Monday, February 11, 2013

Nonfiction Monday: Grow it, Cook it: Simple gardening projects and delicious recipes

DK has done some fun cooking and gardening books - Ready, Set, Grow, Wildlife Gardening, and Cook it Together. One of the things I like about these books, especially the cooking ones, is that they don't talk down to kids. Grow it, Cook it is no exception.

The book is divided into sections by main ingredient. It starts out with general gardening and cooking instructions, as well as an explanation of germination, composting, and cooking terms. Each gardening project is followed by a recipe to use the vegetables and fruit. Projects include growing tomatoes and eggplant, then cooking "tomato and eggplant towers", growing potatoes that can be turned into "mashed potato fishcakes", and carrots for carrot and orange muffins.

Like the other books, this is a British import and so there will be a few unfamiliar words and phrases, but nothing that's not easily understandable from the context. There's a nice variety of gardening projects, from things that would be suited to a big garden to stuff that grows in pots. Lots of recycling containers and fun ideas for decorations and ways to make gardening fun, besides the fun of digging in the dirt and growing things.

The recipes can sometimes be a little confusing - the lists of ingredients are sometimes laid out in an awkward way - but all the information you need is there and the steps are carefully laid out. These books do more complicated recipes than most kids' cookbooks. They're certainly a far cry from the "things you can make with sugar and peanut butter and maybe an apple that somebody else cut up for you" type of recipes you usually get. Chocolate and mint mousse, green leaf tarts, rainbow salad, there's a really diverse list of things to cook, as well as additional recipes in the back. I have some doubts as to how many kids will really want to eat the recipes, and some of them call for things that you don't typically see on grocery store shelves (puff pastry? I don't recall ever seeing that.) but maybe kids will be interested in trying new things if they're involved from the growing to the cooking.

Verdict: The cooking is a little fancy for what I think most of the parents and kids in our small town are willing to try, but the gardening projects are fun and simple and there's enough cooking that is easy and sounds tasty that this book is well worth the money. I strongly recommend adding this to the other DK gardening and cooking books, which you, of course, already own.

ISBN: 9780756633677; Published 2008 by DK; Borrowed by another library in my consortium; Purchased for the library

1 comment:

Andromeda Jazmon Sibley said...

"Chocolate and mint mousse" is calling my name. Can't wait for gardening season!!