There is one cookbook that I prize highly, though, not only for the delicious food it has directed me into making, but for the memories and associations it offers me.
The Rebar, for the unfortunates who know it not, is a wonderful funky, healthy restaurant in Victoria. To me, it epitomizes the entire West Coast ethos... fun, not taking itself too seriously, unafraid to try new things, yet respectful of life. When I lived in Vancouver, I made regular pilgrimages to Victoria's Bastion Square to eat there, and miss it badly now that I'm trapped so far away from my beloved West Coast.
When the cookbook came out, I bought it immediately and drew much solace from its pages. Although the recipes tend to be a little complex from the aspect of ingredients- I rarely have all the ingredients for a specific dish in my rather well-stocked larder- they are all worth the effort. The beautiful lay-out, the personable writing, the comforting feel of this book in the hand, and the many wonderful recipes make me pick up this cookbook over and over, even when I don't intend to cook a thing.
Comfort food, indeed, when just the cookbook itself is so satisfying. Pick it up and leaf through it next time you're browsing your local bookstore, and see if you aren't inspired by the best of the West Coast, as well.