Submitted by: Joseph Wu

Latest update: June 8, 2009


Recipes are like maps and picture books. They lead and provide an idea of how particular foods are prepared. They cannot, however, capture the graceful art of chopping vegetables or the rhythmic kneading of bread dough. Neither can they offer the friendships that develop while learning to cook from another person. Use the recipes, but look for opportunities to cook with and learn from others.

Extending the Table

This is a collection of my favourite recipes. These include recipes adapted from various cook books and TV shows, and from my own experiments in the kitchen.

The categories are organized in the same way as my favourite cook book, Extending the Table...A World Community Cookbook, by Joetta Handrich Schlabach. It is a set of recipes collected by Mennonite missionaries from around the world. As much as the food, I very much enjoy the vignettes, anecdotes, and prayers that accompany the recipes in that book. I highly recommend it!

I recently discovered Appetite: so what do you want to eat today? by Nigel Slater. It's very much my way of cooking: use the recipe as a guide, but make it your own. Nigel answers the question, "why cook?" in this way:

What I want to say is that if you do decide to go through life without cooking, you are missing something very, very special. You are losing out on one of the greatest pleasures you can have with your clothes on. Cooking can be as passionate, creative, life-enhancing, uplifting, satisfying, and downright exhilarating as anything else you can do with your life. Feeling, sniffing, chopping, sizzling, grilling, frying, roasting, baking, tasting, licking, sucking, biting, savouring, and swallowing food are pleasures that would, to put it mildly, be a crime to miss out on. Add to that the buzz, the satisfying tingle that goes down your spine when you watch someone eating something you have made for them, and you have one of the greatest joys known to man.