Maya's Reviews > Too Many Cooks: 4 Kids, 1 Mom, 102 New Recipes

Too Many Cooks by Emily Franklin
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Jan 17, 2010

really liked it
Read from February 01 to 16, 2012

I loved the adventure that Franklin takes you on as she and her husband decide to introduce new foods to their children after seeing them pick chicken nuggets on the menu at a seafood restaurant. Franklin calls it their "quest to create happy, healthy eaters without tricks." There's no pureeing foods and putting them in to hide them from the kids, it's just putting it out there for them to experience and try.

Franklin shares stories of introducing new foods to her kids. I love how she finds ways to explore new foods that she's not even sure about and the honesty the children witness through the trails. At the end of each chapter she gives you several recipes that relate to the stories that were just told. The recipes look very promising. Some of the ones I look forward to trying first are: arugula sunflower pesto, sticky toffee pudding, crunchy snacking beans and the cold cucumber soup.

This book is worth the read as well as for the recipes. The tie in with cooking and motherhood will make you laugh and have you choked up at other times.

Favorite Parts:

It's as though we're at the zoo for the nutritionally challenged, what with the pizza nuggets, the ham 'n' cheese nuggets, even the spinach nuggets, which, although they contain some greenery, are just another way of nuggeting all meals.

Adam and I check with each other before responding-one of those silent parental conversations that occur only with the eyes.

Someday the kids will be grown and the house will be immaculate and I will wish they were home to scrape and mess, so I try not to mind.

This is the cruelty of parenting: to try to do such a good job raising your kids that you are eventually out of a job.

Cooking, like parenting, is sometimes a leap of faith-that they dough will rise, that the tenderloin won't be too rare or too brown, that the wobbly Jello-O will set. That the hodgepodge of items in the pantry, on a shelf, in the fridge, can be fashioned into one coherent meal. That babbles and drool and mumbling baby sounds will form, one day, all of a sudden into a single word that will alert you to all that lies ahead.

And maybe that’s part of it - we cannot save it all for tomorrow. I am always stockpiling for the next meal, the next season. I am constantly battling the urge to look back or forward with my kids, to think of how they were or will be, rather than how they are. The task of any good cook, of any parent, is to be present - in the kitchen and out. To taste all the items, absorb each child’s day, all those moments, and form them into the day’s meals.
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