Peaceful Palate: A Favorite Cookbook

By Reed Mangels, PhD, RD

My kitchen cabinet always has had one shelf devoted to
cookbooks. Although some move into this place of honor and some move away to
the less-used living room bookshelf, there are a few cookbooks that are always
there. They’re the ones I turn to when I’m looking for a favorite recipe or,
sometimes, just for nostalgia’s sake.

     One classic that
has lived on the kitchen shelf for the past 30 years is Peaceful Palate by Jennifer Raymond. As you can see, it’s been used
frequently and is missing the cover and has some loose pages that are tucked
into the book. A newer edition is available, but I plan to keep this one. It
has a note from my mother who used it to make banana muffins for us when our
first child was born. There are my notes on various recipes – “also works with
TVP,” “nice crunch,” and “EVERYONE ate this one.” There are marginal notes from
doubling and tripling recipes for potlucks and other gatherings. The tofu
burger recipe is almost unreadable; it’s been used so many times and shared
with friends. No matter, I have this one memorized. There’s the Spicy Pumpkin
Soup I’ve brought to friends who needed comforting, the Bread Dressing that’s
always on the Thanksgiving table, and the Fresh Peach Cobbler that I make most
summers.

     It’s funny how one
spiral-bound book can hold so many memories. Thanks to Jennifer for her gift of
this cookbook.