Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachings: Recipes and Reflections by Edward Espe Brown is a marvelous cookbook filled with Zen insights into food, fellowship, and fiascos. The author is a Zen priest and author of The Tassajara Bread Book and Tassajara Cooking. Brown helps us in the kitchen because he knows about the spiritual practices of attention, being present, imagination, shadow, and enthusiasm. He celebrates the virtues of radishes, talks about the importance of sharp knives, relishes the pleasures of cooking over fire, ponders the harmonizing of flavors and tastes, listens for the cries of beets in the market, and knows just what to do with leftovers.
He reminds us of the words of Shanryu Suzuki Roshi who told him, "You are not just working on food, you are working on yourself, you are working on other people." In the kitchen Brown learns a lot about intimacy, anger, shared knowledge, struggle, and empowering others. His Zen stories are witty and wonderful. Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachings is a wise and totally distinctive example of the rewards of everyday spirituality.