Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Handmaid and The Carpenter: A Book Review and the Recipe it Inspired

I love immersing myself in everything Christmas this time of year.  I watch Christmas movies.  I listen to Christmas music.  I wear my Christmas socks and earrings.  I read Christmas books.

I recently shared my review of The Christmas Cookie Club.  It was a fun way to start off the season.  And it gave me some great cookie recipes too!

Image result for the handmaid and the carpenter

Then, I came across this novel by Elizabeth Berg, The Handmaid and the Carpenter.  It is fictional account of the birth of Christ and how Ms. Berg imagines that these events must have appeared and felt to those who were experiencing them.  It is told as seen through the eyes of Mary and Joseph. 

It was a quick, easy, enjoyable read at a mere 100 pages.  I read it in between batches of cookies that were in the oven.  

I was surprised at the vast amount of food mentioned in this novel.  From the very beginning, when Mary first meets Joseph at a wedding feast, the food descriptions had me salivating.  Of course, the fact that I LOVE Middle-Eastern food might have played a part.  There was skewered meats, olives, cheese, flatbread, grapes, figs, oranges, almonds, roasted meats, stews.

One of these stews caught my attention.  "Mary was at the stove, stirring the chickpea and eggplant stew she had made." (pg 61)



I did a google search of Eggplant and Chickpea stew and found a whole slew of recipes.  Who knew?  This version, adapted from Woman's Day, became our dinner for a Meatless Monday.  It is fragrant and flavorful and will be making another appearance soon, perhaps with some homemade flatbread to soak up the sauce....YUM.


This meal is perfect for a busy weeknight.  It takes 45 minutes from the time you start until you are sitting down to a hot, healthy meal.  I will make some changes for next time.  I will add garlic and increase the amount of onion.  


I will be sharing this recipe and book review over at Foodies Read.  Foodies Read is a wonderful link up hosted by Heather of Based on a True Story.  You will also find all the info that you need to join us as we link up our favorite food related fiction, nonfiction, biographies and cookbooks.

Eggplant and Chickpea Stew
adapted from Woman's Day

1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. curry powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 (15 oz) diced tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium eggplant, peeled and chopped
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed

Combine tomato sauce, cumin, curry, salt and pepper in a large sauce pot or dutch oven. Bring to a boil.  Add tomatoes, onion and eggplant.  Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes, until eggplant is tender.  Stir in chickpeas.  Heat through and serve over couscous or rice. Print Recipe.

4 comments:

  1. That sounds like a delicious read, Wendy! I will make a variation of this without the chickpeas as D is sensitive to them. Do you think white beans or pinto beans would be best?

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    Replies
    1. I would probably go with white beans but either would work.

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  2. That stew sounds awesome, and I love how easy it is to make! I think I actually have all the ingredients for it! *-*

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