Sunday, January 3, 2021

Review: An Onion in My Pocket: My Life with Vegetables

An Onion in My Pocket: My Life with Vegetables An Onion in My Pocket: My Life with Vegetables by Deborah Madison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of the first cookbooks I was given when I got married in 2000 was Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. My family was worried that I was marrying a vegetarian and wanted me to be prepared.

Deborah Madison has long been connected to vegetarian cooking although she isn't a vegetarian exactly, she has just found herself in spaces that have a lot of produce to offer and where people don't eat a lot of meat. Her spiritual practice at the SF Zen Center included a long stint running the kitchen which would eventually lead her to open Greens in cooperation with the center, and somehow in between there she also worked at Chez Panisse, a job she just kind of fell into.

All along the way, she's been writing cookbooks that captured several decades of vegetarian cooking in America, from the hippie dippie years of brown breads and lots of cheese to where we are now with our coconut everything and broader access to ingredients.

The memoir chronicles her journey with food, ingredients, cooking, restaurants, cookbooks - and also a deeper exploration of what is enough, what nourishes, and the importance of community.

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