I don’t know if it’s a “homeschooler thing” or just my love of learning. Whatever it is, I especially enjoy the opportunity to turn something into a learning experience – and that’s just what “How Cooking Works” does. It takes a children’s cookbook with basic yet appealing recipes and mixes in modest nuggets of science. It’s a lovely little cooking/science fusion book to feed your mind and your belly at the same time.
The book has some incredibly easy recipes like how to boil an egg or basic muffins. These are the foundations upon which we all build our cooking skills, and it is nice to see them included.
The layout takes you through the day, starting with items such as pancakes, granola breakfast bars, and fruit smoothies. On the way, the book contains questions such as “Why are thick pancakes full of air bubbles?” and “Why does granola turn golden brown when it is baked?”. Then there is a section for snack time -pea & mint soup, anyone? or maybe the delicious rice balls we made and ate before I could take photos? Then there are main meals and ending up with ‘sweet stuff.’
However, don’t think that because it is a basic cookbook, How Cooking Works doesn’t have some exciting recipes. For instance, the page for cookie dough takes you through the steps to make & bake simple cookies and gives you instructions for exciting variations like apricots and cinnamon or cheddar cheese and rosemary.
We used the muffin recipe, but instead of adding the blueberries we used food colouring and made this.
The science nugget on the page was about why muffins rise in the oven. We cut open the cake so we could see the bubbles caused by the reaction of the baking powder with the other ingredients. “The carbon dioxide bubbles expanding in the mix as the muffins cook are what makes the cake rise,” Evey told her dad when she shared the cake.
We think this is an excellent companion to the equally good Look I’m A Cook, also by DK.
If you are looking for extra gifts for book lovers, there are plenty of amazing ideas in our ultimate guide to gifts for book lovers, updated for 2019.