Daily Archives: February 7, 2008

Orangette and Raising a Foodie through Reading

Prepare yourself for a bold statement. As I am a once-upon-a-time pastry chef, you must understand that food in general (and sweet yummy stuff in particular), occupies as important a place in my world as books.

When I am not lurking about the kidslitosphere, I burrow and forage around the foodosphere (is that the term I should be using?), searching for fabulous food blogs. I am presently contemplating different ways to bring foodish themes to Shelf Elf, to stitch together these two passions of mine.

I’ve always adored fine food writing. I read cookbooks like I read novels. Most loved: M.F.K. Fisher, Nigel Slater, Tamsin Day-Lewis and Amanda Hesser. Now, I am pondering adding another name to this this. Meet Molly Wizenberg. I am dazzled by her blog, Orangette. Man, can this girl write! Take her recent post on granola, for instance. Read it. I mean it. Then sit back and imagine yourself “at the kitchen table while a batch of granola bakes, reading a magazine and taking slow, deep breaths of the toasty, sweetly spiced air rising from the oven…” I did. I am still imagining it. I need to make granola. As soon as possible.

I took my own, circuitous path to foodie-dom. I’m not sure I had even seen an avocado until I went to university in “the big city.”I have humble culinary roots. It’s possible that the #1 reason I might want a kid of my own, is to cook and eat with my kid. If that ever happens, I will have every reason to start buying kids’ cookbooks as well as grown-up ones. (I wonder what Miss Molly Wizenberg was raised on, books-wise, that led her to be the brain behind such gorgeous writing?)

So, Molly, you have inspired me to begin a list of food-themed reads for kids. 

Think of this list-in-progress as a Recipe for Raising a Foodie Through Reading.

I present book #1:


Fanny at Chez Panisse – by Alice Waters. I bet she knows a thing or two about food-savvy children.

Stay tuned for much more yumminess in the weeks ahead…