October 17, 2007
Is it not delicious to be deceptive?
Yes, I did buy this book.
First, I feel I should confess that I have a Cookbook Compulsion. I LOVE reading what I refer to as my Kitchen Porn and I do have a collection of cookbooks that I like to peruse just for fun. One of my most treasured cookbooks is my Boston Cooking School Cook Book by Fannie Farmer. I will probably never actually cook something from Fannie Farmer's selections, but it is still fun to read. I also have my grandma's first ever cookbook she purchased as a newlywed back in the 40s. And I own a copy of Average Jane's family cookbook. Also, I totally scooped up Sophia Loren's family cookbook with excitement. Um. Yeah. The list goes on because I enjoy reading cookbooks. Anyway.....when I saw Deceptively Delicious a few weeks ago book, I was immediately interested and saved it to my Amazon cart to consider.
Then, I saw the incredibly adorable Jessica Seinfeld on Oprah last week and frankly, I was impressed with her sincerity. It was also obvious that she was WAY excited to be on Oprah which I found to be quite endearing. So, I did go to Borders to get a copy. And promptly discovered this book was flying off the shelves and that I would need to order a copy. No problem. When I went to pick it up a few days later and the gal at Border's said people were going insane over this cookbook because of the "power of Oprah".
So. Is it worth the hype? Probably not. However, it is truly a fun, easy cookbook that is worthy of a Picky, Childish Palate. Dude - EASY. The recipes are very simple to follow and she does a great job with explaining the steps for preparation. Also, this book won me over with its adorable anecdotes, telling quotes and whimsical illustrations.
There is much debate about whether one should actually deceive one's child in consuming vegetables. I am not sure how to answer this. I bought the cookbook for 2 reasons - to get ideas for breakfast and for Arun's lunches. Our family meals at home are primarily South Indian and when we eat out, it is at a variety of ethnic restaurants. We are not a mac n' cheese family . Arun is only two years old and at this point, we do not have any issues whatsoever getting him to eat veggies. I am not sure if this is due to the fact that he often gets curried veggies (as opposed to steamed veggies) shoved in his face or because he is two years old and does not know better. To be fair, I am 36 years old and I do not like American-style veggies myself. I do not see myself serving those to my kids often because I think steamed veggies are fairly bland.
However, I do struggle with breakfast, lunch and what to pack for Arun's lunches. Let's face it - I am not going to whip up a curry for lunch and besides, curries do not pack well for a preschooler's lunchbox. Therefore, for me, this cookbook met a need for gathering more ideas. I have not made any of the recipes yet - I will be doing that over the next few weeks and into November during my Foodie Month. My review thus far is only that of a reader.
But, I am excited by what I have read. There are actually a few recipes that I think I can make Desi Worthy by throwing in some chili, cumin and turmeric to make it spicy enough for us for dinner - the Aloha Chicken Kebabs and the Tofu Nuggets in particular hold much promise. So, I will definitely report back. And I do like that there are some standard American comfort foods here that I can make when X is out of town - the potato soup recipe made my mouth water.
I would like to make one, small criticism of this cookbook - the recipes are definitely built for folks who like bland food. I still think most Americans underestimate the toddler palate. We often give Arun food that is too spicy for him. He knows now that his world has not collapsed and that he simply needs to reach for his water. After a few sips of water, he invariably reaches for more food. However, he is only two years old and I am hearing that the ages of 3 to 4 are tough ones for the whole issues of Food Fights so you can rest assured that I am not overly confident over here.
Finally, I do not think it entirely uncool to shove veggies into recipes. After all, grandmas have been pushing zucchini into bread for years. Have you complained?