A Recipe for Survival by Freda J. Rauch (Book Review)

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Not long ago Freda contacted me via email to ask if I was interested in reviewing her book A Recipe for Survival. It was getting close to the holidays when I received her email and so I knew I would not be able to post a review until at least mid January. She was happy to wait and I received her book as promised. While I am thankful that I do not need to prepare gluten-free recipes in my home, I know of quite a few folks who must, for health reasons stay away from gluten. I was drawn to the book not because of the latest gluten-free eating “fad”, but because I understood that Freda has published this book and her recipes out of a great need to help her husband stay healthy by providing gluten-free recipes that are both tasty and healthy. I am happy to provide my review of Freda’s book here.

About the Author

Freda J. Rauch is Brody’s wife. During their courtship and after marrying Brody, Freda noticed Brody’s sensitivities to certain foods. The fact of the matter was that Brody frequently became ill due to eating. It was through trial and error that Freda was able to come to the conclusion that Brody felt the best when he avoided gluten, corn, potatoes and onions. Freda recorded some tasty gluten-free recipes and even developed a way to convert other recipes to gluten-free.  A Recipe for Survival is the result of much encouragement of friends to share these recipes with others that are  Persevering in the Transition to Gluten-Free Cooking. Brody is the publisher of the book.

Brody & Freda Rauch photo credit: www.arecipeforsurvival.com

Connect with Freda

Website: A Recipe for Survival   |   Facebook: A Recipe for Survival

Book Review

I knew immediately when I received A Recipe for Survival: Persevering in the transition to gluten-free cooking that I was going to really like this book. First of all, anyone who knows me knows I love to cook — so receiving a cookbook of any kind is always loads of fun. Also, I liked that this book is spiral bound, making it to lie flat for a great reference when you are actively preparing one of the over 50 recipes. Finally, I love the large font that is used throughout the book! Easy to read and easy to use. Win, win!

The book is divided into two parts. In Freda’s words:

“The beginning of the book is written to share Gospel-centered comfort with a caregiver, working to prepare foods that won’t make her loved one sick. The second part of the book teaches the methods I use to convert recipes that are “normal” to versions that work for my husband, specifically gluten-free and also avoiding corn, potatoes and onions, with minimal dairy.” (excerpt from an email)

What a great way to share the Gospel — not only give easy to use and tasty recipes for food to the body, but begin with the importance of food for the soul. Well done.

I was touched by Freda’s testimony and how this book really is a labor of love for her husband. It is clear that caring for her husband is at the top of Freda’s list and I have no doubt that her husband often calls her blessed and praises her. He can trust her because she will do him good all the days of his life. (Prov 31:11-12,28) Freda and Brody have conquered some remarkable obstacles in their marriage with this food challenge — even from the very start. I love how Freda expresses her true desire of this book:

“My desire is not simply to provide another gluten-free cookbook for a growing gluten-free market; rather, I hope that my difficult experiences and the ways God helps me through them will be of encouragement to others, especially a wife or mother who is on the brink of despair as she desperately tries to find food that won’t make her loved one sick.” (p. 17)

When I read this I immediately thought of Romans 5:3-5: “… but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Freda could have given up, but instead she used her own experience to provide hope for others in similar situations. What a great example of how we are to love one another.

Favorite Parts

Truly the whole book is good but I think it is fun to share some of the things that I have highlighted as favorites as I read through the book:

  • The spiral binding is perfect for this reference book
  • The layout in the recipe section includes things like, how to stretch you dollar, Freda’s ideas, and a Chef’s Notes area. Great ideas, especially the “Chef’s Notes” which I think will help the user to personalize the recipes
  • Favorite Recipe: “Mom’s Meatloaf”, this is one that I believe anyone can make from ingredients in their own pantry. Funny how there are quite a few popular foods that really don’t even contain gluten
  • The Lessons learned in the Appendices — why reinvent the wheel?
  • Appendix E – “Fractions, Decimal Values, Teaspoons, Tablespoons and Cup Relationships” … Oh My Goodness! My Algebra students would love this!
  • Appendix G – “Baking a Pumpkin”. This will be very helpful to someone who has never used anything but pumpkin from a can
  • Appendix I – “Substitutions” Love these kind of lists, I have an ingredient substitutions list in my recipes pages too

Overall Recommendation

If you need to eat gluten-free or better yet, you are the cook for someone who can not eat gluten, you must have this book. Freda has done well to carefully document things that you might not have considered. Hints and tips from someone who has already been there, already done that are precious jewels, most especially when you are fighting the daily battle against food allergies and irritations. Being the caregiver is a tough enough job, why not glean from Freda the wisdom that experience has taught her.

You can purchase this book for $15.99 on Freda’s website here: A Recipe for Survival Book Store
 (or click on the image above). It will be money well spent.


Disclosure: I received a free copy of A Recipe for Survival, however the reactions and opinions in this review are really and truly my own.
You can read my disclosure policy if you like.
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Pamela Rose Williams

Pamela Rose Williams is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She and her husband, Dr. Michael L. Williams, have served in Christian ministry since 2001. She has a bachelor's Degree in Christian Education and spends most of her time as a professional editor and writer, working with many Christian authors and artists. Additionally, she works with her husband using their extensive experience in information technology to provide Christ-centered teaching and resources to people all over the world. To learn more about Pamela visit her About page.