatoes book.

  6. Sri Wasano’s Indonesian Rice Salad can be liberally modified. The instructions for Vegetable Saute and Saute, Chinese Style, are excellent introductions to the method. The sauce in the Gado-gado recipe is excellent, no need to pay any attention to the rest of the page unless it appeals.

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