Cookbook collecting can become a passion, an obsession that can get out of hand. Then an encounter with a special author stops you in your tracks, surprises and astounds in such a manner that the book you read and hold in your hands is not just a book. It is a treasure.
One day while cruising on Amazon.com I came across a cookbook called “Falling Cloudberries”. The title was captivating and the author, Tessa Kiros, had such an amazing and diverse background that I could not help but order the book right away. What were cloudberries anyway?
I anxiously waited for the arrival of the book. Two weeks later, I came home from work and found it on my doorstep. The anticipation of opening the box was killing me.
I waited until the chickens were in bed. I wanted to open the book while alone. Slowy and carefully, after gently prying open the box, I slid it out of its container and finally had it in my hands. It was heavy, the slipcover silky and textured. Instead of opening the book right away, I held it on my lap, like a newborn baby.
After thirty minutes I had the balls to open it. I was aghast, instantly in love with the style, the words, the photographs. I had never seen a cookbook like this. Nothing less than a work of art.
I carried it with me everywhere I went, including to work, just to have it next to me. Instead of taking lunch, I will go in my car, turn on the air and read, read, read.
I even googled the word cloudberries, which is a fruit from the berry family. When eaten fresh, cloudberries have a distinctive tart taste. When over-ripe, they have a creamy texture somewhat like yogurt and a sweetened flavor. They are similar to cranberries.
Not only did I read the book, I also tried so many of the recipes. My favorites being Barbacued Spare Ribs, Chicken Coconut & Cashew Nut Curry, Pastitsio, Ludi’s Chicken, Lentils, Rice & Red Onion Salad, Vanilla Ice Cream and Moist Chocolate Cake.
The recipes are easy to follow and her writing simply inspirational. Tessa Kiros says about her book, Fallen Cloudberries:
“ Falling cloudberries, gravadlax and strawberry tops, my grandfather’s special chips, cinnamon and orange blossom water, rice pudding, spare ribs and stroganoff, rose petals and jasmine in the summer nigh heat…these are some of the memories I carry with me from a life in many countries and a family who have loved many kitchens. They are the recipes that have stayed with me, been carried from home to home, and been given generously by many friends. These are the recipes I love.”
Since getting this cookbook, I have made a point to collect every single one of her books. I have them all. I want all her future publications because turning each page of her books is like entering into a whole new food universe, a lifestyle that is reflective of Tessa and that she is keen to share with us.
I remember one time I sent her an email and she responded to me right away.
That gesture will never be forgotten.
Tessa Kiros website.
For a taste of Tessa Kiros lifestyle and background, take a look at this video by Andrews McMeel.