For a person who loves good ingredients and has no objection to cooking, I haven’t been cooking much lately. Otherwise occupied, I've been coasting along with easy, tried-and-true basics. Suddenly, I feel inspired.
Have you ever heard of Susan Jane White? If not, where have you been? Where have I been? She is former President of the Oxford Gastronomy Society, author of the bestseller The Extra Virgin Kitchen, and winner of the Avonmore Cookbook of the Year, 2016, for her book The Virtuous Tart.
She calls herself geeky. I would use the word “scholarly.” Although now healthy, married, and the mother of two little sons, there was a time when dietary choices made her very sick indeed. After being hospitalized and going from one doctor to the next, she finally found out that her food choices were the culprit.
She does not suggest that everyone go on a gluten-free, sugar-free diet. What she does clarify is that eating whole foods and grains rather than processed ones is not restrictive but, in her words, “liberating.” She maintains that she means to “take the hell out of healthy.” I believe her.
So taken was I with her writing, I immediately downloaded her first book, The Extra Virgin Kitchen, onto my kindle. The first few chapters alone are worth the price. I love the way she writes. She is thoroughly knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and funny. As for her recipes, they are most definitely granola (adjective), chalk-full of healthy, energy-giving rather than energy-draining ingredients, and there is something for everyone. I am persuaded that they’re worth a go. I think the first recipe I might try is her “Smoked Salmon Blini with Healthier Hollandaise.” Another really interesting recipe is her “Muhammara Noodles.” She takes her version of a typical Middle-Eastern dip and mixes it with fresh zucchini and carrot “noodles.” Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
But don’t take it from me. Susan Jane has an enormous fan base, as in 7,000 plus followers on FB and Twitter, which I think is a lot for a foodie. Both her books are bestsellers, she writes a popular column for The Irish Independent, Ireland’s largest newspaper, and maintains a wonderful blog.
Check out her blog. Her recent article about gluten is excellent. http://susanjanewhite.com/
Surely, the past, present, and future connect in this miraculous state we call life. In this light, history and all human experience are ever-present. Wouldn't it be nice, then, if we could enjoy each other, if we could appreciate and celebrate our differences? Let us love! Let us have fun. Let us toast each other and wish each other well. Now, in our awareness, is the time to be happy, to do our best, to live fully to our purest, highest standards.