Thursday, October 28, 2010

Everybody Cooks Rice

Title - Everybody Cooks Rice
Author - Norah Dooley
Illustrator - Peter J Thornton
Age group - 4 to 8 years
Pic Source : Amazon

This book was highly recommended by our friend A (from the library) and out of curiosity we decided to check it out. We were so pleased to discover a story book that takes us on a culinary journey while highlighting how something as simple as a food item can bind us together inspite of our differences.

It is dinner time in a household and the family is looking for their little boy, who seems to be perenially in some neighbour's house. The elder sister is sent to fetch the boy, before the family could begin their dinner. First she visits her neighbours who are from Barbados. They are cooking rice and blackeyed peas for dinner. She gets to sample their yummy food and therein begins her journey of discovering rice in every household that she enters.

While the rice cooked with turmeric in her Puerto Rican friend's place gives out a wonderful aroma, the hot and spicy rice dish in the Haiti home brings tears to her eyes ! She remembers the wonderful biryani made at her Indian friend's place when she bumps into him on the road. We get a peek into the dishes that accompany rice in the families from Vietnam and China.

Finally she comes home to find that her little brother has already arrived. Her own mother too has prepared risi e bisi, the traditional Italian dish of rice and peas, the recipe handed over to them by their grandma !! The children feel thrilled to know that everybody cooks and eats rice albeit in their own traditional ways :-).

The illustrations by Peter J Thornton are very pleasing.

The book also lists the recipes of these various rice dishes at the end of the book. So that's a wonderful follow up activity that can be taken up along with the children. Rice with it's traditional South Indian accompaniments is still the staple in our house and has not yet been replaced with the other more popular food items of this generation ! So this book was much enjoyed by the rice loving kids of the house :-)

For more information about the author Nora Dooley, please head over to her website.


Tharini said...

Yum yum yum! I am writing this as I tuck into a few spoonfuls of aromatic mint pulao! :)

Thanks Ranjani...this fortunately is available in the lib. and I am waiting to get it, and eat it...oops, I meant read it! ;)

utbtkids said...

Ranjani, you review evokes a sense of nostalgia. The childhood spent running from one neighbor's house to another with out 'play date coordination' nightmares.

I have distinct memory of the glutton in me hogging poori at a neighbor's house and was scared to tell my mom that I have already eaten dinner and stuffed my face in what she had prepared :)

This book and EVERY ONE BAKES BREAD ( will go together :)

I am so carrying rice and peppery rasam with beans poriyal for lunch today.

artnavy said...

Great book and lovely way to say we are similar despite our differences

And my favourite rice items are endless- tomato rice, paruppu podi rice and dal chaawal....and teh home staple curd rice

wordjunkie said...

Ooh, my tummy was growling by the end of this wonderful review.
Ditto Tharini's sentiment about wanting to eat, er, read it.

Anusha said...

a children's book with recipes, thank you, R, for the double treat!

Meera Sriram said...

The older one is very rice-philic - be it with sambar or tofu:) She will love this book! And so will I for the recipes that it carries. But wonderful that such a simple thing actually stretches across so many cultures..sweet! R, did you see Norah Dooley is a storyteller as well...oh, you must have:)!

sandhya said...

This reminds me of the time we moved to the south and I was amazed by the variety of rice dishes that I encountered, not being major rice eaters in the family. I had some wonderful neighbours too-just like those of the family in the book-who made all made such yummy kinds of rice. Over the years, we have become major rice eaters, too, and I love my tomato rice, pulliodarai, ven pongal, etc. as mush as the next person. In fact, now mosaranna has become a must-have at every meal, and we get ribbed back home in mumbai about it.

Wonderful review, Ranjani. Available at the library, you say? Will block it ASAP. You have brought out the fact that in our eating habits we are as much similar as we are different so well.

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