I can’t remember the last time I was so enthused about a book for kids. Sure, I’ve read my way through Harry Potter, caught up on the Divergent series, and shed a few tears over The Fault in Our Stars, but Starting from Scratch by Sarah Elton is unlike anything I’ve read before.
This non-fiction food book’it’s not a cookbook, but a book about food!’teaches kids (and maybe even some adults) how food works, why it works, and what you need in order to have fun in the kitchen. Sarah, an award-winning journalist and author from Toronto, carefully and thoroughly explains why we should cook (it’s fun and fascinating, and is an easy way to communicate with people), the importance of taste (that unique quality a food has when you put it in your mouth), the science behind cooking (when we heat our ingredients we cause a chemical and physical reaction) and tips for successfully working your way through a recipe (read it before you start, take notes, proceed with caution).
Then there are the very fun parts of the book, which include the use of substitutions, tools required for the job, stocking a pantry, grocery shopping, ethics in the kitchen, food and nutrition, food safety, and tips on how to nicely set a table. The thoughtful appendix tucked into the back of the book covers flavour pairings, measurements and conversions, and a set of very basic recipes that every kid will be thrilled to cook.
This book not only left me wanting more, it completely motivated me and inspired me to get my kids into the kitchen even more than they are now. I have a feeling it might do the same for you. If you’re interested, Sarah recently wrote an article on why you should get your kids to cook dinner for you, and it’s definitely worth a read.
So tell me, are your kids spending much time in the kitchen these days? What are they cooking up?
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