Friday 1 February 2013

Review: The Mystic Cookbook Secret Alchemy of Food

While I like to think of myself as a kitchen witch, I know I'm no great cook  - as I explained earlier today. However, I've been reading a book to help me improve my skills in the culinary as well as spiritual arts. The Mystic Cookbook: The Secret Alchemy of Food,by Denise and Meadow Linn, is a guide to gaining enlightenment through food.

It is no mere recipe book - although it does contain a number of delicious recipes from all over the world. Neither is it the kind of book that makes one feel guilty for enjoying things like cakes, chocolate, wine - or even junk food. It doesn't preach that one should be vegetarian, or eat a raw diet. Instead, this is a book about learning to truly appreciate food - cooking it, eating it and sharing it with others. And it is full of gorgeous photographs to illustrate the text in a way that makes you really want to try things out.

The description supplied by publisher Hay House says: "Provocative and insightful, this eclectic, inspiring and beautiful book will open your eyes to the remarkable link between nourishment and spiritual awakening. Filled with ancient wisdom, practical advice, intriguing personal anecdotes, vibrant ceremonies and dishes lavishly illustrated with colour photographs, The Mystic Cookbook brings to life a wealth of recipes and myriad experiences from as far-reaching places as Mexico, Asia, Italy, Thailand, France, Africa and Britain as well as from mystical, legendary and mythic realms."

The Mystic Cookbook begins by showing how to become more aware of what we eat, and also about how our attitudes to certain foods can be influenced by psychological associations. Denise and Meadow offer gentle advice to help us appreciate all aspects of food - where it comes from, how it is grown, the people who transport it and the environment in which it is sold, prepared and served. They point out that happy farmers and happy cooks can infuse their produce with happiness, which those eating it can detect.

Colours and textures are as important as scent and taste, and can enhance our moods as well as nourishing our bodies. There are exercises to learn to detect the spiritual essence in ingredients - and to become more intuitive in our cooking to blend raw elements into a harmonious, satisfying and delicious meal. Chapters describe how to turn our kitchens and dining rooms into sacred spaces that not only attract the right energies but are also places conducive to great cooking and contented eating.

The recipes included go from such things as seasonal dishes to those specifically designed to expand our spiritual consciousness. There are legendary and mystical meals to open the chakras, trigger past-life memories or connect with our ancestors, magical meals to activate abundance in our lives and sacred food to share with the angels, fairies, gods and goddesses.

It isn't until right at the end of the book that Denise and Meadow talk about whole foods, organic produce, vegetarian, vegan and raw diets and concerns over genetically modified food. It is right that these things are mentioned - but I'm glad they are not the book's main focus.

Instead, The Mystic Cookbook is a book to make you feel good about food, and to realise that it can also be an important part of spiritual and magical practice.

Links and previous related posts
The Mystic Cookbook: The Secret Alchemy of Food

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