Cookworks “A Taste of Heaven”

Suzanne and I each picked a recipe from this darling little cookbook, A Taste of Heaven.

Part travel guide, part cookbook, A Taste of Heaven is a delightful survey of the fine food and drink made by Catholic religious orders in America, Belgium, France, and Germany. From positively scrumptious beer and cheese to some of the richest chocolate on earth, the treats presented in this book are heavenly indeed, and author Madeline Scherb beautifully captures the heart and spirit of the holy work that goes into producing them. With vivid descriptions of the monasteries, their fascinating histories, and helpful advice for travelers on getting there and getting the most out of their visit, this book will serve as an invaluable guide. A Taste of Heaven also contains more than thirty recipes from notable chefs that incorporate the products found at these monasteries, as well as a helpful guide to buying and ordering these delectable ingredients if you are unable to travel to the monasteries themselves.

And check it out… Suzanne (who chose this book as the one to review) is in line with the book world energy… The New York Times reviewed the same book.  Weird, right?!  Annye Camara, owner of Annye’s Whole Foods, told us today.  Thanks Annye.

Carbonades Flamandes (Beef Stew from Flanders)

The recipe was easy. I replaced the beer they asked for since, I had no idea where to get it on Nantucket ,with
a stout from Cisco Brewery.
I was a little worried at first because it really didn’t taste like much but when you add in the vinegar and the currant jelly at the end… that’s what we’re talking about!  Excellent!
I made up some Yukon Gold french fries in the oven with some olive oil and kosher salt and served the stew over the fries.  Definitely recommend it.
—  Suzanne

Brother Victor’s Pear Clafoutis (Pears Baked in Custard with Caramels)

After Suzanne chose the cookbook, I flipped through it and found a few enticing recipes.  But when I took the time to look a bit closer I saw that a few of the recipes come from Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey, totally nestled in my home state…. Iowa!  So to represent, I chose one of their dessert recipes.  I’m not the best baker, but even I could follow this simple recipe.

The recipe calls for halved pears, but if I were to do it again I’d cut them into smaller pieces.  They were a little too crispy for my taste.  That could also be contributed to the time of year and the pears I found also.

I’m glad I grabbed a decent sized bag of caramels, since my roommate kept stealing them.

The custard smelled amazing…

Bon Appetit!   —Dani

If these sound interesting, come check out A Taste of Heaven at Bookworks.

To add to our recipes… I made a beer soup.  The other recipes turned out so well… I thought, what the heck!

Creamy Beer Soup

This recipe made me curious… it’s pretty much a lot of beer, some water, a little heavy cream and a few egg yolks.  “How could this be so heavenly?” I asked.  “Good question.” I can now answer.  I love beer, and I like to think that in Heaven, there is beer… but I think this may be where I draw the line…

Here’s the ingredients…  super simple.

The whole apartment smelled like bread… that was nice.  At first, when I was boiling the beer and water together all was fine…. fine … fine … then all the sudden it was like a foam mushroom cloud.  Be careful.  Once the beer starts to boil, it needs to come off the heat.  I narrowly averted a beer soup countertop.

Then I added the sugar, egg yolks and cinnamon.  That’s when it really started to smell good.  The soup just needed to be heated for while longer and then it was ready to eat.  I served it with Six Grain bread from Something Natural.

Sadly, the soup smelled better than it tasted.  It wasn’t bad… it was delicious to dip my bread in… but the soup itself was not really for me.  You could definitely taste the beer… it was a lot like drinking bread.  I used a dark beer; Cisco Brewery’s Santa’s Beered, to be exact.  Maybe if you used a lighter beer.. Whale’s Tale or Grey Lady.  Or if you’re not local Stella or Becks, perhaps.  It might make a difference, but it was just a lot of beer.



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