When I first began cooking for my nonagenarian grandfather, I was surprised at the dearth of good-quality cookbooks tailored to those caring for elderly or ill people. Nourishing, delicious, whole foods can make such an enormous difference that you'd think the market would be flooded with such books! All too frequently, though, when someone cannot eat his or her regular fare for whatever reason, something dreadful like "complete liquid meal replacements" is pushed as the only alternative. As my grandmother used to say, "I'd rather eat a bug."
Thank goodness, we have _Laurel's Kitchen Caring_ to provide a treasure-trove of wisdom, recipes, and tried and true techniques. I have thumbed through this book so many times that I no longer need the index. It's the kind of book that feels like it was written by friends, and provides real comfort, reassurance, and guidance. I love that the recipes are so simple to use as they are, and also that they can be easily tailored for individual dietary needs; additionally, they work as jumping-off points for other culinary endeavors. This is the sort of cookbook that just makes you a better cook, plain and simple -- and probably helps to make you a better person, too.
If you are caring for someone, or have a family member or friend who is, PLEASE purchase this book. (The timbales alone are worth the price of the book, so everything else should be considered a bonus.)
As a caregiver, it's been a saving grace for me -- and I know my grandfather appreciates the many meals inspired by its pages, too.
Update April 2013 -- As I have had more time with this beautiful book, I appreciate more and more the quiet, wise compassion throughout. Some of the suggestions about care -- including for the caregiver -- are so healing, so supportive. I've found my own spiritual practice deepened and enriched just by following the very simple suggestion about prayer. I have found more support and solace in this little book of kitchen caring than in virtually any other guide for caregivers. It is an absolute treasure.