There are books on food, books of poetry, books of musings, philosophical books on memories, art, and the meaning of families ties. And then there are cookbooks. And usually the twain never meet. I recently discovered a compact book full of lofty ambitions, delicious recipes, and family memories with a hearty and tender blend of poetry and food as it moves in and out of the seasons. A Taste of it All – Celebrating The Mood of Food, written by northern Maine native Georgia Manzo Joachim, is published by Thyme & Moss Publishing in Millinocket.
Each seasonal chapter of recipes bears the title of a poem or a reflection by the author, G.M. Joachim. With such timely designations as "Wintry Days", "March Impatience", "The Teen Season", "Marriage is About Losing", and "Living Room Warrior", to name a few, this is a journal of food and reflection. It is not a book to be rushed through but rather savored, like many of its recipes which are to be prepared in advance, taking time and care in the experience as well as the execution.
Each menu is complemented with a musical selection as well as a book and/or movie suggestion. This book offers a delightful way to feel whole and complete within each moment of life. As the section "A Slice of Christmas" begins: "We greet each other warmly, voices high with excitement. Unspoken dreams feel closer to reality. The smells of fir boughs, apricot-glazed ham, and raspberry coffee evoke kind memories, as Nat King Cole coats our ears with warmth." (p. 106)
Enjoy this book at your leisure. It would make a thoughtful gift at Christmas, or any time of the year.
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Melanie Hyatt is an editor at Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.