Tera Warner & the Raw Divas have published Joanne Newell’s un-cook book especially for children. The illustrations by Jason Botkin are delightful. They cheer me up just looking at them and bring out the kid in me. Some people say I don’t have an inner child—I am a child. They might be right because this book has caught my fancy.
There are lots of things in its favor. First and foremost (to me) is the fact that it’s an ebook. When it’s purchased, a link is sent for the pdf file and it can be almost instantly downloaded, depending on your connection. At 5.7 MB, it’s easily doable even on dialup. In this day and time of instant gratification, getting this on your computer easily qualifies.
There’s something else about an ebook. It can be searched just like the WWW can be Googled. Put in a word you want to find—let’s say zucchini—and there you go! It makes it simple to find a recipe that uses the ingredients you have available. That, to me, is what beats a physical book with paper hands down.
But, you say, you aren’t talking about the book, itself. Wait! I’m getting to that. First, as I said, it’s geared to kids, say 7-12. I don’t have kids. My youngest is 31 and I have one grandchild that falls into the range but I eat more raw food in a day than she does in a month. Or maybe I should say three weeks. But, remember, I’m a kid at heart and I love this book. I don’t think being a kid’s book should keep the adults from buying it and using it. Even if you aren’t gung-ho into raw food, this is a good way to get more fruit and veggies into your kid’s (and your own) day.
It has some very good tips about equipping a raw kitchen and a glossary that explains preparation terms. Some of us are old pros in the kitchen but some are just starting out. Think back to your cooked food days…Did you cook everything from scratch or did you open boxes, cans and jars? Maybe you need a refresher using the everyday items in your cupboards and drawers. There’s even a page of fairly bad kitchen riddles that will inspire you to think up your own. They are just bad enough to be funny.
How are your knife skills? Do they need some honing? (See, I can make bad jokes, too.) This book explains, in detail, how to use a chef’s knife. It also teaches safety. No running with knives and no holding one by the blade! It also cautions the young ones (take note, older ones, too) to be careful and not try to be like the chefs on TV who chop things very fast. I like to try and I’m getting better at it but I’m still careful, Joanne.
Something that would warm every mother’s heart is to have her son or daughter fix her breakfast in bed—or the man in the family could do it, too (hint, hint). Pull Monkey Mike up on the computer and there are step by step instructions on how to do it and be a great success.
There is a memory game and a word search besides recipes. My sister excels at memory games and I have always enjoyed a good word search. They’re placed at random and aren’t included in the Table of Contents.
Speaking of said Table, here’s what it consists of:
Introduction Smoothies, Milkshakes, & Juices Salads & Dressings Sweet Snacks Savory Snacks Desserts & Puddings Recipe Worksheets Index
A complete set of resources for the budding (or veteran) raw vegan, I’d say. The index could prove invaluable if you print the book off and put it in a binder. There are 144 pages and that could take a good bit of ink so I would suggest storing it on your computer and make a backup in case everything goes belly up.
There are optimal recipes and some that I would say save for a special occasion and don’t make it a practice to eat them every day. We are all entitled to a splurge now and then and those would be splurge-ful (is that a word?). They go from simple to more involved. Cantaloupe Cruiser has one ingredient, Merry Berry Milkshake has seven. Most have maybe four (and that includes water). I did notice that Joanne has honey listed in at least one recipe. If you want to get technical, honey isn’t vegan but agave nectar is a good substitute.
Not many un-cookbooks make it into my house. I tend to stick with the old tried and trues and not get too adventurous. This one is different, though. Enough different that I’m going to stay in my childhood long enough to use it.