Daily Archives: March 7, 2008

Raising a Foodie Through Reading: My A to Z Recipe Box

When I was a kid, I was fascinated by my Granny’s recipe folder. Her beautiful, spidery handwriting and strangely perfect printing led me through such 1950s treasures as: 7-layer bars, Six-in-a-pan and Orange-glazed sponge cake. There were clippings from magazines and recipes from friends written on scraps and notecards, and every so often, a strangely cryptic note that said something like,”1 can tomato soup, ground beef, lettuce.” During one summer when I was 13 or so, after my Granny had passed away, I spent days writing all of the recipes in her collection into one recipe book in my girlish script. It is one of my mom’s most precious possessions.

I would have gone crazy for this fantastic little box of recipes when I was starting off as a cook: My A to Z Recipe Box by Hilary Karmilowicz. Just check it out:


Karmilowicz is a former chef from Manhattan and now she teaches cooking to kids and adults, so she knows what works in the kitchen with little guys. First of all, what kid doesn’t love things organized in alphabetical order? I would have whipped these cards out of that box in a heartbeat and then put them all back in again, one by one. (Ah, the obsessive organization begins early, doesn’t it?) Second, I like how each card is set up in 3 stages: Stop, Look, and Cook. This helps the kids to practice the planning and reading involved in cooking. Finally, did you notice who illustrates? MELISSA SWEET! Melissa Sweet rocks! She is the most beautiful illustrator – whimsical and homey and wonderful. Forget the recipes, you want this little box of delights for all of the illustrations. Of course, I love that the box comes with blank cards so that the kids/cheflets can build and add their own recipes. Guess I know what my niece is getting for her 4th birthday!


Poetry Friday: Love that Dog


Love this book.  (I actually hugged it when I pulled it from the bookshelf this morning).

Makes me want a yellow dog to go with my red one. 

Makes me cry.

Makes me smile.

Makes me want to teach poetry to small children who have pets.

My yellow dog
followed me everywhere
every which way I turned
he was there
wagging his tail
and slobber
coming out
of his mouth
when he was smiling
at me
all the time
as if he was
thank you thank you thank you
for choosing me
and jumping up on me
his shaggy straggly paws
on my chest
like he was trying
to hug the insides
right out of me

Note to self: Sharon Creech deserves her very own shelf in my home library (not for Sharon… for her books).