Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cookbook Watch - a wonderful find


I have a lot of cookbooks to tell you about again, but let's start with my favorite of the bunch: The Great Big Veg Challenge by Charlotte Hume. Charlotte is a fellow blogger, and has a blog with the same name here. I've been following it pretty much from the start, and always thought it was a great read. It's about Charlotte's family, really, and mostly about her son Freddie. They had a complete war every time Freddie was forced to eat vegetables, and in a most ambitious effort to change this, Charlotte challenged him to try every single vegetable - starting at A, ending at Z.

People, that's a pretty big challenge.

And Freddie accepted. Thus the blog. And eventually, this book. In it, you'll find all the vegetables this family tried, complete with stories and of course, recipes. All recipes are rated by Freddie, and you can see which ones did the best and which ones were just so-so. But he tried them ALL! For a boy who before refused to eat three little peas, this is an effort so incredible I can't even think of appropriate words.

You can definitely see the optimism growing bigger and bigger throughout the book, as Charlotte discovers that Freddie does like some vegetables, after all. In fact, he likes quite a lot of them. And since I do too, I know this book will be well used. I don't have a fussy kid to cook for, but that doesn't mean I don't need inspiration to get more veggies into my diet. What I like so very much about this book is that everything goes alphabetically, and it's almost like a mini-encyclopedia on vegetables. "Let's see, I have half a celeriac and a daikon in my fridge. What on earth will I do?" (For those of you snickering and muttering about the unlikeliness of this happening, I have that exact situation right now. I can provide photographic proof, too.) Well, I'll turn to the book, and try something. And I bet it'll be good. This is not a book to keep tucked away in the bookshelf. Once you've read it through for the story, this is one for the kitchen.

The book has some photos - I suppose that's the one thing I'd have wanted more of, but lots of glossy photos means expensive books, and besides, you can get plenty of photos on the blog. It has lovely photos of Charlotte with her family - Freddie has an adorable sister, too, who has my hair color (gorgeous red!) and I love seeing photos of them all together.

You should be able to find this in any online bookshops, and it gets a big thumbs-up from me. Great book!

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