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The River Cottage Family Cookbook Hardcover – January 2, 2008

16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


'Three loud, very heartfelt cheers for a book that promises children a better start in the kitchen and at table ... THE RIVER COTTAGE FAMILY COOKBOOK is ... a fount of useful information, and great inspiration for culinary action stations' Phillippa Davenport, Financial Times Recipes so simple that a child could do them, but this is not a cookbook for children; it is a brilliant introduction to making food that's suitable for everyone Independent A triumph ... will grab the attention of younger readers, and the range of recipes is broad enough to interest more seasoned cooks, too. Irish Times (Book of the Year) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

A distinctly educational cooking primer for the whole family with more than 100 recipes that can be made by children. * Written by a father of three and a mother of five who perfected the recipes with help from their kids and their kids' playmates. * Ideal for passionate parents who want to instill in their children a love of healthy food handmade from fresh, natural ingredients.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; First Edition edition (January 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580089259
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580089258
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 1.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #536,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has become widely known as a broadcaster for his uncompromising commitment to real food and honest home cooking. His three series for Channel 4 -- most recently River Cottage Forever -- have earned Hugh a huge popular following. His most recent book, THE RIVER COTTAGE COOKBOOK, scooped the top food writing awards in 2002, winning the Glenfiddich Trophy, the Andre Simon Food Book of the Year and the Guild of Food Writers' Michael Smith Award. Hugh lives in Dorset with Marie and their son Oscar.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Amy Senk VINE VOICE on February 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
We wanted our kids to love food, love cooking and be comfortable in the kitchen, and we thought investing in some family cookbooks would be the perfect place to start. Let the kids flip through the recipes and photographs, find things that tempted them and take it from there.

Sounds easy, right? It's not! Because most cookbooks aimed at children, or families, contain really gross recipes that do the following: 1. Try to sneak healthy foods into kids, like putting spinach into chocolate pudding, thereby insulting children by treating them as idiots who won't like so-called adult flavors. 2. Try to make foods kid-friendly by making them look like clown faces, or animals, by using shredded carrot "hair" or olive "eyes". or 3. Try to make recipes kid-friendly by using shortcut ingredients (dough from a tube, pre-made sauces) that turn cooking into a joke.

In the face of all the bad books, The River Cottage Family Cookbook stands out as one of the best books we've found, not just for our children, but for our entire family. We like everything about this book, from the explanations about cooking, to the photography, to the inclusive nature of the recipes.

We find that the more we cook with our kids, the more adventurous they become about food and the closer we all grow as a family. Don't waste your time with bad cookbooks. The River Cottage is a perfect place to start.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By contrary_weasel on January 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is actually 416 pages! Gorgeous yet realistic and very homey food photos including kid-next-door children, misshapen & imperfect dishes, and exquisitely crafted recipes with sublime descriptions of exactly how and why certain things are done, and when, in the creation of your meal. All ages will not only enjoy, but LEARN from this cookbook. Simply divine, and not to be missed.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Erin E. Nichols on August 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The River Cottage Family Cookbook is a wonderful addition to the kitchen bookshelf. The authors, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Fizz Carr have researched and created a fanciful yet extremely factual cooking companion for the entire family to enjoy and learn from. These unique writers delve into the veritable meat and bones of the "whys" of cookery and stress the importance of including children in the food preparation process. In addition, the overarching message of the text addresses the timely issue of instilling in our families the value of consuming more local, organic, and humanely raised food. To that end, all of the recipes in this book were made by their children, with assistance from parents when needed.

The beginning of each chapter includes a very conversational primer on the topic covered. So for instance, in the "Flour" section you not only have bread, scone, and pasta recipes but also mini articles on the reasons why we have to knead dough, a brief history of the effects flour has had on civilization, and even the science behind soda breads. If I'm fascinated by these recipe asides, than I'm sure your children will be as well.

The photography of the book is also very down to earth. The images of food you'll find inside look like things that actually come out of your own oven. There are candid pictures of fresh pasta drying on coat hangers, gooey pink spills, and far from artistic eclairs but this only serves to give each dish a very approachable air.

If learning how to make your own salt, build a campfire, whip up ice cream without the aid of a special machine, or holding a pancake race appeals to your inner child then please make it a priority to check out The River Cottage Family Cookbook.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By on November 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a fantastic family cookbook! The term family cookbook translates as a book intended for everyone in your family to use. Yes, there are recipes, over one hundred of them. But there is much more - food history, fun facts, carefully worded explanations, step-by-step photos, fun family projects, and even suggestions on eating the finished products.

The chapters are arranged by main ingredient, as listed in the column to the left. Honestly, the history provided for each item is fascinating, which I was surprised by. How is sugar made? Why are there different types of flour? What makes yeast work? Where does salt come from? They do a wonderful job of illustrating the journey each food undergoes en route to your table.

The authors firmly believe if you understand the rationale behind the recipes, you'll be a better cook. They provide the reason behind the season, so to speak, designed to take the guesswork out of your kitchen. Don't be intimidated by the lengthy recipes. Take a closer look and you'll see the length is due to proper explanations provided for each step, along with benchmarks on how your dish should be coming along in appearance and texture. Someone who has never set foot in the kitchen could pick up this cookbook, select a recipe and be successful. No prior knowledge is required, which is a exactly what a new cook wants to hear.

The recipes range from simple Drop Scones to the more involved French-Style Apple Tart. There is ample opportunity for each family member to get their hands dirty. Following each recipe are tips on how to eat the finished product and possible ingredient variations. For more fun, give the family projects a try.
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