Monday, March 7, 2011
Blast From the Past: Elliot's Extraordinary Cookbook
More than a recipe book, it tells the story of how Elliot meets his upstairs neighbor, Stella, a grandmotherly type who introduces him to the joys of good food and cooking. Interspersed throughout are a trove of information about the food we eat, such as the history of the potato, the nutrients we need, how an egg cooks, and even a discussion of the digestive system. Considering that the book came out in 1990 it is surprising current, with advice to eat more fiber, fruits, and vegetables, and to consume less sugar.
The recipes are simple and kid-centric. Each section is devoted to a main ingredient, such as potatoes, milk, eggs, and bread. There are recipes for very young children that require no cooking (make a pear porcupine with half a pear and slivered almonds for the quills) to more elaborate ones for advanced chefs (an apple tart with custard sauce). Instructions are also given on how to make butter, cheese, and grow sprouts. Later on, Elliot attempts his first dinner party and there are recipes for a first course (vegetable dip), main course (spaghetti and meat sauce), and dessert (filled pineapple).
The design and illustrations are charming and kid-friendly, as fans of the Linnea books can easily surmise. Each spread is a feast for the eye, with spots of the main characters cooking, tasting, or investigating food in some way. Sadly, the book is out of print, but anyone who is interested in a remarkable cookbook for children can buy used copies from our friends on Amazon.
Now to get started on those cinnamon rolls!
Picture Book of the Day.