“Share: The Cookbook That Celebrates Our Common Humanity” by Alison Oakervee, published 2013 by Kyle Books
***** Five Stars from me for this inspiring book: I loved this book before I cooked any of the delicious food. The stunning photos of the countries and dishes bewitched me and I lost myself in the stories of the women all over the world telling their stories and the achievements of “Women for Women International”. Thank you Kyle Books for publishing it.
This very special cookbook is edited by Alison Oakerwee and foreworded by Meryl Streep. The stunning food-photos are from Philip Webb.
The book is also illustrated with beautiful photos from countrysides, landscapes and people from different countries. The photos are so lifely and clear, just beautiful. Thank you for the team of photographers for these magnificent photos.
There is a short introduction to the work of “Women for Women International” after the foreword. “Women for Women International” was founded by Zainab Salbi in 1993 to support women in war and crisis-stricken countries, to allow them adequate access to information and resources, and support them to provide for themselves and their families (www.womenforwomen.org).
This cookbook is divided into four big chapters:
Enjoy – daily recipes from Afghanistan and Sudan with contributions from Alice Waters, Paul McCartney and Annie Lennox;
Promote – family recipes from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq, Congo with contributions from Sir Richard Branson, Mia Farrow and Emma Thompson;
Share – recipes to share the products of “WfWI- farms” in Rwanda, Nigeria and Kosovo with contributions from Rene Redzepi, Stephanie Alexander and Ashley Judd;
Celebrate – recipes for peace on our tables for more humanity with contributions from Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
The recipes are partially from the women living in the war-torn countries in which WfWI operate. Each chapter begins with an information about the country and moving stories from the women whose lives have been changed through the intervention of WfWI.
Other recipes come from international chefs such as Alice Waters, Maggie Beer and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jamie Oliver, and humanitarians such as Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and many celebrities such as Emma Thompson, Richard Branson, Paul McCartney, Mia Farrow, Meryl Streep, Ashley Judd, Peter Gabriel, Judi Dench and many many more. All of them delivering their favourite recipes for a very special cookbook.
All of the recipes are easy to follow and range from traditional Afghani bichak pastries, over light vegetable salads, lovely soups, Baseema biscuits from Sudan, Congolese sticky doughnuts, green Thai curry, pizza, pasta, blueberry pan cakes, baklava, risotto with spinach and fennel, Qeema o titan from Iraq, aubergine curry, tandoori chicken, spicy cashew and tomato soup, beef rendang and orange-scented almond cake and many more up to 114 recipes as different as the contributors.
It is reassuring to read that celebrities also do love “Spaghetti Bolognese oder Penne with pesto or just Pizza with tomatoes and mozzarella”. You will find very simple and easy comfort food recipes as well as very exotic and unknown recipes from different countries in this book. It feels as if the whole world came closer together and all sit around a huge table to dine together with their favourite dishes. Just pick one and enjoy it.
All the royalties from this book “Share” will support WfWI’s farming and food training initiatives, as well as provide micro-financing in the eight countries in which WfWI operate – Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Sudan. This is reason enough to buy it. A wonderful book for all women and men of this world.
I also tried a few recipes and selected three of them to serve you:
The first recipe is from Meryl Streep: “Barley Salad with Feta Cheese and Pomegranate”. It is a delicious salad, we loved it and couldn’t stop spooning. Delicious!
The second recipe is from Ann Firth Murray: Squares with Oats, Fruits and Nuts. Gorgeous! I couldn’t wait until they cooled down a little and started nibbling, that’s why they look little crumbly.
And of course, I had to try a recipe from Judi Dench. I remembered a friend in India who was telling us about “bread and butter pudding” of his grandma and I think this recipe is as perfect as hers. I used dried apricots instead of raisins. For the first time in my life I made a butterscotch sauce, yummy!