05 March 2012

Joy is a joy to read!

I just finished (re)reading Joy Tienzo's book, Cook, Eat, Thrive: Vegan Recipes from Everyday to Exotic, and I must say that I'm suitably impressed. Her ever-present kindness and thoughtfulness come through very strongly in her writing. Reading her book is like having a long chat with her, and enjoying her company.

The title says it all: everyday to exotic. She doesn't dumb down the flavours to appeal to boring people. Instead, she dares you to try stuff that you hadn't considered before, in new and exciting ways. With Joy, cooking is an adventure. As soon as I got it (even though I was at work), I started flipping through the pages of the book, and exclaiming in excitement at the delicious food that my boss and I could create.

White beans in mashed potatoes! How brilliant! Samosa soup! Yes yes yes! I'm totally there! Edamame pesto! Why hand't I thought of that before? I keep flipping pages, and exclaiming in surprise and delight, over and over again.

I remember when I first saw Joy posting on the vegan forums that I used to frequent. I saw all the mouth-watering food she'd post, and I'd go and make it, to see that it really does work. Her recipe for Hatian Fried Plantains was a staple in my house when Steve and I were newly married, because it was so tasty and easy to knock up in no time at all. Her ranch dressing has saved countless cows, because I know a couple of folk whom she generously shared the recipe with who were pushed over the vegan edge once they saw they could really make it work. I made her almond crepes (yes, they finally did work, even though my first attempt failed because I misread the recipe), and they're absolutely lovely. Her Moroccan Preserved Lemons are absolutely divine.

Thanks, Joy. Thanks for creating a work of love, and compassion, and beauty. Thanks for continuing to be an inspiration for people to strive for (and achieve) the best that they can. Thanks for being a wonderful, kind, and loving person.