After writing my love letter to the Moosewood family of cookbooks, I’ve been wanting to write about my other long-time favorite cookbooks, Horn of the Moon and Beyond the Moon by Ginny Callan, the founder/owner of the well-known – and for a long time, only – vegetarian restaurant in Montpelier, Vermont, the Horn of the Moon Café, from 1977 to 1990, when she sold the restaurant to spend more time with her family. (See this 2005 article from The Rutland (Vt.) Herald for more about the Horn of the Moon Café.)
The restaurant isn’t there anymore, and we only ate there once, but we used these cookbooks often when we lived in Vermont during the late 80s and cooked a lot of vegetarian meals. We still pull out several of the recipes on a regular basis. Many of the recipes in Horn of the Moon and Beyond the Moon require a lot of prep work, and we don’t spend as much time cooking as we used to, but the Baked Artichoke Dip (slightly modified) and the Roasted Nuts have made an appearance at just about every family party for a couple of decades.
All of the recipes are 100% meat-free, but many call for ingredients like cheese, eggs, butter, white flour, and heavy cream that were typical of vegetarian cooking in the 70s and 80s, but are used more sparingly now. Some of the more complicated recipes are truly fantastic (e.g. Tofu Cutlets with Mushroom Sauce from Horn of the Moon and Black Bean Enchiladas, Savory Sweet Potato Strudel, Baja Black Bean and Chili Pie, and Asparagus Lasagna from Beyond the Moon) but I only make those big productions once in a great while.
It’s the soup recipes from Horn of the Moon that we turned to over and over back then and still use today – especially the Canadian Split Pea that even the kids would eat (minus the turnip) and the Potato Cheddar and the Corn and Cheese Chowder. Simple to make, but real crowd-pleasers, even for non-vegetarians. (Unlike Lentil Burgers, another favorite recipe, but one that got us a few strange looks from members of our extended family.)
The recipe for Corn and Cheese Chowder was printed in a 1995 newspaper article in The Milwaukee Journal that may be found online here.
These cookbooks are really versatile and great for a home cook, because the recipes range from simple to complicated, but call for ingredients you will easily find in most supermarkets or produce stores. (I especially like how the author stars the easier-to-make recipes in Beyond the Moon, marking them as “Beginner-Friendly”.)
Unfortunately, both Horn of the Moon Cookbook and Beyond the Moon Cookbook are only available used now. Researching for this post, I saw an article that said author Ginny Callan was working on a third cookbook, so I will now be on the lookout for that.
Horn of the Moon Cookbook
Random House, 1987
Beyond the Moon Cookbook
Disclosure: I own my own copies of both Horn of the Moon Cookbook and Beyond the Moon Cookbook.