by Kennedy Hassett
WILD VEGETARIAN COOKBOOK
by Wildman Steve Brill
Harvard Common Press, 2002. 500 pgs., $29.95 (hardback)
To say that this book moves beyond regular culinary fare is a serious
understatement. This is a breakthrough in the world of cooking guides
a true ancestral adventure. When was the last time you went foraging as
a happy hour activity before dining? Foraging may well become a new pastime
and survival skill reinvented. And you get 500 delicious healthy recipes.
Wildman Steve Brill has searched the forests and hillsides for willing
participants to add to an otherwise tame food soiree. Now there's an idea
have a wild foods soiree! Sounds fun and so is perusing this big
book. You read about gathering, preparing and cooking all types of natural
foods, plus adaptations and seasonings all from an environmentally
sensitive perspective. The book is divided into seasonal sections to make
the harvesting easy. One of my favorites is Thai Pumpkin Soup. The Baked
Chicken Mushrooms were quite different for me, never having heard of a
chicken mushroom. The recipes are truly unusual a spark for your
kitchen and imagination.
Steve Brill also authored Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal
Plants in Wild (and not so wild) Places and has created a wildfood website:
and a video series, Foraging With the "Wildman."
THE CHOPRA CENTER HERBAL HANDBOOK
By Deepak Chopra, MD and David Simon, MD
Three Rivers Press, 2000, 260 pgs., $14.95
This is a masterpiece of practical and professional information on herbs,
with background from Ayurvedic medicine from two of the top guns in alternative
health and well being. It is a fascinating read, well put together and
well referenced. Anyone can find something here, from the herbal entrepreneur
or practitioner to the highly skeptical allopathic devotee.
The section on the 40 herbs used at the Chopra center is impressive. You
will find botanical and phytochemical information, practical uses, precautions
and scientific information on the specific herbs. You can also refer to
specific ailments or appropriateness for body type. This is a finely tuned
guide. The abundant bibliography will transport enthusiasts to heaven!
This book is true to Ayurvedic medicine and contains quintessential Chopra
and Simon wisdom it is a journey to deep well being, not just physical
health. A must for your library, whether you have traversed herbal topography
extensively, or are just setting foot for the first time.
Deepak Chopra, MD is founder of The Chopra Center in La Jolla, California
and an internationally distinguished author and healer, being one of the
first to bring Ayurvedic Medicine to America. David Simon, MD is the medical
director at the center.
DOGS: Animals as Guides to Our Inner Life
By Jean Houston, Ph.D.
Inner Ocean Publishing, 2002, 206 pgs., $19.95 (hardcover) www.jeanhouston.com
Once again Jean Houston weaves together a matrix of possibilities, this
time through heartwarming stories about those blessed four-leggeds
dogs or gods as you may see them by the end of the book! Before
I got far into chapter 1, I was laughing, tearing up and feeling awe of
the gentle creatures that have graced my life, remapping my status on
the Mystical Path. By page 9, I was deeply involved in this poignant,
joyful book that beautifully illustrates each step of the mystical life
through the lives of canine friends and guides.
One of the purveyors of grace in the book is Chickie, a welsh corgi/bearded
collie mix, who opens the door for a great awakening. She is followed
by Champ, then Titan a great mastiff imbued with the essence of
love. The Airedales bring voices and visions, Zingua and other guides
and partners ultimately lead to unitive consciousness.
Each chapter is a multi-sensory experience of wisdom and delight, waves
of emotion and deep waters of the psyche. The stories will remain with
you, illuminating and entertaining, creating a soul connection with all
creatures and things. Enjoy this gem with your companion by your side.
Jean Houston is an internationally known author, teacher, researcher and
evocateur of the possible. She is cofounder of The Foundation for Mind
Research with her husband Robert Masters. She has written 18 books, including
the best-selling Possible Human, A Mythic Life and The Search for the
Beloved. For information on upcoming programs contact www.jeanhouston.com
Kennedy Hassett, MA, is a licensed Heartmath trainer and Mindbody practitioner
specializing in stress medicine. She works with individuals and businesses
across the US. Reach her at email@example.com
or (206) 364-4842.