One of my daughter's friends sent me a book she thought I might enjoy reading – and I certainly did. The Secrets of Pistolet, text and illustrations by Jana Kolpen is a delightful adult book which looks like a picture book for children.
The Secrets of Pistolet, text and illustrations by Jana Kolpen is a delightful adult book which looks like a picture book for children. This is the kind of book which is sometimes the unexpected reward for browsing through a bookstore. Whimsical illustrations enhance each page. A pseudo cook book, it is also interactive as the recipes are in envelopes and one has to pull out the cards to read the instructions. These recipes are guaranteed to correct the emotional problems of the persons who visit this magical farm in France. They are prescriptions for happiness as each has very specific instructions on the right ingredients and method of cooking which will reorient the troubled persons. "All who spend time at Pistolet leave with their hearts and minds transformed."
When you pull out a recipe there are wonderful instructions like: 'go to the farmers' market and buy only from smiling gypsy women'. OR 'go to the farmers' market and find the most robust farmer with the rosiest complexion. With tender loving care pick out the deepest purple, firmest beets.'
The instructions include things like 'While you are cooking, put on gypsy music and dance wildly', OR 'play lullabies until ready'. There are also warnings on the consequences of eating these enchanted preparations – 'One taste of this potion and the afflicted heart will swell with compassion and generosity' Or 'Serve only to those who are truly in need'. OR 'This infusion has been known to turn the meekest souls into BRAVE HEARTS' OR 'Sweetness will ooze from the pores of even the most gnarly types.'
It's a feel-good book which will lift your spirits. It's also a cookbook with recipes which only brave hearts will try. (One reviewer said she had tried them!) Because, if you can't find the real, yet magical ingredients, will it have the desired effect?
Actually this book set me thinking about how we prepare food, and how the secret ingredient that makes food magical is really only love. In part 2 I will expand on this.