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.