NOON – a new cookbook

by meike peters

I decided to write a new cookbook! It’s called NOON, it will come out in the fall of 2023, and it’s published by Chronicle (English) and Prestel (German).

Since my last book, 365, came into the world in 2019, a lot has changed. Globally, personally, it felt like the world turned upside down and I turned with it. So for a long time, I had no idea if I would ever write a book again and if so, what this book would be about. Until January 2022. A dinner at my place with my friend Gabi changed everything. Gabi runs a cafe in my neighborhood, which I visit often, rather daily, for a good cappuccino and an even better chat. Over the pandemic and many conversations about food, the arts, and life in general, we became friends.

During our dinner, we munched on oysters, braised beef shanks, bone marrow on crostini, and cheese – and discussed Gabi’s lunch misery when she’s at work. Although I’ve always worked from home, it wasn’t new to me that many are struggling making satisfying lunch choices, being at home or out at work. So for days I didn’t think about our conversation; until one cold afternoon, when I was sitting on a bench in a park close to my flat. It had snowed the night before, the sky cleared up, and the low winter sun was hitting me right in my frozen face.

I will never understand what exactly happened in that moment but all of a sudden the vision for my 3rd cookbook was fully there. The title, NOON, the concept and angle, and almost 120 recipes came together in less than a week. It didn’t actually feel like work, I just had to sit down and let it pour out of me.

So here I am, not even four months later, sitting right now in the cafe where everything started, chatting with my friend Gabi while I’m writing these words. All the recipes are written down and cooked, the pictures are taken, and I think I never felt happier, more satisfied, and more at ease with a book of mine than with NOON. I still love my first two books, eat in my kitchen and 365, but I think I’ve never been so at peace with myself as I am now, which makes the work flow very intuitive.

But what is this book about? The recipes are fun, quick and simple, perfect for lunch – but also for dinner. The dishes are based on exciting flavors and combinations, not many ingredients; rather choosing the ones that enhance taste and decrease stress and labor. The focus is on vegetables but there are also meat and seafood dishes. It’s basically about food that makes us feel good, that we can share with others but also enjoy just for ourselves. NOON stands for a feeling, recurring during the cycle of each day, a desire for a break, for something uplifting, for some time for ourselves and our very own needs.

NOON is dedicated to 3 women and a 3-year-old: For Anne, her daughter, Gabi, and Laurel. To friendship.

Seeing that I always share a recipe in a blog post, I will share one of the first recipes that led to NOON. It’s so simple, using pantry staples, or products that are easy to get. It seems like the weirdest combination – but it‘s genius. Hummus and (uncooked) sauerkraut on a slice of crusty dark bread. It‘s so good that I couldn‘t believe it and had to turn to my friend Laurel Kratochvila of Fine Bagels in Berlin for consultation: “Hummus and sauerkraut? I‘ve never had it before but it makes sense – a good hit of acid!“ You can use homemade hummus or get it from your favorite deli.

The picture of me is by Anne Deppe.