Book Review: Cooking with Herb, by Cedella Marley
In Cedella Marley’s first cookbook, Cooking with Herb; 75 Recipes for the Marley Natural Lifestyle, the eldest daughter of reggae legend Bob Marley, offers family recipes to make you feel IRIE! And, just as my family covets our grandmother’s chicken soup and brisket recipes for their restorative and spiritual properties, so too do the Marleys. Except, all recipes in Cooking with Herb feature one of three Herb-infusions – CannaOil, CannaButter, or CannaVanilla extract. With cannabis as the common herb throughout the recipes, I bet the family dinners in the Marley house were a lot more fun than mine.
Told in first-person-perspective with beautiful color photographs, Cedella unfolds many happy memories of growing up in the Marley family. And, while she was only 13 at the time of her father’s death, her stories provide a heartwarming element to the cooking instructions.
More than just a collection of recipes, the book’s 230+ pages also include canna-tips on natural beauty and wellness, practical information on family celebrations and even a dictionary of Jamaican and Cannabis terminology. But, don’t let the commentary detract from the main show, which is most definitely the 75 recipes highlighted, all with a nod to Jamaica and the West Indies.
All of your favorite Island dishes are highlighted, including Jerk Chicken, Banana Fritters and Sticky Sweet Potato Pudding, and all are made the Marley way. The book, published by Pam Krauss Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, also represents a major inflection point for cannabis cook books, which were typically relegated to underground and self publishing, and not considered mainstream enough for the general mass public. Kudos to Krauss and co. for taking on this controversial ingredient in such a stylistic, epicurean way.
And, while on the surface, my family has little in common with the Marley family, as Cedella explains, “Eating is important to my family and always has been,” and that’s something all families can relate to. And, who wouldn’t be happy eating food from Cedella Marley’s kitchen when it’s made with that extra ingredient – love. Cooking with Herb; 75 Recipes for the Marley Natural Lifestyle is the most engaging cookbook of its kind, as in “the kind” that goes into it.
Somehow, I know that Bob Marley is smiling down on Cedella and all of her readers, singing, “Quench me when I’m thirsty; Come on and cool me down, baby, when I’m hot. Your recipe is, – darlin’ – is so tasty, When you show and stir your pot,” (lyrics from Bob Marley’s ‘Stir It Up’).