My Fun-to-Cook book, back where it all began. Topsy turvy cakes.
I have written a great deal in the past about my own food memories. Come to think of it I’ve written a whole book about my school dinner memories. Recently my sister in law Annabel,who blogs over at Annabel’s House of Books, asked me to write a guest post about books that have influenced me. If you would like to know more about them then please pop over to Annabel’s blog and find out.
Trawling through my mind and my book case brought me face to face with my childhood. My copy of My Fun-to-Cook book.
I spent many happy hours in the kitchen helping and watching family members cook. Learning and listening. Laughing and loving it. My Fun-to-Cook book liberated me. It provided me with the opportunity to cook alone, to begin to be responsible, to make my own decisions about recipes, to rectify my errors.
As a cook book for children it was written before everything was cupcakes and sprinkles. Poor Knights of Windsor, Sausage pop overs and Ham and Cheese dreams were savouries I would cook and foist on my family. It taught me, aged 8, how to make honeycomb. It taught me too that sugar is extremely hot and when set takes a brillo pad to remove from your Mum’s best saucepan!
I loved, and still love, the comic book style. The asides from the cat and dog were a little like having a friend cook with you.
One recipe that I cooked more than most were the Topsy Turvy cakes. This weekend I became 8 again as I cooked them once more. here is how I got on.
The recipe worked really well. The cakes are incredibly sweet, although I’m sure my eight year old self didn’t mind. When I make them again I’ll be using less sugar and possibly different, maybe fresh fruit. I think blueberries would work a treat in these little mouthfuls.
As I turned the bejeweled nuggets out I had a sudden vivid memory of the galley kitchen in the house I lived in until I was 11. Strange how little things can trigger such deep responses. Forty years ago I must have done the exact same action and the memory flooded back.
What I’d love to know is, did you have this book? I know many friends from Facebook did. Which was your favourite recipe? Are ther books today that you’d let an eight year old cook with, or are there any that you think will capture their imagination and fire their desire to cook just as this book so obviously did for me?
Please comment and let me know.
Publishers of books for children today need to take another look at their formats and their expectations.