I unpacked my cookbooks today. Much like unpacking the rest of the books, this goes leagues to making this house feel like home. Now I know this is my kitchen. And now I can feel even better about cooking and meal planning – less at sea.
Open in the cookbook holder (thrift store score!) is our family favorite cookbook: The DK Press Children’s Cookbook. It’s a great book for soon-to-be-master-chefs. The instructions are clearly written and illustrated with great photos. The ingredients are photo lists as well, so even a pre-reader can follow along and really get messy with a good recipe. We finally bought this book because we had checked it out from the library more than 20 times! So far we have loved every recipe we have tried. Especially the Marinated Chicken. That one is really good.
And it led to a revelation in my head. A busy mom should make children’s cookbooks a major recipe source. Why?
1) The recipes are bound to appeal to kids’ (sometimes narrow) tastes. So no agonizing over whether or not your kids will eat that risotto. No searching for something “kid friendly”. It already is.
2) It’s fast. Kids will focus in the kitchen for usually 20-ish minutes. So most of the recipes in a children’s cookbook will be fairly quick and basic to prepare.
3) It inspires me to get my son in the kitchen more. If he cooks it, he is more likely to eat it. And a kid in a kitchen gains mad skills! Following instructions, math (measurements, counting, doubling, etc.), chemistry (baking soda, anyone?), safety, nutrition… It’s one of the ultimate homeschooling learning centers.
So that’s that. Cookbooks are up and easy to reach, especially the children’s cookbooks.
Over at my brother’s blog, he wrote a great series about his cookbooks – what he uses and why. As an avid cookbook reader, I loved that series and it was a partial inspiration for this post.