Thursday, November 5, 2009

"The IDEAL Way to Cook"

“The IDEAL Way to Cook: Food for Thought” cookbook sits on my desk, hot off the presses. A couple of years ago, friends of Adeline “Addie” Daabous, Executive Director of IDEAL, approached her with the idea of a cookbook. Not just your run-of-the-mill cookbook, either, but one that would contain all her recipes. (I had sampled Addie’s cooking, so images of a cookbook containing her delicious recipes danced in my head. I kept my fingers firmly crossed that she would agree to our request.)

Let’s fact it, any cook worth their salt keeps their secrets under lock and key. They may be willing to share their favourite recipes with their loved ones…but the entire community? In the end, Addie graciously agreed to donate all her recipes to charity: IDEAL-WAY Inc.

As Addie said, “Initially, I thought oh no, giving away all my secrets. When I realized it was for IDEAL, I could not resist. This is not “just” another cookbook. Its contents are uniquely different, in ways which will surprise and delight you, with proceeds going to a worthwhile cause. This book is dedicated to all the “special” individuals we support. May they be honoured and recognized for their wonderful gifts to your community.”

As I leaf through this cookbook that is more than a cookbook, I realize that it will not only become a favourite in my kitchen - ultimately stained with gravy, tomato sauce, and my personal favourite, chocolate - but on my coffee table, too. This is the kind of book that you read out loud to your children before bedtime, or share with visitors, for it’s chockfull of “heartwarming personal stories of joy and hardship,” as well as poetry, which “provides a window of insight into often overlooked capabilities of persons with intellectual disabilities.”

The following is an excerpt from “The IDEAL Way to Cook: Food for Thought:

Welcome to Holland

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability, to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this…

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. Michelangelo’s David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills…and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy…and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away…because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.

But…if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things…about Holland.
copyright 1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
Special thanks to Pearson Canada for without them, "The Ideal Way to Cook, Food for Thought" cookbook would not have been possible.



Maria said...

I absolutely love what I have read about the IdealWay cookbook. Great concept! How do I get copies for Christmas gifts? Thanks very much for sharing the information Maureen.

Maureen Lee said...

Thanks, Maria, for your feedback on the cookbook! If you'd like to order the cookbook, here is the contact information:


Or if you'd like to contact us via mail or telephone:
33A-145 The West Mall
Toronto, Ontario
M9C 4V2

Main Office: 416-620-4500

I agree - it would make a wonderful Christmas gift!

simona said...

i have just received “The IDEAL Way to Cook: Food for Thought” and WOW!

for cooks and chefs it's a fabulous must-have treasure trove of mouth watering recipes.

Maria, as a Christmas gift, this is one gorgeous coffee table book with lots of heart-grabbing human interest stories, delightful poems.

plus, its very useful cooking tips and famous quotes are so fascinating that even my TV sports addicted hubby can't put it down!

God bless Addie for donating her prize family recipes to charity. ideal-way has a real winner.

Laquisha said...

I can't wait to see all the great recipes! Yum. :)

Maryellen, Mississauga said...

My friend just brought her copy of the Ideal Way to Cook book to the office. I've never seen so much interest in a book! I was finally able to get my hands on it to have a look thru and it was well worth the wait. The book has a little of everything and is not your run-of-the-mill cookbook. Kudos to Ideal Way for this innovative and informative publication. The recipes and stories alone are worth far more than the $25 cost!
My Christmas shopping is done, Maureen!

Maureen Lee said...

Thanks for your wonderful feedback on The IDEAL Way to Cook cookbook, Simona, Laquisha, and Maryellen! My Christmas shopping is done, too, for I agree: The recipes and stories alone are worth far more than the $25 cost!

I also enjoyed re-reading the wonderful poetry, and many of the IDEAL tips are new to me! It really does have a little bit of everything, and we appreciate your kind words. Enjoy!

Don said...

The IDEAL Way To Cook should be labeled with a warning ... "Too delicious to resist second helpings."

I know because, 6 months after Addie and me were married, I had gained 26 lbs! Yikes! Then it took me 12 months to lose 26 lbs. Funny how that works.

Seriously, everyone that tries Addie's recipes says they are "fabulous!" They can't ALL be wrong. Bon appetite.

Maureen Lee said...

Don, Add me to the growing fan base of "The IDEAL WAY to Cook" -"Everyone that tries Addie's recipes says they are "fabulous!" simply because...they are! I was surprised the other day when my mother didn't make her time-honoured recipe for a pot-luck luncheon. Apparently, she's making something from the IDEAL WAY cookbook!

Thanks for the heads-up about possible weight gain! I agree, a label on the second edition is in order...

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