Thursday, January 15

Friday Finds - Fairytale Feasts

This book combines two of my favorite things, reading and cooking. It is a collection of 20 fairy tales, each accompanied by at least one recipe. Froggy and I love to cook together and we love to read together so what could possibly be more fun than a cookbook from one of our favorite authors. Jane Yolen. She doesn’t much like to cook, but her daughter Heidi E. Y. Stemple loves to spend time in the kitchen. The two collaborated on Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook for Young Readers and Eaters a book filled with fairy tales and folklore from around the world, all of which contain references to food. To accompany the tales, Stemple created recipes to match the tale’s themes. For instance, Red Riding Hood needs recipes for her picnic basket favorites and Brer Rabbit must of course make carrot soup.

The tales and accompanying recipes will delight children of all ages. There are favorites for the preschooler with a very classic Little Red Riding Hood as well as more mature versions of classic for the older crowd. This telling of Snow White does not pull any punches which pleased me immensly. While kids can attempt some of the recipes on their own, most are more fun with a parent. Just like there are stories for all ages, there are recipes for the whole day, breakfast to dessert.

What I liked best about the book were the sidebars. Sidebars throughout give interesting facts about the stories and the recipes. Yolen's knowledge of folklore shows in her tidbits about the tales and their origins. Many of the food facts are intriguing, too. For instance, alongside the Stone Soup recipe is a note that Al Capone set up Chicago's first soup kitchen. And did you know that grapes are considered berries and that pumpkins are 90% water? These sidebars sparked many conversations, not just with Froggy but with other family and relations as well.

What are your favorite books fairytale or not cooking or not?

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