Kids in the Kitchen

Kristina’s Bookshelf

New Favorites for New Cooks:
50 Delicious Recipes for Kids to Make

By Carolyn Federman
(Ten Speed Press, 2018)

A new cookbook by Berkeley native Carolyn Federman might provide just the support you need to get your children busy in the kitchen. Federman has had a long tenure in food education, consulting on policy and program development for the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, co-founding the Berkeley Food Institute, producing UC Berkeley’s Edible Education course with Michael Pollan, heading up Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard Project, and founding the Charlie Cart Project, a nonprofit that provides curricula and other resources for food education in schools. On top of that, she has two kids of her own. In short, she knows a lot about how to teach children about food and what’s good to eat.

New Favorites for New Cooks is suitable for kids of all ages and includes tasty recipes together with advice for choosing the best ingredients and the most valuable tips and tricks for using a knife. The Introduction contains excellent guidance like “Read the whole recipe before getting started,” “If a word or ingredient is unfamiliar, look it up,” and the all-important “Wash your hands.” Recipes are easily managed by young cooks and satisfy their appetites, likes, and dislikes, but also appeal to adult sensibilities. Lots of beautiful color photographs will motivate children as they prepare their dishes, though Federman also tells them not to worry if their final products don’t look quite like the images: “The photographs in these pages are here to inspire you, not to scare you off.”

Recipes are seasonal and healthy, contain just a few simple ingredients, and should appeal to most young palates. Kids can try their hands at Pan-Fried Flatbreads with Spiced Butter; Summer Rolls (stuffed with avocado, cucumbers, carrots, and a mix of herbs) topped with Peanut Sauce; Marble-Size Meatballs with Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce; Peach and Nectarine Crisp; Raspberry Clouds (aka Eton Mess, made with meringues); and Old-Fashioned Ginger Ale (from a simple syrup made with ginger, limes, and sparkling water). It’s a fun and visually appealing book that lets children manage the shopping, prep, and cooking, start to finish.

Edible East Bay’s book editor Kristina Sepetys is eager to share her ideas and book recommendations with
our readers.