Book Review: The Mystic Cookbook
I am no stranger to a cookbook. My bookshelves are quite literally bending from the weight of my collection. I tend to read them like novels, I will carry one into the living room, cozy up on the couch, and dig in.
I rarely cook from them.
Absurd as that may seem, cookbooks are deep sources of inspiration for me and my work with food. I will gleam from the photos and descriptions flavor profiles and combinations that get stored somewhere deep in my subconscious ripe and ready to be accessed when I am ready to create.
So I was curious to dig through the mystic cookbook for inspiration.
The Mystic Cookbook reads more like novel than a cookbook. A change for me. Written by mother and daughter team Denise and Meadow Linn, The Mystic Cookbook is part magic, part mystery, and a much, much smaller part actual cookbook.
I have a deep fascination with the exploration of tradition around food, and when I cracked the spine of this book I was hoping to satisfy my curiosity a bit, naively assuming that this was attached to Mysticism. I mean who started cooking chicken soup when one was sick? How did they know it would be an effective remedy? I was able to summise from The Mystics Cookbook that a fair amount of tradition that surronds food is not necessarily rooted in knowledge but rather in intuition.
Hmm.. I like that.
Combing through the portions of the book around food intutition, healing intuition and even the power of food memories was a thrill, I wanted more.
As the book digressed into the healing power of sound, the preservation power of pyramids, and the energy of crystals I felt lost, confused, and overwhelmed. As a non mystic myself (in spite of my upbringing in a hippie family) I personally felt this was an attempt to cram too much into one book and the result was a watered down version of all things spiritual and mystical.
When the book finally arrived in the recipe world, well, I don’t know what I was expecting but I suppose with a title like The Mystic Cookbook I was expecting something mystical. Potato salad, egg salad, and chicken salad did not fit the bill. With a selection of 45 recipes I sadly did not find much inspiration. Albeit some recipes were more globally focused than the all American fare mentioned above.
Maybe at the end of the day the question is: What is mystical food? or perhaps What ISN”T mystical food? Perhaps the bit that I am missing is that all food is mystical, powerful, healing. It’s not in the food specifically but rather the treatment of the food, the feeling behind the cooking process, the belief system or memory attached to the food that makes it, well, mystical. I can get behind that, but my foodie self is still snobbishly chanting, but couldn’t you get a little more creative than potato salad?
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.