Someday I'll show you its contents.
When I became a parent, someone told me that I would never have time to read. This hasn’t been the case; I read more than ever. Being a parent is time consuming, but I make time to read. If it's a choice between reading or television, I usually gravitate towards ink and paper. Reading is something my daughter and I often do together, and I'm pleased to announce that she is also a book lover. I get the biggest kick watching her enjoy a good book, and I'm grateful our home is a place where books are read, appreciated, and discussed.
In today's installment of The Greasy Five, I thought I'd share my five-favorite children's books for foodies.
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
- It's no surprise that I would include this on this list. Dr. Seuss uses his trademark playful rhymes to serve up the intriguing possibility of green eggs & ham, and more importantly he advocates the value of occasionally trying something new and different. I know many adults who would benefit from this advice.
And I would eat them in a boatBrave Potatoes by Toby Speed and illustrated by Barry Root
And I would eat them with a goat
And I will eat them in the rain
And in the dark, And on a train
And in a car. And in a tree
They are so good, so good, you see!
- This book might be on the list merely because it has potatoes in the title and it's illustrated by a man whose last name is Root. This makes me chuckle, and I take great delight in small joys such as this. This book tells the story of some prize potatoes from the country fair that are kidnapped by Chef Hackemup who needs them for his soups, stews, and chowders. I'll be honest with you: When I read this book, I sometimes root for the antagonist. I can't help it; I love a good soup.
Way across town at the Chowder LoungeThe Bake Shop Ghost by Jacqueline K. Ogburn and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
Hackemup the chef begins attack
with the chopper and the dicer
and the shredder and the grater
and the masher and the mincer
and the So-Long-See-You-Later!
See him chop, chop, chop!
Chili peppers on the top.
Spanish onions do a tango while the radishes unfurl
See the parsnips looking pallid in the Bastaboolabaisse,
while the salad softly sings a veggie-ballad
See the carrots curli-queuing and the garlic parachuting.
With a plop, plop, plop,
in the chowder pot they drop!
- Sure the title is a tad plain, but this book is delightful. The book tells the story of Cora Lee Merriweather, a ghost who haunts a bake shop she used to own. When a baker named Annie Washington buys the shop, she decides she's not going to tolerate Cora Lee's antics, so they reach an agreement.
"Enough!" Annie cried. "What do you want? What can I do so you'll let me work in peace?"
Cora Lee stared through the swirling flour, then smiled a title little smile. "Make me a cake," she said. "Make me a cake so rich and so sweet, it will fill me up and bring tears to my eyes. A cake like one I might have baked, but that no one ever made for me."
- What follows is an account of Annie's attempt to bake the perfect cake for Cora Lee. The touching ending always bring tears to my eyes. Yes, you heard correctly. The ending makes me cry. I also cry while watching Little House on the Prairie episodes and Hallmark commercials, so I guess I'm a bit of a softie.
- When I watch the Harry Potter movies, I'm always enthralled with the scenes that take place in the grand, dining hall. I can't take my gaze off the scrumptious mounds of food that grace the tables. It looks like those kids at Hogwarts eat well. I wish the school cafeteria of my youth would have been as good. My favorite food moment in Harry Potter occurs in the first book when the snack cart passes Harry's train compartment. I can relate. When I travel, I'm afraid I'm going to miss some culinary treat the region has to offer, so I tend to eat more than three meals a day. When I read the following passage, I'm suddenly nine-years-old with a pocket full of change and I'm standing in the candy aisle at Peek's Supersaver in Pomona, KS. Good literature can reclaim youth. It has that kind of power.
What she did have were Bertie Bott's Every flavor Beans, Drooble's Best Blowing Gum, Chocolate Frogs, Pumpkin Pasties, Cauldron Cakes, Licorice Wands, and a number of other strange things Harry had never seen in his life. Not wanting to miss anything, he got some of everything and paid the woman eleven silver Sickles and seven bronze Knuts.Stone Soup
- I don't own this book, but I fondly remember it from my school days. In the book, some hungry travelers trick everyone in a village into contributing ingredients to make a tasty soup. Of course, I remember it because it was about soup, which might be one of my favorite foods to eat, but I also liked the book because it was about community and sharing. When I started this blog, I wanted to title it Stone Soup, but someone else out there in the blogosphere had already claimed it. The rest is history.