Too Many Cooks: Kitchen Adventures with 1 Mom, 4 Kids and 102 Recipes
I just finished reading one of “those” books. You fellow bookwhores know exactly what I’m talking about. One of those books that you find yourself reading so rapidly that you’re almost skimming. Then you slow down because you love it so much that you don’t want to miss a single word. Then you start to think that maybe you should also slow down even more so that the book never ends, which you know rationally, will happen anyway. One of those that you want to re-read even as you’re reading for the first time, which also rationally, you know makes no sense since you haven’t finished reading it for the first time. And when it is over, you simply close the cover for the last time (for now) and smile. Exhale. And smile some more as your brain begins to recall your favorite parts of the book. And then you run your hands over the cover and give it one last wistful glance as you set it down. Or maybe that’s just me….I could be totally off base here.
I’m sure it goes without saying at this point that I LOVED Too Many Cooks. I stumbled across it on bn.com a while back, and thought that it looked like something I would enjoy. But then seeing that Tara at Books & Cooks placed it on her list of her favorite books of the past year, I knew it needed to be moved to the top of my TBR pile. And I’m so glad I did.
Emily Franklin is the author of two adult novels, and numerous young adult novels, as well as a very busy mother of four who loves to cook. Along with her husband Adam, who is a pediatrician, she decides to introduce her children to a year full of new foods. Rather than overwhelm the kids with nothing but new items every meal, she slowly implements new ingredients in to already favorite dishes, unfamiliar fruits and numerous other regionally grown items from trips near and far. The book is broken into portions by season, and includes recipes throughout, many of which I can’t wait to try! Who can resist the thought of Mango Curry Chicken? Or Lime-Coconut Soba Noodles? (Did you just hear my stomach grumble through your computer???)
I must admit that when I first saw this book, I was a little leery. I was afraid that it was going to be one of those “supermom” books, where I end up feeling guilty for not being able to be a stay-at-home mom, for not always feeding my kids the most nutritious of foods, and for not whipping up healthy meals from scratch every night. Thankfully– that was not the case with TMC. Emily welcomes you in to their home, and sets a place for you at the table. Not only are the recipes fairly straight-forward, and the stories funny yet insightful, but Emily’s writing is just spot on. Take, for example, this passage where she is discussing the loss of her stepmother to brain cancer:
“After someone leaves you, leaves your kitchen, leaves your house or leaves this earth, what remains of them is really fragments. Shards in the form of memories, glimpses of them from photographs, or sound bites of conversation, everything just nearly graspable- their hand on yours, their gestures, how they held their fork. “
*Sigh* Just beautiful, I think. If you read this book, I firmly believe that you will walk away inspired. Inspired to cook. Inspired to eat. And most importantly, inspired to be the best person you can possibly be. Welcome to the table.