Pachamana’s Beautiful Food (Review)

Myra Kornfeld Reviews and interviews 0 Comments

Cooking with the Muse – a lovely warm book review for a cold, cold day

An unexpected gift turned out to be a lovely treasure:



Cooking with the Muse:  A Sumptous Gathering of Seasonal Recipes, Culinary Poetry, and Literary Fare   by Myra Kornfeld and Stephen Massimilla.

Thanks to an inquiry about finding an agent for my own upcoming cookbook Pachamama’s Beautiful Food, I was serendipitously connected with a culinary book agent, and one email later, read I was being gifted a copy of this rightfully described SUMPTUOUS  book. I had mentioned to her that in perusing her recent titles, I was particularly drawn to Cooking with the Muse.

When I received the book, I was excited. Still in its envelope packaging, it had a definite heft and size, and I was impatient to open it up and delve in.

As you can guess from the photo above, the book is absolutely gorgeous. And fascinating.

Co-authors Stephen Massimilla and Myra Kornfeld celebrate the deep connection between poetry and food, revealing how literature and poetry honor the glories of fresh ingredients, nutritious cooking and delectable dishes.

I have never seen a cookbook that had delved so deeply into the history of food related poetry; and if you are as fascinated by food culture and history as I am, you’ll enjoy reading Cooking with the Muse, even if you aren’t cooking recipes from it. And as  a woman who rhapsodizes on nature and food, and blends spirituality into every recipe, I am in heaven with this book.

But yes, dear reader, I wanted to cook recipes from it, and there are many I have marked – including a smooth, delicious looking, layered “Spiced Espresso Chocolate Pudding with Pumpkin Whipped Cream” — YUM! And for summer, “Cantalope-Tomato Salad with Olives, Ricotta and Basil Vinaigrette,” along with many more. All of the recipes are gluten free, and include many selections that are vegetarian, along with many that are meat, seafood and poultry based.

And though I wanted to make nearly every recipe I encountered, I chose this one –

Mediterranean Cauliflower – Kale Roast with Feta



The flavors are at once rich, sharp, lively and bright.



It’s a lovely combination, and to me, perfect for cold weather. Myra and Stephen offer the recipe in the Winter chapter of the book. Leafing through all the imaginative recipes and thoughtful, unique and beautiful poetry gleaned to harmonize with them, I found myself longing for summer –



when I can offer my own personal “Ode to the Watermelon.”

Visit  to find out more about this luscious book that you should surely add to your collection. Published by Tupelo Press.

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