Food for Thought Friday (is back!)

4 Quick Questions About Toddler Development with Dr. Alan Greene at Healthy Child Healthy World :: “I’ve heard it said that the ancient Greeks defined children as short humans who don’t like vegetables.” Ha! Just the levity I needed. Some great tips here about toddler development in general, and five motivators to encourage them to eat healthy food.

Beyond Cooking: 10 Experiences in the Kitchen for Children at 52 Brand New :: Lots of great ideas for building skills, confidence, and family connections in the kitchen. I think my favorite is the suggestion to extend books – to cook things from, or inspired by, the books you’re reading. But teaching kitchen techniques – that’s a good one too! Which leads me to…

How to crack an egg: what’s the worst that could happen? at NurtureStore :: Does your little one know how to crack an egg?

Dinner Happens. at Simple Mom :: Thoughts on dinner as the seasons change, with particularly lovely ideas for sharing your meals with friends and strangers.

Slow Cooker Naked Apple Butter at Oh She Glows :: Easy! Healthy! Seasonal! I can’t wait to try this.

Food for Thought Friday is a (more or less) weekly list of links – tasty morsels, if you will, for belly and brain.


Let’s do this thing!

Friends! Let’s do this thing!

A couple months ago, a dear friend wrote to tell me she’d just finished reading Jenny Rosenstrach’s Dinner: A Love Story, that she’d loved its sane approach to picky eaters and family meals, and that she suspected I might just love it too.

Well. We all know that my resolve to keep my cookbook collection in check is tenuous, and that’s on a good day. I had the book on my lap about 23 hours after Wesley’s recommendation, and I devoured the whole thing in under a week. Now, it’s true that I tote all new cookbooks hither and yon – to the comfy chair in the living room, to the banks of our south creek, to the passenger seat of the car. I thumb through them all with hunger and hope, read bite-sized passages (see what I did there?), bookmark recipes. Eventually they get crammed into my kitchen bookcase where, if I’m going to be honest, what they mainly do is cheer me on from their perch.

But when I say I devoured Dinner: A Love Story, I mean that I read it cover to cover, every single gorgeous funny encouraging word, barely surfacing for coffee. Then I got up and cooked three of its recipes in quick succession. (Here’s the first thing I made — easy and scrumptious, which seems to be the common thread in all these recipes. Next we made the grilled pineapple salsa to have with fish tacos — oooooooh my word.)

It’s the story of one family’s commitment to eat a homecooked meal together every single night, no matter how crazy life gets. That sounds daunting, and Rosenstrach never claims it’s as easy as ordering takeout or heating up a frozen dinner. But she doesn’t think it has to be intimidating either. Throughout the whole lovely book – whether she’s writing about how she and her husband cooked as newlyweds, or how they managed to feed two toddler daughters and themselves, or how she juggled a full-time career and this family dinner thing, or how they eat now – her tone is warm, light, and completely contagious.

There’s lots more I’d like to say – like why I needed so badly right now to hear what she had to say – but let’s talk about all that in person instead. Let’s finally launch the Southside Kitchen Collective cookbook (and potluck!) club with Dinner: A Love Story.

Let’s do it at my house, in early November (exact date TBD) – I hope that’s enough time for you to buy and read the book, but not so far away that we’re all in the thick of Thanksgiving and end of the year travels and celebrations.

Yes? Are you in? Questions? Ask ’em here.

(And also, while you’re waiting for your copy of the book to arrive, definitely check out Jenny’s blog of the same name. Wonderful stuff.)