This post comes as I’m frantically preparing for 25 guests later this afternoon. I’ve already cooked my grandmother’s homemade tomato sauce (which she called “gravy”), two enormous trays of baked ziti (with fresh ricotta from the Italian grocer), five pounds of chicken marsala, and a cannellini-spinach dip with crostinis. Oh yeah, there’s a cake, too.
I love to cook. I love to eat. I have fond childhood memories of three generations of Italian women in the kitchen. They were graceful to watch, their movements from counter to oven, oven to table. And the table! Covered in stuffed artichokes, fried cauliflower, string bean salad, veal cutlets, meatballs and cannoli.
I get a warm, tingly feeling whenever I think of Sundays at Grandma’s house.
I bet you have those same memories, too, albeit with different foods. Biscuits with milk gravy? Dolmades and baklava? Perogies? Irish soda bread? Empanadas? Pork dumplings?
Yes, start revving up those taste buds. Renee Ting of Shen’s Books would like to share just a few food-inspired picture books with you, those that celebrate dishes from around the world:
(OK, I must read Squeamish About Sushi!)
Books with food as a theme aren’t necessarily about cooking. The Apple Doll by Elisa Kleven features a little girl who makes a dried-apple doll as a way to calm her anxiety over starting school. In Little Pea, Amy Krouse Rosenthal introduces a main character who hates eating candy for dinner and can’t wait until his vegetable dessert.
Grab a fork and a knife and dig in! There’s much to celebrate when food is involved!
So how’s it going today?