In Full Moon Feast; Food and the Hunger for Connection, Jessica Prentice follows the thirteen lunar cycles of an agrarian year as she reflects on traditional world cuisine rooted in seasonality. Well-researched, with a bounty of historical anecdotes, the cookbook helps reveal how the pace and processing technologies of our lives have come to disconnect us from the organic pulse of the natural world.
Sprinkled with evocative quotes, each chapter offers simple and seasonal recipes ranging from Spring Tonic Nettle Soup in the “Egg Moon” chapter, to Sourdough Pancakes in the “Snow Moon” chapter. Prentice, who has been the Chef of the Headlands Center for the Arts, Director of Education Programs for CUESA, founder of the organization Wise Food Ways, and co-founder of the Locavores, has both a historical and mythopoetic understanding of the culinary arts.
For example, in discussing the ancient Greek concepts of Zoe and Bios, wherein Zoe is conceived as life in its largest sense as a self-consuming nature, Prentice notes: “This adult knowledge lies at the heart of many spiritual practices and religious traditions worldwide. When you see everything around you (animal, vegetable, mineral) as imbued with spirit, as alive and sentient, as carrying with it a crucial part of the whole; when you view all life as inextricably interconnected by a thread, a spark, of something divine; you understand that this great beautiful creation involves death and decay just as certainly as it involves birth and resurrection.”