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From Saint Hildegarde’s Kitchen

By Jany Fournier-Rosset,

Liguori, Missouri, 2010,

RRP $24.95

Reviewed by Barbara Bailey.

THIS ENCHANTING publication links the medieval world with the twenty-first century.

Jany Fournier-Rosset, a mother and chef who is also a lay oblate with the order of St. Benedict, has brought the wisdom of the twelfth century St. Hildegard to us as a recipe book infused with the Saint’s spirituality.

In the real sense, it is a simple cook book in which Ms Fournier-Rosset has listed 93 recipes for today based on the earlier writings and discoveries of this visionary Saint.

St. Hildegard saw God as first in everything, the source of all life, and her writings became an essential link between God and good health.

She was a mystic, a composer, an apothecary and a naturalist who received visions from heaven about human nutrition.

She believed in “foods of joy” which revitalise the physical, spiritual and psychological aspects of humans, as well as
foods of sadness” which sap health and vitality.

She was a proponent of moderation and discretion who said, “Everywhere in creation, trees, plants, animals and gems, there are mysterious healing forces, which no person can know unless they are revealed to him by God.”

This 223 page publication is set out as a recipe book with an impressive index of ingredients, glossary of cooking terms, and conversion charts, alongside quotes from the Saint herself.

Many of St. Benedict’s table graces are also included.

If you want to know the secret of spelt flour, why lettuce should have a dressing, what time you should eat your first meal of the day, or what the difference is between an infusion and a decoction, then this book is for you.

It is a delightfully different and insightful publication.

Highly recommended for those who love to cook healthy food, and those who wish to reflect on this medieval wisdom.