CM . . .
. Volume XI Number 4 . . . . October 15, 2004
Four earlier volumes from the “Kid Power” series, Active Kids, Breakfast Blast, Lunch Munch and Super Snacks were reviewed previously in CM. As in the previous books, the focus in these two cook books is on eating healthy food. Unlike the other trio of cook books, the opening pages in this pair are not as repetitive though there is some overlap in their safety tips and cooking terms. However, since the each of books can be purchased separately, unfortunately this repetition cannot be avoided.
Multicultural Meals serves as a good reminder that changing immigration patterns mean that our cuisine could, and perhaps should, be less Eurocentric. This cookbook contains 13 recipes plus directions for a Columbian feast. About a third of the recipes still do reflect Europe, and these include “Mediterranean Meatballs,” “Spinach Quiche from France,” “Greek Salad” and “Bocconcini Salad.” Asia is represented by dishes such as “Chinese Lemon Chicken,” “Thai Coconut Soup and Noodles,” “Vegetable Curry,” and “Japanese Tofu Steaks.” Mexico weighs in with fajitas. The “Pita Pizzas” could also fit into the Super Snacks book while the German-style apple pizza would not be out of place in Delicious Desserts. Certainly the flavours in the recipes in Multicultural Meals will arouse the taste buds of the bland meat ‘n potato crowd.
A dozen desserts are found in Delicious Desserts with fruits being a key ingredient in most of them. Some recipes, such as “Fruit Kebabs” and “Honey and Nut Treats,” require no more in the way of kitchen skills than the ability to slice a variety of fruits or chop some nuts while others, like “Fruity Ice Pops,”ask that the junior cook be able to operate a blender. Other recipes, such as that old standby, “Baked Apples,” and what are perhaps newer dishes, “Fruit Custard,” “Sweet Potato Pier” and “Berry Brûlée,” do require some cooking. The ingredient most liked by many juveniles, chocolate, is not completely overlooked in the quest for healthy foods, and it appears in “Chocolate Macaroons” and “Chocolate-Covered Fruit.” Those wondering what to do with overripe bananas can now turn them into “The Best Ice Cream-Ever.”
This pair of cook books shares a similar format with the other four books. Each recipe is usually dealt with via a pair of facing pages which contain a list of necessary ingredients and their quantities as well as clear, step-by-step instructions which are illustrated by coloured photos. The text also notes when adult help is needed to complete a step. Children and adolescents of both genders and a variety of races are portrayed in the cooking photos.
Both books would be useful additions to school and public libraries.
Dave Jenkinson teaches courses in children's and adolescent literature in the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.