Cooking with the Bible: Biblical Food, Feasts, and Lore

Overview

Since biblical times, the Judeo-Christian lifestyle has centered on meals. Extending hospitality to both friends and strangers was a divine command, and an invitation to dine was sacred. The Judeo-Christian bible is peppered with stories of meals; these range from simple meals put together quickly in order to feed a few unexpected guests, to elaborate feasts carefully prepared to please dozens of partygoers for many days. Cooking with the Bible looks at eighteen of these meals found in the Scriptures, providing ...

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Overview

Since biblical times, the Judeo-Christian lifestyle has centered on meals. Extending hospitality to both friends and strangers was a divine command, and an invitation to dine was sacred. The Judeo-Christian bible is peppered with stories of meals; these range from simple meals put together quickly in order to feed a few unexpected guests, to elaborate feasts carefully prepared to please dozens of partygoers for many days. Cooking with the Bible looks at eighteen of these meals found in the Scriptures, providing full menus and recipes for re-creating some of the dishes enjoyed by the peoples of biblical times. While describing how ancient cooks prepared their foods, Cooking with the Bible also explains how contemporary cooks might use modern techniques and appliances to prepare each of the meals. In addition, the authors recount the lore of all the ingredients used in the book, detailing their origins, the history of their cultivation, their nutritional value, and their various uses. To set the scene for each meal, the book examines the scriptural text in detail, describes the backstory for each, and, in the process, traces Judeo-Christian history from the ancient city of Ur to the lands of Egypt to the holy city of Jerusalem. Along the way, the reader will learn about the history of the bible itself. In the Middle East, eating was not and is not for daily sustenance alone—it is a way of life, and Cooking with the Bible reflects that reality, providing multiple feasts for the body, mind, and spirit.

Each chapter begins with the menu for a biblical feast. A brief essay describing the theological, historical, and cultural significance of the feast follows. Next come separate recipes for the dishes served in the meal, followed by more commentary on the dish itself, preparation methods used in biblical times, how the dish was served, and the lore surrounding individual ingredients and dishes. Recipes for a wide variety of breads, stews, rice and lentil dishes, lamb, goat, fish and venison meals, vegetable salads and cakes are detailed, all of them carefully tested. Make delicious dishes such as Rice of Beersheba, Rebekah's Tasty Lamb Stew, Date and Walnut Bread, Ful Madames and Scrambled Eggs, Pistachio Crusted Sole, Bamya, Goat's Milk and Pomegranate Syrup Torte, Haroset a la Greque, Pesach Black Bread, Watermelon Soup with Ginger and Mint, Date Manna Bread, Oven-baked Perch with Tahini, Braided Challah with Poppy Seeds and Lemon, and Friendship Cake.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"If food connects us to each other, to our families, and to our history, then Cooking With the Bible, helps to connect us to biblical stories and peoples. Selecting passages from The book of Genesis through the Gospels, authors Chiffolo and Hesse first offer an accessible, easily understood commentary on the context of each story and then, using mostly ingredients available in common grocery stores, create menus with recipes to invoke the meal highlighted in the selected passage. While cooks of all abilities would enjoy trying their hand at the recipes listed, it is a great book for small and large bible study and fellowship groups who want to engage bible stories with all their senses, not just their intellect….[C]ooking With The Bible would certainly make a strong and frequently used addition to the church library shelf."

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Food and Faith/Presbyterians Today

Library Journal
This meticulously arranged cookbook is the brainchild of Chiffolo, editorial director of Praeger Publishers, and Hesse, a chef and ordained Episcopal priest, who previously collaborated on We Thank You, God, for These: Blessings and Prayers for Family Pets. A chronology and maps precede 18 biblically inspired menus, which make up Part 1. The passages from which the menus are derived were taken from six different translations of the Bible (whichever one presented the most information about the meal). Notes are given where appropriate. Many wonderful, easy-to-follow recipes illustrate the care that was taken to explore the tastes and traditions of the Middle East, including Egyptian Caraway Seed Bread (eesh baladi), Roast Quail with Apricots and Pecans, and Ground Lamb with Potatoes and Tomatoes (Kufta). Part 2, "The Lore of the Ingredients," is a culinary dictionary, religious reference, and historical analysis in one. The book finishes with an appendix for biblical weights and measures and separate recipe and subject indexes. The only drawback is that the photographs are not in color. Recommended for most public libraries and academic libraries with strong religious or culinary studies programs.
—Rosemarie Lewis
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313334108
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/30/2006
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

ANTHONY F. CHIFFOLO, Editorial Director of Praeger Publishers, has a master's degree in the classics of Western Civilization from St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland. He is the author of 100 Names of Mary: Stories and Prayers, Advent and Christmas Wisdom with Padre Pio, Advent and Christmas with the Saints, Be Mindful of Us: Prayers to the Saints, and the compiler/editor of Padre Pio: In My Own Words, Pope John Paul II: In My Own Words, Pope John XXIII:In My Own Words, and At Prayer with the Saints. He is the co-author, with Rayner W. Hesse, Jr., of We Thank You, God, For These: Blessings and Prayers for Family Pets.

RAYNER W. HESSE, JR. (The Rev. Dr.), is the author, with Anthony F. Chiffolo, of We Thank You, God, For These: Blessings and Prayers for Family Pets. A graduate of both Union Theological Seminary and The General Theological Seminary in New York, he most recently completed his doctoral work (D. Min.) in liturgy and philosophy of religion at New York Theological Seminary. An accomplished chef and biblical scholar, Fr. Hesse is an ordained Episcopal priest serving a parish in New Rochelle, New York, where he is currently at work on a third book to be published in 2007.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Abbreviations

Introduction

The Meals

Entertaining Angels Unaware

A Birthright Worth Beans

All for a Father's Blessing

Joseph Dines with His Brothers

A Passover Meal

By the Numbers

The Reaper's Meal

Abigail Cooks to Appease

King David's Nuptials

The Lovers in the Garden

Elisha Cooks Masterfully at Gilgal

Dinner with the Governor

Esther Saves Her People

A Meal in the Wilderness

The Prodigal Son Returns

Jesus Dines with the Pharisee

The Wedding Feast at Cana

A Galilean Breakfast

The Lore of the Ingredients

Meats and Fish

Vegetables

Fruits and Nuts

Grains

Herbs and Spices

Milk, Milk Beverages, Cheeses, and Other Mik Products

Beverages

Oils

Other Ingredients

Appendix

Bibliography

Index

Abbreviations

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2008

    EXCELLENT

    This book has got to be the most researched cookbook I have ever seen. The Biblical recipes are just outstanding and the references were put together with careful thought and care. I am very thankful to have found this book and to know the history of the meals that were cooked in Biblical times. This book is a must have for any personal library and if you collect cookbooks, this is one you MUST have. --Billy Easley

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