Tuesday, July 7, 2009

How I Hit the Book Jackpot


Every so often I browse the library's selection of 'Materials Ordered'. They're listed by month and organized by non-fiction, fiction, cd's, children's, etc.. I usually like to peruse the non-fiction books and wind up requesting a handful that I've never heard of, never seen, simply based upon the titles. You could probably guess what sorts of books wind up on my hold shelf. Mostly cookbooks, other books about food, and sometimes books with Paris or France in the title. While I always browse through the cookbooks that arrive, other times the books that come aren't my thing. But a few weeks ago, a book showed up that was just my thing.

I simply devoured Emily Franklin's food memoir, Too Many Cooks: Kitchen Adventures with 1 Mom, 4 Kids, and 102 Recipes
. Talk about the perfect book at the perfect time. Franklin's memoir is arranged like so many food memoirs these days, as a series of essays with recipes at the end of each one. The difference here is that Franklin is cooking for her family, picky eaters and all.

Franklin is a writer, I believe of YA novels, her husband is a pediatrician, and she stays home with all the children. Franklin loves food and cooking and has experience cooking as a chef. She obviously loves children, her life revolves around them, and it's clear she wants them to have a good relationship with food and eating. While the children are adorable and say lots of clever things, Franklin keeps a tight focus on the family's relationship with food, their day-to-day 'food life' whether the family is at home, vacationing, or celebrating holidays. I love books like this. I love reading about what people eat for dinner, or any meal really. For whatever reason, this fascinates me, which is why I'm sure I've loved so many food memoirs.

From a practical standpoint, Franklin offers many good ideas, techniques, and her own philosophy on getting kids to try new foods. I have a pretty good eater (she devoured that trout the other night) so I didn't necessarily read this book for that perspective. Oh, the recipes! Franklin has a lot of recipes that really appeal to me. She's altered recipes for things like muffins and other baked goods to include applesauce, wheat germ, and whole wheat flour. Her cooking style reminded me of mine in some ways. She roasts vegetables and makes big pots of lentil soups. Her recipes really appealed to me for their simplicity and I'd like to try many of them. Which is a problem since I don't own this book and it's due back - this is a book I'm now considering buying. I didn't want this book to end and stretched it out to make it last. I could read about what Emily Franklin is making for dinner forever, I think. The experience of reading this book was enhanced when I found this link to Apartment Therapy where there is a tour of Franklin's kitchen. Nice, huh?

What else can I say? Loved it, loved it, loved it. Thank you Emily Frankin for a fabulous reading experience.

16 comments:

bermudaonion said...

The book sounds fantastic - it's going on my wish list. The voyeur in me loved looking at her kitchen. I have a great kitchen, too, but mine could use a couple of shelves for books.

avisannschild said...

Oh I so want her kitchen! This sounds like a great book.

jennysbooks said...

Materials Ordered? I wonder if my library has such a thing. I love browsing through the big magazine of all the books scheduled to come out that year, but Materials Ordered sounds almost even better!

Melissa - Shhh I'm Reading said...

This one sounds wonderful! I think I've seen it mentioned before, but now I have to have it.

Staci said...

I loved A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table so this sounds like something I would enjoy reading too! and who knows I might even try some of the recipes!! Great review on this!

bookjourney said...

Thats great! I didnt even know the library had a thing to browse.... I am going in and finding out what else they have been hiding from me! LOL

Tara said...

bermudaonion, I'm glad this appeals to you! I love seeing other people's homes too and like you I could really use some kitchen bookshelves.

avisannschild, me too, me too! It was a great read.

jennysbooks, I hope they do! It's a bit like a treasure hunt for me!

Melissa, it's really, really great.

Staci, I think you would enjoy this book then! They're different yet similar, you know?

bookjourney, I see you're in MN - which library system do you use? I use St Paul.

Samantha said...

You are very dangerous Tara. I do love reading about eating/cooking/growing of food (as you know) and I also have two girls with varying degrees of food fussiness. I have already ordered it from thebookdepository! I note it costs $21 (US dollars there) or $16.31 (US dollars on Amazon) plus delivery. You see, I have already priced it for you - what are you waiting for :-)

J.Danger said...

nice!

Tara said...

Samantha, he he! We are very similar I think in our food reading tastes! I hope you like this one! There may be some good tips in the book for you then, regarding fussiness.
I will say that the author's life seems a bit...idyllic, but she's writing a book, I figure she keeps the good, leaves out the bad.
J.Danger, yes!

Rebecca Reid said...

Wow, this sounds great! I love a great food memoir. I just read A Homemade Life too but I'm a family cook so even those recipes, while they looked yummy, were a bit too "fancy" for my kitchen table most nights. This one sounds perfect!

Tara said...

Hi Rebecca! From what you said, I think Too Many Cooks would be perfect for you! If you check out the author's website there are some interviews, one is a video that you might find interesting.

Ali said...

I'll definitely be looking for this one, looks like it's right up my alley. Thanks for the review!

Tara said...

Ali, it's a terrific read! I hope you like it!

Les said...

I love books like this. I love reading about what people eat for dinner, or any meal really. For whatever reason, this fascinates me, which is why I'm sure I've loved so many food memoirs.

Me, too!!! I've seen this on the shelf at work and have thumbed through it a couple of times. Definitely my kind of book!

Thanks for the link to her kitchen. I love the simplicity. Oh, and now I'm hooked on that blog!

Tara said...

Les, I hope you read this one and yes, The Kitchn is awesome! Oh, and I want her countertops - envy!