A few weeks ago, I shared that I was going to select a vegan cookbook and like Julie Powell, from the book Julie and Julia, cook my way through it. I was quite methodical in my approach. I looked at various lists of top vegan cookbooks, compiled my list of those that were on more than one top list, and borrowed them from the local library. I was not sure how I was going to discern which one I would choose, but I was clear I would be selecting one from the top ten list I had put together. Then life happened.
I had the opportunity to leave my home and physically go to the library by myself, something I had not been able to do in 7 years, and browse the vegan cookbooks. I found several which caught my attention for various reasons, so I came home with about 6 more books to add to my collection. Now I was faced with an even more difficult task of picking THE book I would cook my way through.
I had no idea on how I was going to pick THE book until I was reminded about how important family is. I was doing more then just cooking my way through a cookbook. I was going to be cooking for my wife and her selective palette. This was not just a me thing; this was a family thing. The decision of what book to use went from being a me thing to a family thing. Zoe and I began to go through the books together. Immediatel6y, some books were eliminated because there were not enough pictures for Zoe to imagine what these dishes were going to look like. Since we tend to eat with our eyes first, those with little to no pictures went back to the library.
Remembering this was a family thing that we were doing together, reminded me why I love Pampered Chef so much. It is all about enriching lives, one meal and one memory at a time. This is what this journey was doing for Zoe and I. Together we were going to be enriching each other’s lives, one meal and one memory at a time. Being involved in the process has been really important for her and the most involved she has been with the food we eat in the 17 years we have been together, as she has always been allergic to the kitchen and anything related to the preparation other than eating what I have prepared.
We thought we had narrowed it down to Vegan for Everyone by the American Test Kitchen until we started looking at one of the books I had grabbed off the library shelf, The Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook by Ginny Kay McMeans. The words make ahead caught my eyes. With my hectic schedule, the notion of only having to cook a few times a week excited me. What made Zoe fall in love were the pictures first and foremost. She could see the food I was going to torture her with (her words). One of the other things that won her over was that the author included a recipe she thought looked awesome and was made with an ingredient a former friend made us both dislike intensely – lentils.
So tonight, I am beginning my journey of cooking my way through and Zoe joins me in a culinary adventure through dishes and ingredients we have never tried and re-experiencing some we said we would never eat again – lentils. We are both looking forward to this journey. Just the process of getting to this point has been a gift.
After 7 years of being on supplemental service and rarely getting a ride, that I was able to get my 6th ride in 7 years was a blessing. That I found this book, which literally fell off the shelves into my arms, was a sign, which was screaming pay attention to me. That it was the one book we both could agree on, which rarely happens was yet another sign. This whole process has reminded me that the Ultimate speaks to me and does hear and answer my prayers. I just need to be listening. I am so excited about the lessons to be learned here, but also about us going through this as a family.