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Introduction & Acknowledgement

 

To my Grandma Clarice who taught me
the art of creative cooking and
always believed in me.

 

 

One certainly cannot learn the technical details of cookery entirely from books; 
but if the cooks, celebrated and obscure, of the past had believed that written 
recipes were unnecessary, we should now be in a sad plight indeed.

~Elizabeth David, French 
Provincial Cooking (1960)

 

 

 

Seasoned
with Love

 

 

A collection of best-loved recipes
inspired by over 40 cultures

   

by Rebecca Johnson
www.SeasonedwithLove.com

 

 

An exploration into a world of foods we love with a good helping 
of information for the cerebral appetite. A portion of the proceeds from 
the sale of this book will be donated to my favorite charity, World Vision
an organization dedicated to feeding the hungry and 
lifting the spirits of those in need around the world.
 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION  

 

Organizing the kitchen drawer as a kid, although one 
assumes it would have been more helpful
if I was not in the drawer. 

 

As a small child living in America, my mother often found me sitting in a kitchen drawer or on the floor surrounded by the contents of the kitchen cupboards. During these early years I found the kitchen fascinating.

When we moved to Africa, I was just seven years old and could barely see over the counter. It was in the warmth of Africa that my love for cooking was born. I started cooking basic foods and creating simple recipes.

Often on the way home from school, I would dream of what we would cook for dinner. My father and I took over the cooking when my mother returned to college and it was at that time I became serious about writing down our family recipes.

The natural landscape in Africa lent itself to exploration. We would find ourselves picking pomegranates off a large bush on the walk home from school or checking to see if the passion fruit had ripened in the arbor.

On summer vacations my father would take us all to the beach where we would spend time swimming, cooking and enjoying life. I think fondly of those days when my father would pick fresh ripe guavas and cook them in sugar syrup. We would then make a homemade custard sauce to drizzle over the fruit.

Africa was a magical land filled with succulent fruits and fresh picked vegetables. My father, being a natural at farming, planted rows of tomatoes, corn and squash wherever we lived. We had a city or country garden wherever his work took him. When he wasn’t out teaching or building, he spent time gardening.

The taste of fresh-shelled peas still makes me think of sitting out in the sunshine on the back steps. It was a charmed life and now seems only to be the dream of a barefoot girl running on the warm earth.

My cooking teacher in high school was also very influential in developing my love for cooking. I listened to her every instruction and absorbed her precise directions. I learned to make a basic white sauce and soon macaroni and cheese became a favorite as I took home recipes to try them out on my willing family.

My Grandma Clarice also showed me many of her cooking secrets. After living in Africa, I came to America and lived at her home during summer and winter vacations.

I will never forget how my grandmother gently reminded me to listen to her precise instructions. I later learned these were some of her secrets. I have tried to include everything she ever taught me in this cookbook.

Her kitchen cupboards were filled with bottles of herbs and spices. While helping her cook, I started to write down the herbs she used.

When I purchased the same herbs and incorporated them in my own recipes, I loved the results.

I wanted to know how these herbs and spices were grown, where they came from and why they made foods so delicious. Later, I grew my own herbs, except my cats also took a liking to nibbling on them.

Travel has also influenced my love of cooking. One year while visiting France with my friend Terri, we visited a quaint French bakery and I realized that the choux pastry my grandmother had taught me to make was French. While exploring the seaside shops selling olive oils and garlic, I felt a connection to the Mediterranean and was so at home with the cooking.

Soon after my trip overseas I asked my grandmother to see pictures of my family I had not seen while living overseas. My grandfather looked French and my grandmother revealed that in fact he was.

I then discovered that my great, great, great grandfather was born in Rheims, France.  It was then time to learn how to make Tarte Tatin! A recipe I now have at my website.

I hope by writing this book I can share my love of cooking with you, your family and friends. Writing this cookbook has been a journey for me.

Seasoned with Love contains over 30 years of my own cooking experience and hundreds of years combined cooking experience in many of the time-tested selections.

There are twelve chapters filled with recipes inspired by America, Africa, Germany, France, England, Russia, Poland, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Austria, Sweden, Hawaii, England, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, India, Japan, Ireland, Scotland, Ancient Rome, Greece, China, Scandinavia, Thailand and many more…

I hope you will enjoy recipes inspired by over 40 countries and cultures. Sample the exotic flavors of India in a curry, the traditional fare from an American picnic and tantalizing pastries from France.

Thank you for purchasing this cookbook. I wish you the very best as you prepare meals for those you love.  The recipes are listed in alphabetical order within each chapter so you can find favorites fast.

Please see the first page of www.seasonedwithlove.com for current contact information. I am happy to answer questions about life, cooking, this cookbook or the Seasoned with Love website.

Warmest Regards,

Rebecca Johnson, M.Ed.
www.SeasonedwithLove.com


 

Acknowledgments

 

 

Acknowledgements

This cookbook would not exist without the influence of my Grandma Clarice. She showed me the secrets of creative cooking and pastry making. I will always be grateful for her inspiration and love.

I would like to especially thank Jay Lane who was an absolute angel to me. She guided me through the initial process of putting this book together. I will be eternally indebted to her for her patience, insight and superb editing of my first manuscript.

To all my friends and family, I would like to thank you for your patience and understanding. Your support and enthusiasm for this project kept me writing.

I send my gratitude to all the people I have met in my life who unselfishly gave of their time to teach me about cooking. You have enriched my life and I know you are cooking with me in spirit.

 

Grandma Clarice with her
famous Apple Pie

 

 

                                                                                

 

 

Copyright © 2003 www.SeasonedwithLove.com 

 

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