Archive for January 5th, 2011

January 5, 2011


My son likes to cook with me.  At least, if I have to cook, which is not necessarily what he’d prefer to something such as playing baseball, he wants to be right by my side.  He stands in his little “present”, which is what we still call his Learning Tower, an absolutely ingenious invention by someone whose kid must have liked cooking as much as mine and must have fallen off of kitchen chairs as much as mine.  If you are interested, you can look at them here.  They are expensive, but sturdy, and without a doubt the best thing we’ve ever bought for my son.  The easel has taken quite a beating, as he kicks it often or leans on it or climbs on it, but it’s still ticking.  And the tower itself looks like the day we bought it–and trust me, it’s been through a LOT.

But I digress.  Back to cooking with mom.  He loves it.  When I let him, which is too often judging my the amount of time I’ve spent cleaning up the consequent messes (but really, that’s what it’s about, right?) he participates with me–stirs the bowls (not too messy), pours the flour (really messy), or breaks the eggs (not as messy as you’d think).

And my husband LOVES rice pudding.  So those are the reasons I bought this book.  Oh, and I saw it mentioned on the Kirkus Reviews Best of 2010 book list.

Title: Arroz con leche or Rice Pudding
Author: Jose Argueta
Fernando Vilela
: Picture Book, Poem
Age: 0 – Infinity

Summary and Review:

This book is so much fun to read.  You can almost smell the rice pudding as it dances and jumps off the pages.  It really is a poem, but within the poem is a recipe itself.  It’s beautiful and fun and the pictures are wonderful and unique.

I read some online reviews before I bought the book, and my favorite was a woman who said that it would be nice if there was a recipe in the back of the book.  Ha!  I almost fell off my chair laughing when I thought about that after having read the book.  It IS a recipe!  It even has measurements within the poem!  Are we modern Americans really so far removed from our own food that we can’t recognize a recipe for yumminess when we read it from start to finish?  And THAT, I believe, is another reason to buy that book.  So your child doesn’t say the same thing.

Oh, and it’s bilingual.  So you can read it in English, Spanish, or both.  Way cool.

Follow-up with kids:

Make some rice pudding!  You can experiment with different flavors, too.  The one in the book is flavored with cinnamon, but you could add some nutmeg, too.  Or do coconut.  Or whatever the kids can think of!

You can also do some foreign language practice, as the book is bilingual.  Merely reading it will introduce your kids to the sounds of Spanish, but you can do exercises where you pick a word in English and try to find its Spanish counterpart.  Or look through the Spanish text for words that you can recognize–or that look similar to the English words.