A cookbook for dolls and fairies

How did I miss this book when I was five? I would have loved it above all others.

Mud Pies and Other Recipes by Marjorie Winslow is a make-believe cookbook. It’s earnest, packed with back garden cooking tips and thoroughly charming. Whether your children are hosting a doll’s tea party, entertaining fairies or catering a teddy bear’s picnic, this cookbook is brimming with recipes to inspire imagination and fill many happy hours outdoors.

A short introduction provides those new to cooking for dolls with some helpful guidelines –

“Doll cookery is not a very exacting art. The time it takes to cook a casserole depends upon how long your dolls are able to sit at a table without falling over”.

and “…if a recipe calls for a cupful of something, you can use a measuring cup or a teacup or a buttercup. It doesn’t much matter. What does matter is that you select the best ingredients available, set a fine table, and serve with style”.

According to Winslow, thousand dollar play kitchens are not necessary at all – “The sea makes a nice sink; so does a puddle at the end of a hose. For a stove there is the sun, or a flat stone. And ovens are everywhere. You’ll find them under bushes, in sandboxes or behind trees”.

The book is helpfully broken into sections – Appetizers, Soups, Salads and Sandwiches, Main Dishes, Pastries and Desserts and Beverages for perfect menu planning. Some are simple such as ‘Fried Water’ and ‘Leaves En Brochette’ (pictured above), others will require dinner guests to be more patient while preparations are underway – ‘Seesaw Salad’ is genius:

“Follow the recipe for Tossed Leaves, but add the following… Sprinkle over all a generous amount of sawdust, then turn the hose nozzle to a fine spray and wave it twice over the bowl. Arrange yourself on a seesaw with the bowl in front of you and a friend at the other end. Toss the salad this way as long as it’s fun, or until well blended.”

I love how seriously Winslow treats the topic, I love Erik Blegvad’s sweet engravings and I love how this book will have kids tearing into the backyard to get to work. Truly a book to treasure.

Mud Pies and Other Recipes is available from Book Depository for $16.76. Book Depository delivers free to Australia.

Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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