The Lenten Cookbook is a brilliant collaboration of David Geisser and Scott Hahn to share their tremendous gifts to inspire joy in fasting. As a world-renowned chef who has had the honor of serving Pope Francis and hosts his very own television show in his native country of Switzerland, David Geisser takes cooking to a new level. Coupled with Scott Hahn’s deep knowledge of our Catholic Faith, this cookbook brings the sacred to life.
The Faith Behind the Fasting
In reading through Scott Hahn’s essays, the reader will discover the beauty of the ancient Catholic tradition of fasting and its roots. Scott Hahn’s vast historical perspective of the joys of fasting will inspire you. With each word, I felt more and more blessed to be a part of the sacred Body of Christ that is the Catholic Church.
This cookbook surpassed all my expectations since I found it to be both aesthetically beautiful and useful at the same time. In my house, I’m known for always saying that food needs to first look pretty. That's the invitation to get your palate ready for the delicious food you are about to taste. Roy Matter did an outstanding job with all the photography. I completely agree that what he does is nothing less than food art.
For a foodie like me, being asked to review this cookbook was a dream come true. The Lenten Cookbook is the cookbook we were all missing in our kitchens. This book will help millions of Catholics look at fasting in a whole different light, remembering that, although fasting can be an inconvenience, it is necessary on the path to holiness.
Good Food Brings People Together
As I browsed all of David’s carefully chosen recipes (which, by the way, are all very easy to follow with very clear and helpful cooking directions), fond childhood memories flashed through my mind.
Growing up in a large family in Brazil with a mom who taught me not only how to cook but to have a love for cooking was a privilege and a blessing. She used to say that there were few things that can connect and bring people together in a profound way... and food is one of them.
Now that I have my own family, I can appreciate all those times I spent in the kitchen being my mom's helper and learning all her different techniques. Cooking for 13 of us everyday made my mom very aware of the need to be creative in the kitchen.
From my mom, I learned how to use an over medium fried egg to elevate even the most simple of meals like rice and beans (a Brazilian staple) and almost any soup. I love showing my family and friends this simple trick, not only for Lent but also for those times when you feel a little short of inspiration.
You Won't Be Bored in the Kitchen this Lent
Throughout the book, I noticed how many of these meals were actually very similar to meals I grew up eating while growing up in Brazil. The Pot-au-Feu-Style Vegetable Stew with Sea Bass reminded me a lot of another one of my favorite Brazilian staples for Lent called Moqueca de Peixe (fish stew). There are many versions throughout the country but most will have fish (sea bass or tilapia), shrimp, or crab (and sometimes all three). Everything is cooked with onions and different colored peppers for a pop of color in fish stock and coconut milk and served over white rice.
The Lenten Cookbook is a 5-star experience! Bon Apetite my dear brothers and sisters in Christ!