Recipes for wee ones - getting' kids cookin'
Bandera County Recipe Box
By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor
School's been out for a while and kids are probably bored. If so, set them to cooking.
Benefits include increasing confidence and self-esteem; developing simple math, science and reading skills; refining small motor skills; fostering a sense of teamwork; and teaching patience and self-control - things even adults could use. Of course, not only should adults always supervise kids while in the kitchen but they should also be prepared to lend a hand when needed.
I love vintage cookbooks and I especially enjoy unearthing ones created specially for children. I always look for kid-centric cookbooks in so-called "secondary markets" that include rummage and yard sales, flea markets and even antiques and collectibles malls. The books usually include sweet graphics and helpful kitchen tips.
So, here's a meal with recipes from a series of now-probably-out-of-print cookbooks for wee ones. Just let 'em at it. It'll be good practice when they go off to college.
This sunny salad is a perfect start for an evening meal in the hot hot summertime. It came from my very first cookbook, which has now been reprinted for another generation. I purchased the new version for granddaughter Riley James. However, my copy of "Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls" was published in 1956 by Simon and Schuster, New York. It's a keeper.
Empty one package lemon-flavored gelatin into a small mixing bowl and stir in one cup of boiling water. Stir thoroughly until gelatin is dissolved. Then stir in ½ cup ice water, one 9-ounce can crushed pineapple and a pinch of salt. Chill in refrigerator. When gelatin starts to thicken, add two medium-sized carrots, grated. Pour into an 8-inch square pan and chill in refrigerator until firm. Cut in squares and serve on crisp lettuce leaves with mayonnaise.
This recipe is from the revised edition of the charming and beautifully illustrated "Kim's Cookbook for Young People," published in 1979 by Red Farm Studio, Pawtucket, Rhode Island. It sounds delicious for a summer meal. Everyone loves fried chicken - even when it's baked!
Preheat over to 350º. Wash and dry one cut-up chicken or chicken pieces. Rub chicken all over with ¼ cup of oil. Crush one medium bag of potato chips between two pieces of waxed paper. Roll chicken in the crushed chips and bake one hour in an open pan.
Corn's perfect for a summer meal, so I've included this recipe from the 1972 version of the "Better Homes and Gardens Junior Cookbook," published by Meredith Corporations. I'm sure BHG is still printing these cookbooks and that the recipes are still as delicious and accessible.
30 saltine crackers
1 16-ounce can cream-style corn
1 C. milk
1 beaten egg
2 T. finely chopped onion
1/4 t. salt and dash of pepper
1 T. butter
Pre-heat oven to 350º. Put crackers in plastic bag and coarsely crush with rolling pin, making 1½ cups of crumbs. Combine cream-style corn and milk in baking dish. Stir in egg and then add one cup of the crushed crackers, along with the chopped onion, salt and pepper.
In a skillet, melt the butter over low heat, watching carefully so it does not burn. Combine remaining half cup of cracker crumbs with butter. Sprinkle butter and crumb mixture over top of the casserole. Bake at 350º for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove baking dish with potholders. Serves six.
Potato salad goes well with baked chicken and this recipe from "Strictly for Boys" sounds easy enough for kids - or me, for that matter. Betty L. Waskiewicz wrote the cookbook "for boys 8 to 80" in 1980. I'm lucky enough to have snagged one of the 5,000 copies printed.
4 medium potatoes
2 eggs, hard-boiled and chopped
2 T. pickle, chopped
½ C. mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
Peel, wash and dice potatoes. Boil potatoes in salted water until just tender. Drain at once and let cool. In large bowl, mix cooled potatoes, chopped eggs, mayonnaise, pickle, salt and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving.
Published in 1994 by Tricycle Press in Berkeley, California, "Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes," by Mollie Datzen and Ann Henderson, offers whimsical and flavorful recipes for "preschoolers and up." I read it during eyes-rolling-back-in-your-head moments that sometimes accompany governmental meetings. The book, recipes and illustrations are wonderful. Increase this recipe accordingly if using it as a side dish for a meal.
2 medium long, thin carrots, sliced into thin rounds
1 t. butter (more or less)
3 shakes salt
1 squeeze lemon (from a small wedge)
1 t. sesame seeds, optional
1 T. brown sugar (more or less)
¼ C. water (more or less)
Have grownups boil or steam carrots until tender, but not mushy. Add all ingredients to the pan and turn heat to medium. Cook and stir over medium heat until carrots are nicely coated with syrup. Add more brown sugar or water, depending on how syrupy you like it.
Transfer to plates. Blow on carrots until comfortable to eat. Eat!
Yields three or four snack portions.
This refreshing treat for a hot summer evening comes from the "Boys & girls Easy-to-Cook Book." With over 100 recipes by Ann Wainwright, the charming 1967 cookbook was published by Wonder Books, a division of Grosset&Dunlap, Inc., and is a treat in itself.
Put a scoop of lime sherbert in a tall glass and fill with lemon soda. Makes one serving
"Pretend Soup" offers an updated variation on the theme.
Homemade Lemon-Lime Soda Pop
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. fresh lime juice
¼ C. plus 2 T. apple juice concentrate, thawed
3 ice cubes
1 C. soda water
Squeeze juice from a lemon and measure two tablespoons into a glass. Squeeze juice from a lime and add one tablespoon to the glass. Add everything else and stir. Drink with a straw or slurp from a spoon. Yields one serving, but it's easy to make more!
Pictured: I spent the better part of my adult life searching for a copy of the 1956 "Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls." Now they're being reprinted and my granddaughter's getting one for Christmas.
Ellen A. Nelson produced the beautiful illustrations for "Kim's Cookbook for Young People."
The delightful "Pretend Soup," created for pre-schoolers and up, offers fun and easy recipes for quesadillas, popovers, green spaghetti, noodle pudding and more.
Though it might be called "Strictly for Boys," this 1980 cookbook includes easy-to-make recipes that appeal to everyone - especially adults.