|A compilation of spirited
food, drink, and travel
Wisconsin journalist Madeline Scherb recently published A Taste of Heaven: A Guide to Food and Drink Made by Monks and Nuns (Tarcher, 2009), part cookbook, part travel guide.
According to her Amazon biography, Scherb, a Catholic and member of St. Bernard Parish in Middleton, WI, first came up with the idea for A Taste of Heaven while completing a journalism fellowship in 2003. Financing her efforts with her personal savings, Scherb took six years to complete the book and traveled to more than a dozen abbeys in the United States and Europe.
She offers many insights into religious life, including this observation from her introduction:
Perhaps the greatest lesson to be learned from the example of monks and nuns is that a life lived simply can be both rewarding and sustainable. Monks and nuns don't live to work, they live to pray. They work only as much as they need to, but they give it their best effort every day. They work whether they are young or old according to their abilities (an octogenarian nun was recently spotted making chocolates at Bonneval, while monks of a similar age staff the reception desk at Gethsemani).