As most of you know I am notorious for cooking with my children, bringing them along to the farmers market and of course getting them into the garden or out into a nearby orchard. So when I saw this book, At the Farmers’ Market with Kids, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to review it. Thank you Chronicle books for sending me a copy!
At first glance I thought “how much can they tell you about taking your children to the farmers market?” Will they talk about picking produce, getting to know the farmers, learning about the integrity of farming, and finding the honest vendor who actually grows/makes their product? Then I read the finer print “Recipes and Projects for Little Hands” and realized it was actually a cookbook for kids.
The authoresses begin the book by explaining how they shop at various California markets with their children. This made me pine for raspberries and blueberries, which we never see here in the desert farmers markets. They briefly mention why going to the farmers market with your children is good, but not a whole lot is said about actually being there, or what types of questions to ask the farmers or bakers. This disappointed me as I was really hoping they would explore more the experience of being at the market with children.
However my interest was reignited when I read though their tips for cooking with children of various ages. I like that the book is divided into seasons, and that each season covers the most popular veggies and fruits; also they have included a wonderful explanation of how to choose and store each vegetable.
Each recipe is easy follow and either includes a picture of what is being made or the ingredients in the recipe. They have included what I think was a very clever “Kids Can” side note to each recipe telling the parent, or reading-age child, what they can help participate in within the recipe. The recipes in the book are well chosen: they are simple enough in ingredients and taste that it would be easy for any kid to taste them for the first time, but they are also sophisticated enough that any adult would enjoy them. Beet cupcakes, YES please! Vietnamese lettuce wraps, I’ll be there for lunch, Buttery citrus curd bars, all mine.
We tried making the baked cornmeal onion rings. The recipe was easy to follow, there were minimal ingredients and S was easily able to help me through the whole process of separating the onion slices, dipping them in the buttermilk and then coating them in the cornmeal. The results were tasty, but not as exciting as a fried onion ring. Maybe we didn’t have enough cornmeal on the onion rings? We will be experimenting other recipes as the season turn to more exciting fruits and veggies.
The book is filled with wonderful photography, the typeface is easy to read and the layout is filled with color, making it appealing to children and adults. I would recommend this cookbook to anyone new to cooking with children, or anyone looking to expand their repertoire of child friendly recipes.