Feasts and Cooking with Kids
There are some books and experiences that online recipes or apps can’t compete with, and with the holidays approaching and cooking becoming eminent, why not delve into the cold weather lifestyle with your kids full-throddle? Here are some suggestions I have for your reading and cooking pleasure… Little hands will love these books, because they will stir up the desire to have a great time in the kitchen.
A Medieval Feast, Written and Illustrated by Aliki
A wonderful view of the Middle Ages by Aliki. The King will be coming to visit! The Lady and Lord of Camdenton Manor need to work fast to prepare for his arrival. Getting all the rooms ready, tents set up, and the feast’s preparation are all covered here. Townsfolk are bust hunting, hawking, brewing and churning. This nonfiction picture book is about life in medieval times and features detailed illustrations to explore again and again. It’s a sumptuous look at the gastronomic inclinations of nobility in the Middle Ages which are parlayed into a fascinating story about an upcoming visit to Camdenton Manor by the King.
Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes, Illustrated by Quentin Blake
Check out this hilarious guide to making the delicacies featured in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and Dahl’s other books. Recipes are easy, step-by-step, and range from the delectable to the truly revolting. Quentin Blake’s illustrations combine with full-color photographs of the luscious results to perfectly capture Roald Dahls wicked sense of fun.
The Fairy Tale Cookbook, Written by Carol MacGregor and Illustrated by Debby L. Carter
Not only does this book delight small children, but it can easily pass as their first official cookbook. It’s a collection of recipes for a variety of dishes based on such well-known tales as “The Three Bears,” “Hansel and Gretel,” and “Stone Soup.” Each recipe is introduced by a brief summary of the original tale (which makes them all the more exciting to make together) and the illustrations are really charming!
Teddy Bears’ Picnic Cookbook, by Alexandra Day and Abigail Darling
Just like Teddy Bears do, kids love picnics. How fun would it be to make a picnic meal this cold season for the living room floor? This great book has recipes and inspiration for a variety of picnics, including: a breakfast picnic, a picnic for a rainy day, a backyard tea party, a French picnic, and winter and birthday picnics. The recipes have all been tested, and can be prepared by children.
Strega Nona, by Tomie dePaola
Grandma Witch, Strega Nona, and her helper make pasta…but, things get a bit out of control when the magic pot makes too much and nearly buries the town of Calabria. Without noticing her exact science for making her special dish, the helper thinks he can do it alone… That is, until she comes back and fixes everything with three kisses- only the way a real witch doctor could.
Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer, Written by Jame Brocket
Here, you’ll find recipes for “Swallows and Amazons Squashed-Fly Biscuits,” the “Famous Five’s Gorgeous Ginger Beer,” and the “Gloriously Sticky Marmalade Roll” from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, among others.
Cooking Wizardry for Kids, by Margaret Kenda and Phyllis S. Williams
As the goodreads description states, “Approximately 200 recipes for tasty, nutritious snacks and meals are devised so that kids can make them for themselves. There are also projects that teach fundamentals of food-related chemistry, nutrition, and making window gardens.”
As the title suggests, this is an excellent resource for you and your children around the holidays. Baking treats, pies, brownies, muffins, biscuits, and cakes is what it’s all about- and we all know that kids love all that.
If you’d like to try cooking classes for your child, here are some New York City resources to look into:
Dough Re Me Kids– Brooklyn
Taste Buds– Manhattan
The 92 Y – Manhattan
Taste Buds Kitchen– in Chelsea
Freshmade NYC– Downtown Manhattan
Also, check out Parents Need to Eat Too, a wonderful blog and book by Debbie Koenig.
Rebecca Conroy is an artist, stylist, and former editor of A Child Grows in Brooklyn. She is from New York City, and has an MFA from Columbia University in screenwriting. Rebecca often finds herself on film and photography sets making things run or look better, and is the mom of two outrageously wonderful kids.