While in London a few weeks ago, I read a fantastic little book on food and spirituality by Father Robert Farrar Capon called The Supper of the Lamb. I loved the book, even though it was written in the 60's. Especially because it was written in the 60's. Its still works today! This guy has similar taste in cuisine and talks in my language. He loves economy, taste, celebration, hospitality, thrift, pleasure, and more importantly, he sees the divine in the breadcrumbs and the yeast. Now I see that Michael Spencer has a very hyper-linky post on Capon's work that he blogged yesterday at Boars Head Tavern – obviously the first step for anyone discovering this priest-chef.
The church began with a meal. The Church needs to come back to the kitchen and get itself sorted again. The Church needs to rethink the puny wafer and thimble ritual and get back to the love feast which is a MEAL that takes TIME and happens MORE than once a week and has LEFTOVERS which can given to the POOR (the justice element) and resembles a PARTY that is full of HOPE towards the FEAST that awaits us with our SAVIOR who is not drinking wine until we get there to toast with Him. Jesus said DO THIS in remembrance of me. We would do well to ask "WHAT?"
Other books on cooking and spirituality that I recommend are:
– The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking by Brother Rick Curry (also recommended by Michael)
– Mealtime Habits of the Messiah, by Congrad Gempf, which is bigger on Bible than bread but worth reading.
– Appetite, by Nigel Slater, which does not count as a "spiritual" book per se but it will teach you to love cooking and advise you on how to stock your kitchen. Nigel's "New Cook Survival Guide" from this book [read it for free here] is a great guide to get started.