Child's Play

In order to look more closely at the cookbooks of childhood, my mother supplied me with a recipe book she owned as a child. Published in 1967, the My Learn to Cook Book looks a bit worn now but has been well used and loved by the family. It is interesting as it appears to rely heavily on illustration as opposed to written instruction. That isn’t to say that the recipes are difficult to follow; the appearance is perhaps intended to maintain the target audience’s attention. Also, the drawings create something to aspire to; the final product should ideally look like the illustrations. The illustrations tie in to instruction, as applying appearance to a product will help to familiarize children with typical kitchen appliances and products.

The instructions are easy to follow and the recipes contain a list of ingredients and equipment to go with them. At the beginning of each chapter, there are lists of ‘Do’s and Don’ts’, as well as helpful hints in order to educate, as well as ensuring a successful final product. It encourages safety in the kitchen as it asks to “make sure a grown-up is present when you are using the cooker” (7) and “ask your mother to help you when you use sharp knives” (7). The cook book appears particularly gender specific, but also communicates the idea that this activity will be one that involves the parent and child.

I decided to make a family favourite from this book. Both my sisters and I grew up eating ‘Crispy Crackolates’ at parties, special occasions, and whenever we could persuade our mum to make them! Considering that they are always irresistibly tasty, I thought it would be a good recipe to demonstrate that the older cookbooks for children are just as good as the new ones.

This is the successful final product which proved particularly popular with my flatmates. 

Works Cited
Sedgwick, U. My Learn to Cook Book. Feltham: The Hamlyn Publishing Group ltd, 1967. Print.

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