"Think Bible, think two thousand years of history, think Mediterranean...think loaves and fishes!" says Wendy Barrie as she takes on a new project in an unusual conjunction with The Scottish Bible Society.
"Healthy eating and the life-giving and social properties of food all come into the mix. When I was approached I was intrigued by the idea of using the Bible as a starting point for an educational food demonstration for all ages."
Scottish food expert and writer Barrie has been working with the charity focussing on the world of the Bible and food. The outcome of this collaboration is A Good Book Cook Book, containing new recipes for a buffet meal and a dinner party and offering a thoroughly modern and practical look at the food that is often central to many Bible stories. The photographic illustrations show all of the recipes in full colour.
Food and the business of preparing and eating it together have always been important in every culture. In the Old and New Testaments of the Bible food is written about often and in many different contexts.
The first miracle that Jesus is said to have performed was during a meal at a wedding party. The last supper that he took with his disciples is one of the major episodes of the gospel stories.
After his resurrection Jesus shared meals with his followers in lots of different places. Throughout the Bible, the importance of sharing meals and of hospitality is emphasised.
"I've had great fun researching in the Good Book and coming up with recipes and links that will inform and intrigue different adult groups as well as fitting in with the school curriculum," says Barrie. "There's a very lively world in the word."
Barrie spends a lot of her time working throughout Scotland, meeting Scottish cooks and restaurateurs and promoting good, healthy, local food.
"Just as with the Bible, the stories and messages around food have been in the public domain forever. All of the time I'm looking for a new angle, for a different way of bringing old favourites to people's attention.
"There's no lack of interest and it is easy to argue that my subject matter is life giving, yet we all occasionally have a jaded palate."
"What we serve up has to reflect the love and care that has gone into the preparation. We need always to consider that food is not an end in itself. It can be something so much more and that's what I want to try to put across in this latest project."
Scottish Bible Society brings Scripture and food together in new cook book
Published 14 November 2007