For Exhausted Cooks Everywhere

Elizabeth Camden Recommended Reading Leave a Comment

Some people love to prepare recipes full of numerous steps with exotic ingredients and complicated flavors.  Nothing thrills them more when they see a long list of ingredients and procedures that might require them to clarify butter, make a reduction, or run out to a specialty market.

This is not me.  I confess to being a pretty basic cook.  Not only do I lack the time and skill, I am inclined toward basic recipes I can throw together in ten or twenty minutes…preferably in one pot.  My only requirement is that they be healthy and not have a list of ingredients as long as my arm.

I adore the cookbooks of Brother Victor.  He is a resident monk and the cook for a monastic order near the Hudson Valley in New York.  The order is vegetarian, but his recipes include fish, dairy, and eggs.  These recipes are very simple, calling on basic staples any healthy vegetable garden will feature (carrots, spinach, celery, etc.)  Throw in a starch, some beans, a handful of seasoning, and you are done.

These recipes aren’t for everyone.  My husband thinks them bland and boring, but I adore the simplicity.  This is “peasant” cooking.  Nothing fancy, but somehow it harkens back to a simpler time when there were fewer demands on a cook to produce a spectacular array of flavors.  And the fact that Brother Victor’s cookbooks have all been best sellers gives me tacit permission to revert back to these simpler recipes.  If you wish to check out his other titles and look over the recipes, you can click HERE


Amazing Book Just Sold at Auction

Elizabeth Camden The Book World Leave a Comment

An amazing book was just sold at auction in the United Kingdom.  The book in the picture is a 7th century gospel that was found in the tomb of St. Cuthbert more than 900 years ago.  While I’m not a big fan of digging up old saints, it was amazing that this book was still in such good condition.  It is believed to be the oldest European book to survive fully intact.

Here’s why I am so excited about this:  It is a sad fact that most medieval and renaissance texts are worth far more if they are disassembled and the pages are sold individually, rather than sold as an intact book.  Time and again ancient treasures have been broken down into their parts for sale.

St. Cuthbert’s gospel was purchased by the British Library for around $14 million dollars.  I am grateful they were able to pull the funds together to be able to save this magnificent treasure!

You can read more about this book here, where there are a few additional pictures as well.



The Desks of Authors

Elizabeth Camden Writing Life Leave a Comment

I am fascinated by the physical space of where writers work. I recently came across an online display of the desks of famous writers.  How amazing that someone thought to preserve them!

And just for kicks, here is a picture of me at MY desk: