The other day a book came to my attention that is just perfect for me. Actually, I think it might just be perfect. Those who read my blog—grandbooking—are aware that I love books, literacy, children and family. In addition, I also touch upon my other passions: the environment, Tikun Olam (the Jewish concept of repairing the world one good deed at a time), farmers’ markets and cooking. I am a fan of Meatless Mondays—on Facebook and in real life—and saw this book’s cover on my FB wall. Well, the book had me at its title: Don’t Cook the Planet| Deliciously Saving the Planet One Meal at a Time. Described as a delicious reminder that eating well is not only good for your health, but also good for the planet, the book was authored by Emily Abrams, only a senior in high school.
Intrigued by this book, I read an impressive interview with Emily and more background; only then did I discover that Emily was from my home town of Highland Park and that her mother, Wendy Abrams, is an environmental activist and founder of Cool Globes, a public art project designed to raise awareness of global warming. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to tour this thought-provoking exhibition on the Chicago Museum Campus in a group led by Wendy.
Now I’ve purchased the book and have had a chance to look though it—as it happens, I enjoy reading cookbooks even more than using them and this one offers much of interest: a foreword from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., an introduction from Emily, outstanding photography, inspiring and informative quotes and messages, and yes, recipes, collected from world-renowned chefs and eco-activists. Did I mention that all proceeds from the sale of this (manufactured in the U.S.A.) book will be donated to non-profit organizations working for a more sustainable planet?
Some of the recipes will certainly appeal to children, and you can invite them to help you in the kitchen (kale chips only use 3 ingredients!). This is also a great book for teens and college students as they will relate to Emily, who encourages us to take small, easy steps to reduce our carbon foodprint.
I did take the time to try out some of the recipes: a simple and lovely chilled English pea soup from Anthony Martin at Tru in Chicago, an easy and tasty garlic vinaigrette from cooking pioneer and activist Alice Waters (I just visited her Chez Panisse in Berkeley) and a scrumptious salad from Robert Redford (just because it’s a favorite of his).
Eating well and doing good are important ingredients in creating a satisfying life.