The Most Important Point: Zen Teachings of Edward Espe Brown
Edited by Danny S. Parker
Sounds True 2019; 225 pp., $17.95 (paper)
Edward Espe Brown, author of the classic Tassajara Bread Book, offers his kitchen-sink wisdom on how we can be more creative, comfortable cooks, and then bring that same spirit into the whole of our lives. Though he’s a Zen priest, Brown never talks from on high. Instead he shows us his full humanity, which helps us see and accept our own, and he’s never prescriptive. Sometimes, for example, someone will ask him at a cooking demonstration exactly how much salt he put in the sauce. “I put salt in until I liked it—to my own taste,” he tells them. “Do you want to trust your own taste, your own tongue, or do you want to think that you are going to get it right by doing what I did?” Brown’s passion is encouraging experimentation, but he also shares a few lovely recipes, such as one I like for warm, soft chocolate cake.