My little one (almost 3) loves to “cook” in her pretend kitchen and make “soup” “pasta” and “chocolate cake” for her toys and dollies. She also likes to bake in the real kitchen with Mamma, wearing her cute little strawberry printed apron, flour everywhere, banging her wooden spoon and standing on her little pink step-stool. Usually we make things like pikelets, scones or muffins for morning tea, waffles for weekend breakfast, or cupcakes or dotty cookies to take to a friend’s house.
She has already travelled to more countries than her age, eaten everywhere from a warung on the beach in Bali, to the famous Buddha Bar in Paris, enjoys regular cafe visits all over Melbourne (all in the name of research of course), loves having “noo-noo’s” (noodles) for dinner at one of our local Vietnamese haunts, her favourite din-din’s at home include Moroccan vegetable Tagine with pearl cous-cous and yoghurt, and bean burritos with all the trimmings, and with a Greek father born in Australia, a New Zealand mother born in America, and a name like India… this new book with an International theme was for definitely right up the alley of this little mini Foodie.
We are big fans of Sabrina’s previous book, Little Kitchen, so were very excited to see her latest book Little Kitchen Around The World. It’s a brilliant concept as it not only helps to teach little ones the joys of cooking, but also helps them to learn about other countries, cultures and cuisines.
It is probably geared towards slightly older children, I would say primary school aged, however we still enjoyed flicking through it, looking at all the pretty pictures, talking about food and the different countries and deciding what we were going to make.
I asked India what she wanted to make and let her flick through the book on her own and choose… this sweet tooth here was hoping it was going to be something sweet like Sabrina’s Mum’s Lemon Biscotti (Italy), The Devil’s Food Cake (USA) or the Chai Tea Cupcakes (India)…mmmm, how good do they sound? Or maybe even something we could have for tea, like the Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni (Italy) or the Pad Thai (Thailand). Nope. She chose to make the Fresh Guacamole (Mexico). Random! So, true to my word to her, that is what we made!
I think one of her reason’s for choosing this, was because one of her favourite bedtime reads at the moment is “Avocado Baby” by John Birmingham, which was first published in 1982 and used to be one of my childhood faves too. It’s a quirky little story about a new baby who doesn’t eat and starts to grow weak. But then they start to feed him avocado and the strangest things start to happen… you’ll have to read it to find out.
So we went to the local shops, bought a couple of avocados, called out over the fence to our elderly Italian neighbour with the killer veggie garden to see if we could pinch a couple of lemons from his tree, and then we made the Guacamole as per Sabrina’s recipe however we chose to omit the onion. The recipe was super easy to follow and as all the other recipes is laid out very well, with a little intro about the dish, a written description of what to do, the ingredients you’ll need and also the equipment you’ll need.
Super-proud of her new dish, we then made sandwiches together for lunch on fresh bread, with a big spread of the freshly made Guacamole, a little squirt of Kewpie Jap mayo, a slice of Nimbin cheese and some fresh shaved ham from the deli.
They loved it. And gobbled it all up. Just like the Avocado Baby.
Sabrina’s new book truly is a gem. It is beautiful to look at with lots of bright colours and cute styling, and there is such a great mix of recipes from easier ones like the Guacamole to more complex dishes for family dinners through to all kinds of yummy sweet treats perfect for an after school activity that they can make and then enjoy.
Little Kitchen Around The World published by Hardie Grant Books.
Review completed by Jemma Reynolds. Jemma is the creator of www.littleeats.com.au