'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 26 January 2011

Review: Stew a Cockatoo: My Aussie Cookbook

It's a tough gig out there in the cookbook market right now - with a literal gastronomic glut of kiddie cuisine books simmering on the shelves.

But Stew a Cockatoo is unlike any other wanna-be junior chef book on those shelves right now. While the other books are sautéeing in their delicious marketing juices, this book by Ruthie May is a big scoop of gelato.

Yes, it's tempting and it's cool and it's far from a stew. There's no chopping techniques or chocolate tempering in this book, oh no - for this is as much a picture book/information book/humour book/history book as it is a way to encourage kids in the kitchen.

Delightfully Aussiefied and packed with iconic illustrations by the talented Hobbs, kids will love perusing this book of colloquialisms such as 'Ave a Drink Ya Mug for the beverage section and Horse Doovers for party fare.

Kids can whack the billy on the fire and learn how to make billy tea, a redback spider (involving ice cream and creaming soda), damper with cocky's joy (golden syrup to you) and even Lord Lamington's lamingtons.

I love a little history and while the kids are whipping up some ANZAC biscuits, they can also learn the origins of this famous Aussie treat. On top of that, they can meet Auntie Beryl and her rissoles, Uncle Daz and his mega BBQ burger and even travel over yonder for an authentic spag bol (that will take you from Italy to Ingham).

Rounding out the book are Dessert Dames - a collection of sweets featuring Edna, Dame Nellie and the good old Pav (move over, New Zealand).

Clever, fun and fabulous. Great for locals, and even better for friends and fam overseas - this is a bonza book!

Title: Stew a Cockatoo: My Aussie Cookbook
Author: Ruthie May
Photographers: Leigh Hobbs
Publisher: Little Hare, A$24.95 RRP
Publication Date: November 2010
Format: Hard cover
For ages: 6+
Type: Cookbook, Picture Book