eating through kids books

Kingcup Cottage was the first book I ever had. I still love it, and now get to read it to my boys. My mum lovingly kept a lot of our childhood books, so I get to relive all the pages again though reading with The Monkeys.

And read we do. We always read a lot to, although their book case is getting mighty squishy.

It hadn’t occurred to me until recently just how much food has always played a part in my life. Even going back to my childhood books, it’s the food pages that held my attention. The end party picture of Kingcup Cottage with the array of goodies spread out, and all the woodland animals tucking in. It’s the sort of picture that I would have spent a long time absorbing every detail of it all and scrutinizing each corner of the page.

I’ve been subconsciously drawn to, so many pages in favourite early children’s books. It’s actually quite funny to look back as an adult and realise how I have come to these attractions or thoughts I guess, and how it has effected my way of thinking.

Midnight feasts were always very idyllic sounding thanks to Enid Blyton. As I got a little older, those idyllic notions were still implanted in my head from younger years of reading. It was the thing to do on early teen sleep over nights. Somehow though, it never felt the same as reading those books. Stories of school kids getting up to high jinks and eating a selection of goodies in the dark of the night. Goodies, that I would never normally eat but always sounded delicious reading through Enid Blyton’s pages. When it came to my midnight feasts though, we either annoyingly slept through, or ate a handful of smarties and a swig of soft drink as we paused ‘The Breakfast Club” or “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and that was that. No glass bottles of ginger beer and tongue sandwiches…(although I’m not really sure I would have gone for the sangas anyway.)

It wasn’t the same.

Back to early childhood books and ‘Come over to my House’- Theo LeSeig (pen name of Theodore Geisel aka Dr Seuss), was also another early favourite. It’s worn, frayed on the spine and still has oodles of love to give anyone that is drawn in by its pages. Each of those pages take the reader to a different country. I know that this book contributed to me wanting to know more about different cultures and countries from its colourful pictures. I aspired to eating spaghetti in Venice with the watery canals beneath my balcony and long gondolas silently polling by because of this page.  I wanted to see the Northern Lights glow over a snowy landscape, and lie on a hammock on a tropical island feeling the balmy breeze between my toes. I’m still waiting to see the Northern Lights, but I have eaten spaghetti in Venice, and have felt that balmy breeze.

I wonder what impact The Monkey’s books will have on them and whether they will be drawn to the foodie pages or something else completely?

What ever those books do, I hope they help my boys to dream…

Did loved childhood books have a strong impact on you?

Taunting newspapers and Banana Oat Bars

I’m always curious to see what other people are reading.

Passing by a young man with a very long bushman beard at 7am on a Saturday morning recently. I had to stop myself from sticking my head upside down, and asking, “what ya readin’ there buddy?” He seemed so engrossed in his book, sitting reading at the bus stop.  What was that young man with a long bushman’s beard reading at 7am while waiting for his bus?

I love reading, but too often there isn’t enough time in my day. Certainly not enough time to do all the reading that I would like to be doing anyway. I love reading the Saturday paper, but sometimes I simply have to just not buy it. The pressure to read the thing is too much. Who needs that kind of added pressure? A pile of papers slowly mounting up on the table, taunting me in its silence. If the paper could talk I’m sure it would be whispering.

You haven’t read me yet, have you…

I’m still here…you’ve walked by again and I’m still neatly folded.

Come on now, it’s nearly Friday, and I’m still very much unread…

You know what tomorrow is don’t you…paper day, again.

See how the paper taunts me? How a bundle of paper pages does that, I just don’t know.

Along with the newspaper building up, my pile of books to read is also silently gathering momentum. The beginning of the year, I had set out with a reasonable reading list that I thought was manageable given the slow rate I was reading at the time. That one book turned into two, two turned into three, three turned into ten. I can’t keep up. Have I finished any of them? Maybe one or two… But generally they are all half read. I’m simultaneously reading six books.

Now this, probably isn’t the most clever way to read a book but it’s how I’m slowly creeping through them all. There is the book that doesn’t read particularly well, but I really want to get though it as I think it’s important. There is the light reading book for when I’m so tired just before bed that I can still read a little with an eye stuck shut for want of sleep. There is the informative book that needs to be read with a clear mind, while taking down the odd note here and there. There is the escapism fiction that has essentially only been opened and closed without a proper word been consumed. There are the numerous cookbooks that need to be poured over before I can satisfactorily say that yes, I’m utilising them properly. There is the green building magazine that I adore every page of, so don’t want to flick through unmindfully as by doing that it would almost seem an insult and not do the pages proper justice. Then there is the ever growing list of books that I really want to read next.

My books are pressuring me just as that taunting pile of newspapers.  Thankfully these Banana Oat Bars don’t give out that kind of pressure.

Do you ever feel pressure from paper goods?


Banana Oat Bars

2 mashed up bananas

100g melted butter

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

3 tbls honey

2 cups whole oats

Mix all the ingredients up in order. Press mixture into a greased pan (I used 23cmx 23cm) and bake at 180C for approximately 45 minutes.

Super easy and perfect to nibble on… while you are reading.