Sacramental Magic in a Small-Town Cafe

Sacramental Magic in a Small-Town Cafe shares recipes and stories from Peter Reinhart's former bakery cafe called Brother Juniper's Cafe in Forestville, California. 

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Format: Hardcover with dust jacket, 243 pages. 

Copyright: 1994 

Publisher: Running Press 

Author: Peter Reinhart 

ISBN: 9780201622591

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Description: It's a rare food book that goes beyond the mere recitation of recipes to convey the magic that occurs when all the ingredients blend together in just the right way; when the mere act of eating takes on a sense of communion and becomes a celebration of life itself. 

Brother Peter Reinhart delivers that special treat, a deft mixture of both the savory and the spiritual that tells the tale of a small cafe he and his wife, Sister Susan, members of a semi-monastic religious order, founded in the town of Forestville, California. 

It's a cafe that in Brother Peter's inimitable words "began as a vision, crashed to the earth, broke our backs, threatened our well-being, almost went bankrupt, rose from the ashes (carrying us with it), spawned a bakery and a book, restored our hope, and after seven years seems to have landed on its feet having somehow manifested its unspoken mission; sacramental magic." 

What follows is a quirky recipe in itself: part biography, part delicious exploration of tastes from zesty coleslaw and fiery barbecue to hummus, muffins, and baba ghanouj, part spiritual odyssey and love affair. The end result is a warmhearted, often humorous take on the special role food plays in sustaining our souls as well as our bodies.

In Sacramental Magic, cooking is an entertaining craft, and Brother Peter's bag of tricks includes turning seemingly prosaic dishes like chicken soup and sauerkraut -- even a condiment as ubiquitous as Thousand Island dressing -- into tasty delights that dazzle even the most discerning palates. A potpourri of easy-to-understand recipes from File Gumbo, Clam Chowder, and Chili to Pasta Salad and die World's Greatest Brownies are liberally peppered with musings about a religious community devoted to both great cooking and good works, committed to ministering to a small town in modest but important ways. 

Lovers of food and great food writing in the spirit of Babette's Feast and Like Water jot Chocolate will warm to this witty celebration of meals prepared with love and care. 

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Condition: Good condition. 

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