We are now in our final week of our current reading theme on Makan! Buffet of Asian Literature. While this particular book is not Asian-themed, it is definitely food-related. So when this book found me at the library, and I did note that it is an NYRB title, I just knew I could not resist sharing it with all of you.
This is a whimsical book that would show starry-eyed children exactly what they need to do in order for them to feed their dolls and their playthings – who, as we all know, do come alive as seen in Toy Story. As the Foreword beautifully says it:
It is an outdoor cookbook, because dolls dote on mud, when properly prepared. They love the crunch of pine needles and the sweet feel of seaweed on the tongue. The market place, then, will be a forest or a sand dune or your own back yard.
This unique recipe book is divided into (1) appetizers, (2) soups, salads and sandwiches, (3) main dishes, (4) pastries and desserts, (5) beverages and (6) suggested menus.
For beverage, I suggest you give the rainspout tea a whirl:
This book reminded me of an earlier time – when children played out in the rain with raincoats and tiny umbrellas; when tea parties with non-talking dolls instead of iPads are the norm; when the quiet simplicity of mud pies baked in hot stone dried by the wind could be a delight to young hearts.
While I enjoyed seeing how dandelion souffles and sawdust cakes are made, it was really the “Leaves en Brochette” that caught my eye.
As the recipe says:
Using a pencil for a skewer, spear as many different leaves as you can find. Alternate the kinds and, if possible, the colors. In a sunny place, rest the skewer on two forked sticks so that it can be turned occasionally in the sun. This is a particularly tasty dish in the autumn.
Can’t go wrong with that!
Mud Pies and Other Recipes by Marjorie Winslow with illustrations by Erik Blegvad. Published by The New York Review Children’s Collection, 1961, renewed in 1989. Book borrowed from the public library. Book photos taken by me.