Author: Karri Ann Allrich
Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Publication date: February 2003
Price & More Info: Click Here
Karri Ann Allrich's Cooking By Moonlight: A Witch's Guide to Culinary Magic is exactly what it sounds like: a Wiccan-themed cookbook. And why not? I've seen cookbooks for chocolate lovers, for Baptists, and just about every other group you can imagine. No matter how different we may appear to be on the outside, we all need to eat.
The back cover blurb says "Cooking by Moonlight invites you to begin cooking with intention, in harmony with the seasons and moon phases." The marketing hype is pretty much on target for once. Allrich presents menus and recipes for each of the thirteen moons of the year. The introductory material isn't what most cooks would expect to find in a cookbook, however. Instead of the standard instructions on how to measure things and beat eggs to a froth, there is folklore on the moons and on food. Did you know that cilantro is associated with fire or that Rosemary planted by your door might help protect your home? You'll find information like this in the first part of this book.
The most important part of any cookbook, however, is the recipes. With over 100 recipes, Cooking by Moonlight, does not disappoint. There are recipes for beverages, appetizers, soups, breads, main dishes, vegetables, salads and deserts. Some recipes are simple enough that just about anyone should be able to turn out a tasty dish. Others are more complex and require more cooking skills. Just in case you weren't hungry before you started reading this review, here are a few recipes in this book: Goddess Punch, Lemony Chicken Caesar Salad, Orange-Walnut Scones, Baked Ricotta Chicken Zita, Maple-Pecan Roasted Squash, and Raspberry-Peach Cobbler.
The premise of this book, recipes for each of the 13 lunar months, provided the author with a wonderful excuse to provide some excellent recipes with a side dish of kitchen and moon folklore. If you are a meat eater (as I am), you do need to be aware that there are no red meat dishes in Cooking by Moonlight. However, it is not a vegetarian cookbook as there are fish and chicken recipes. If you like to cook, this book is worth your time to look at and consider -- just don't do it on an empty stomach.
Reviewed by Randall