Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Meals from books: Devouring a great story

Last night we made pancakes fried in butter for dinner--totally unhealthy (well, the pancakes were whole wheat, I guess), but YUM and completely fun, because it was a meal out of a wonderfully illustrated children's book we'd just read, The Story of Little Babaji (and coincidentally, a book I loved as a child). This is a small tradition that my kids and I have started: occasionally making meals out of books we read.

I still remember making Stone Soup after reading the book in elementary school, and it's just a great way to engage kids in reading and create memories. A school teacher once told my mom that reading facilitates learning simply by helping kids understand their reality: when they see an object or a place, they think, oh, I've read about one of these! Cooking these recipes does this immediately: I just read about this, and now I'm experiencing it!

Most of these books didn't come with their own recipes, so just get creative and type in the recipe to a Google browser (hint: sometimes adding the word "best" before your search terms will have better chances of yielding a recipe your kids will eat).

If you need some suggestions to get you started:
The Story of Little Babaji (pancakes in melted butter)

Stone Soup (stew with a couple of rocks on the bottom)

Surprise Soup (vegetable soup with a pinch of sugar thrown in; you'll want to talk with your kids about whether or not a brother should say some of the things this older brother says to the younger one)

An Apple Pie for Dinner (uh, apple pie)

The Boxcar Children (recipes from The Boxcar Children Cookbook)

Little House on the Prairie (recipes from The Little House Cookbook)


The Helmicks said...

Great idea! I'm thinking of how I could incorporate this into my classroom this year!

Thanks Janel

- Steven

Alison said...

Super idea! I have the Anne of Green Gables cookbook...guess I'll have to have a girl :-).

Anna W said...

Love it! Thanks for all the ideas!

This past winter we often made "Birthday Soup" (from the book Little Bear - an incredible book; if you haven't read it you should!). All you have to do is make soup with carrots, potatoes, peas, and tomatoes! Super healthy AND easy AND lots of things that a little-un can help with (wash carrots and potatoes, measure peas, etc.)

Anyway, Bridget loved it, and I should get back to doing stuff like that! :u)