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!


5 thoughts on “Raising a Foodie Through Reading: My A to Z Recipe Box

  1. shelfelf Post author

    I know! It really does look awesome. You need one (for your daughter 🙂 )

  2. Bohae

    Wow – it seems everyone is talking about cooking nowadays (well, not everyone. I just seem to be in the mood for it lately…) Is there any chance that box holds a secret recipe for scrumptious apple crisps…? 😉

  3. shelfelf Post author

    I imagine this would work well for 5 and up. There’s nothing too “out there” in terms of tastes (Asian Noodles, Mac and Cheese, Pretzels, Blueberry Cobbler…) I bet it would be perfect for both of your kids. They can work together!

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