The Work At Hand

Welcome to my little corner of the world in the trees.

I’ve chosen to review a vintage vegetarian cookbook that stands the test of time: The New Laurel’s Kitchen

This could be called, Solitude Cooking for One in an A-Frame kitchen. But I wanted to go deeper than that. There is a cookbook I have loved for many years called, The New Laurel’s Kitchen by Laurel Robertson, Carol Flinders, and Brian Ruppenthal. It is a treasure filled book of not just recipes but a philosophy of how to live simply by cooking by hand with whole food ingredients and time.

I first remember seeing this book in my aunt and uncle’s apartment on 5th street in Santa Monica. It was the small paperback version that sat on a shelf in the kitchen. They were the cool vegetarians of the family. Oh, the simple life of the old mall, umbrella strollers and spaghetti marks on the cupboard doors.

I actually read the book cover to cover while I was the owner of a snack bar. It changed the way I viewed the kitchen and food and life. It was a copy from the library so I took notes on scrap pieces of paper that I still have. It was not the recipes that grabbed my attention; it was the cooking and the kitchen and the simplicity in which the cooking took place. Although, I am only a recent vegetarian, I have always believed we do not need to eat meat every day. And, my grandmother always bought Morningstar Farms sausages. I have bookshelves of cookbooks but I always come back to this one. I have a diploma from a prestigious cooking school, and still I come back to this one cookbook. Why? Because life starts in the kitchen.

I have decided to go through the cookbook and review the recipes and discuss why cooking and the kitchen are so important.

There are a thousand things we can do to encourage and support each other. Taken one by one, they all seem so small. But look again – see how they fit together. Imagine what could come of it. – Carol Flinders

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