The River Cottage Family Cookbook is a wonderful addition to the kitchen bookshelf. The authors, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Fizz Carr have researched and created a fanciful yet extremely factual cooking companion for the entire family to enjoy and learn from. These unique writers delve into the veritable meat and bones of the “whys” of cookery and stress the importance of including children in the food preparation process. In addition, the overarching message of the text addresses the timely issue of instilling in our families the value of consuming more local, organic, and humanely raised food. To that end, all of the recipes in this book were made by their children, with assistance from parents when needed.
The beginning of each chapter includes a very conversational primer on the topic covered. So for instance, in the “Flour” section you not only have bread, scone, and pasta recipes but also mini articles on the reasons why we have to knead dough, a brief history of the effects flour has had on civilization, and even the science behind soda breads. If I’m fascinated by these recipe asides, than I’m sure your children will be as well.
The photography of the book is also very down to earth. The images of food you’ll find inside look like things that actually come out of your own oven. There are candid pictures of fresh pasta drying on coat hangers, gooey pink spills, and far from artistic eclairs but this only serves to give each dish a very approachable air.
If learning how to make your own salt, build a campfire, whip up ice cream without the aid of a special machine, or holding a pancake race appeals to your inner child then please make it a priority to check out The River Cottage Family Cookbook.