A package arrived from Great Britain yesterday and look what was inside: the cooking adventures of our friends Charlotte and Freddie at The Great Big Vegetable Challenge blog, in three-dimensional book form.
It's been great fun watching the blog unfold with A to Z recipes aimed at getting children to partake of the vegetable kingdom. Charlotte must be ecstatic to see this brilliant concept materialize in book form, complete with recipes and photographs.
As Charlotte explains in the introduction, dinner with Freddie frequently had been the nightly battle that so many parents experience. But instead of allowing the food fight to degenerate into a complete meltdown, Charlotte decided to turn mealtime into an adventure, with Freddie helping to devise clever dishes and then grading the results. As many adults discover, bringing kids into the process often succeeds where all the arguing and haranguing fail.
I would also like to point out that the recipe for slow-cooked green beans was borrowed from yours truly, and that Freddie rated it 8 points out of 10. The book's other recipes are all worthy of consideration. We are not talking Jello molds with smiley faces or other dumbed-down kiddy stuff. Charlotte and Freddie did their homework to come up with real food made with serious ingredients. But you might want to start with "Veggie Lipsmackers," which translates as vegetable and fruit juice popsickles.
Meanwhile, as if to underscore the point, here's a picture of daughter last night preparing to run away from home after rejecting a dinner offering quickly assembled from the contents of the refrigerator: hamburger, broccoli and sweet potato salad. Daughter normally likes broccoli, but last night it was, "I never liked broccoli!" Her plan was to seek asylum at a friend's house, but she turned back when she realized she would have to cross the street--something she does not yet do on her own.
Apparently "The Great Big Veg Challenge" is still looking for a U.S. publisher. Meanwhile, you can find it at Amazon UK, along with a more complete description. And you can visit the original blog.
Congratulations, Charlotte and Freddie! What's next?