By Roberta Bailey
“These recipes are our gift to you. They are the ones we love, the ones that work, the ones that carry us through trouble and heartache, celebration and joy.”
So begins the Ashwood Cookbook, Food for Family and Friends, a simple yet elegant collection of wholesome recipes gathered by friends of the Ashwood Waldorf School in Rockport, Maine. It is a book that advocates turning off the television and cooking together, but knows the realities of families on the go and children who won’t eat anything but whatever it may be for 10 meals straight. The recipes remind me of the busy-ness of a family’s day and the look on the kids’ faces when you suggest the five easy meals you can think of and they just groan. Pull out this cookbook and get out of your rut.
This book is filled with simple recipes that are delicious enough for your best company and proven to please children of all ages. Just opening the book and seeing the artwork of Toki Oshima and some Ashwood students will inspire great creative energy. Sections include Breakfast, Breads, Dips, Dressings and Salads, Soups, Seafood, Meat and Vegetarian Entrees, School Lunches, Beverages, Cookies and Bars, and Non-Food Recipes. The 114-page, spiral-bound book resounds with practicality as well as imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility, the three forces of Rudolph Steiner’s theories of education. Here are a few sample recipes to tempt you.
Pistachio, Spinach, Sorrel and Avocado Salad
Serves 4 – Ruth Bacon
1/2 lb. fresh spinach, washed
4 oz. fresh sorrel leaves
2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 whole lemon; zest, grated; juice squeezed
2 Tbsp. walnut oil
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 c. pistachio nuts, can be chopped
In a large bowl, arrange spinach and sorrel leaves. In a separate bowl, toss the avocado with the garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and walnut oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place avocado in the center of the spinach and sorrel. Garnish with pistachios.
Pine Nuts Shortbread
– Mariana Tupper
8 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 c. pine nuts
1/2 c. date sugar
1 c. white or whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c. brown rice flour
Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Bake in an ungreased 8″x8″ baking pan at 350 degrees F. for 20 to 25 minutes.
Tulle’s Indian Garbanzo Beans
– Sherry Fraser
2 cups garbanzo beans, cooked until tender
3 Tbsp. oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1-inch cube of ginger root, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic
5 canned tomatoes, chopped
juice from the tomatoes as required
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. coriander, ground
1 tsp. garam masala (You can use curry powder instead, but it won’t be as interestingly perfumed.)
Sauté onions, ginger and garlic until soft. Add seasonings and cook for one minute more. Stir in tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Add cooked beans and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.
Tomato, Mascarpone and Kalamata Olive Pasta
– Annie Mahle
virgin olive oil
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
4 to 5 large plum tomatoes, diced
32 kalamata olives, pitted
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 Tbsp. white wine
salt and fresh black pepper
freshly grated parmesan cheese
fettuccine for four
Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and then garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds. Don’t let the garlic burn, as this makes it bitter. Add the tomatoes and toss. Add the olives. Cook for a minute or two and add the wine and mascarpone. This process should not take long at all. The point is not to stew the tomatoes, but to have them retain their freshness. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle cooked pasta with Parmesan cheese and spoon sauce on top. Sprinkle with parsley.
The Ashwood Cookbook can be ordered through the Ashwood Waldorf School, 180 Park St., Rockport ME 04856, for $16 plus $2 shipping and handling. It is also available at the Owl & Turtle Bookshop in Camden, Maine; Maine Coast Book Store in Damariscotta; and Well-Tempered Kitchen in Nobleboro.