This is a love story. A story of entwined lovers who share a passion for beauty, art and food. Ruth, who wrote the cookbook, and her love, David, who illustrated it. It is also, most obviously, a story of Ruth's love for morels and the recipes she has created to celebrate them.
The Art of Cooking Morels impacted me so strongly that I have placed it high up on a shelf of its own, as a treasured text to be pulled down often and paged through for the sheer enjoyment of the exquisite art and the inspired recipes. This is not a normal cookbook. It is an experience. A piece of art. A good read. Bravo to The University of Michigan Press for pushing it out into the cookbook world for those of us who so yearn to be drawn back to a connection with the miracle and beauty of food and place.
Morels are of the earth, earthy. They have a smell and texture that defy explanation.
Yes, they are not easily found in every grocery store. Could the treasure hunt to find them be part of their mythic allure? Fresh morels may be hard to find, but take heart. Here is where the everyday home cook can easily order them fresh or dried:
Now, go out and buy The Art of Cooking Morels. Order your morels if you can't find them locally. If they are dried, Ruth tells you how to easily reconstitute them. They are so delightful to cook with that you will wonder why you never tried them before.
And treasure this gem of a cookbook. If there were a museum of cookbooks, you would find this one under glass.
The Art of Cooking Morels , by Ruth Mossok Johnston with illustrations by David McCall Johnston.