When I first picked up my copy of Too Many Cooks: Kitchen Adventures with 1 Mom, 4 Kids, and 102 Recipes by Emily Franklin I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it or if I could even relate to the story or the author. According to the back cover of the book it is “A memoir of testing, tasting and discovery in the kitchen.”
Well anyone that knows me knows I have nothing to do with kitchens! I don’t enjoy cooking, mostly since I don’t know where to start. My few attempts to make new meals for my family have flopped, and that’s putting it kindly! I am also quite picky and rarely try new foods.
Once I started reading this book I was hooked. I loved Emily Franklin’s tales of cooking and getting her four children to try new foods. If anything, her story took me back to childhood and my own mother, who loves to cook, trying to get the four of us to try the things she made. My poor mother. I can now sympathize with what she must have gone through trying to get us to eat new foods and try our vegetables.
I was intrigued by Franklin’s method of introducing new foods to her kids. She pairs a new food with a familiar food, taste, flavor or texture. That seems so simple and makes so much sense, yet I never thought to do that with my own children. I think it is a much better idea than my parents had when they told us we were having our favorite dish, chicken parmagiana. After a bite or two, we thought something was wrong with our chicken. Problem was, it was EGGPLANT parmagiana! I wouldn’t advocate lying to your kids to get them to try something. I still won’t touch eggplant parmagiana.
I also enjoyed her stories outside of the kitchen. One point she relays a story about a vacation they took to visit some friends for a summer vacation. The house was plagued with bats and they had to do bat checks each night. This cracked me up! For a while I made my husband do bat checks each night. The reason why sounds made up, but I assure you it’s true.
The first year we moved into our house was exciting. We decorated for everything. Every holiday was exciting. Come Halloween, we did it up with lights, pumpkins, witches. You name it we had it. We bought TONS of candy in preparation for all the little Trick-or-Treaters in the neighborhood. The kids finally stopped coming by around 9 o’clock. We shut out the lights and settled into the family room to watch TV and talk about all the cute kids we saw.
Right about then, something buzzed over our heads. I screamed and yelled, “WHAT WAS THAT??” Hubs tells me it was probably a bird that got in and started to go in the living room after it. Of course it comes back and I start screaming again. IT’S A BAT!! ON HALLOWEEN. This had to be some sort of sick practical joke, right?
Wrong. It was a real bat. It was in our house. I was freaking out.
Once the bat did another loop and flew back into the front of the house, I ran out the back door and locked myself in the car in the driveway. I proceeded to call Hubs on his cell phone every 30 seconds to see if he caught it yet. I did not move from that spot until my husband emerged victorious from the house. I’m sure the neighbors must have thought we were nuts that night.