COOKBOOKS FOR ALL! A Roundup of Recommended Reads …
Kiss ho hum mornings good-bye!
Funny Food: 365 Fun, Healthy, Silly, Creative Breakfasts
gives a delightful and delicious new meaning to facing another morning!
I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that I don’t like to cook and that I’m at a loss most of the time as to how to prepare meals that inspire my family as well as me. My daughters’ dislike of most vegetables doesn’t help the situation either. If I didn’t feel a sense of moral obligation toward my family’s health, I’d call the restaurants that are programmed into my phone a lot more often than I do already. Luckily for me, others like me who’d rather eat than cook, and those who have finicky eaters at the kitchen table, Bill and Claire Wurtzel have written Funny Food: 365 Fun, Healthy, Silly, Creative Breakfasts ($19.95, Welcome Books).
Comprised of photographs of breakfast dishes (eggs; waffles and pancakes; oatmeal, cereal and fruit; toast, bagels and snacks)—the book is an artistic portrayal of breakfast as you’ve never seen it before. Bored of eggs? Never fear! Whether fried, scrambled or boiled, turn your eggs into faces, people, animals, bicycles, angels and more. Add fruit, vegetables, herbs, bread, bacon and deli meat to complete your masterpieces. Take a modest scrambled egg, add a slice of toasted muffin, deli meat and a slither of bell pepper, and, voila, you have a turkey! Fold over a sunny side-up fried egg with slices of olive as facial features, tuck it under a slice of whole wheat bread and you have a person in bed. Can’t eat eggs? Try some of the other breakfast options. Transform fruit into works of art—portraits of the Mona Lisa, Shakespeare, and Salvador Dali. Take a banal banana and slice simple strawberries and turn them into a steam train and tracks. Add blueberries as coal and whipped cream as the steam. It’s loads of delicious fun trying to recreate these breakfast delights!
Beyond the inventive and imaginative photographs are some handy tips for aspiring food artists. Ten main tips with accompanying details for creating funny food are included, such as “Take Your Time: Making an artistic creation takes time. Try starting this on weekends when there is time to look at and examine new foods. If the food is created and presented in a joyful manner, the child will remember the food, the nutrition it provides, and the playful experience.” Interspersed throughout the book are nutritional information on the ingredients used (“Whole grain breads are a great source of vitamins, magnesium, iron and fiber—a natural aid to healthy digestion”) and recipes. Whole wheat pancakes, everybody?
I decided to see if these breakfast variations would work on my fussy three year old daughter, who doesn’t like to eat anything not on the breakfast cereal/pancake/yogurt menu. Not being particularly artistic, I started with one of the simpler designs, a scrambled egg pig face with mushrooms and deli meat as eyes and nostrils. While she refused to eat the mushrooms, my duaghter did succumb to the whimsical delight of the piggy egg face and ate that along with the deli meat. Success!
Whether you don’t like to cook or you are cooking for picky eaters, Funny Food: 365 Fun, Healthy, Silly, Creative Breakfasts shows us that healthy breakfasts can be delicious, creative and fun for the family.
-Reviewed by Rita Zobayan