I adore The River Cottage books and TV shows and I just recently purchased this tome to add to my collection. What makes this book unique is all the background information on ingredients. For instance, the first chapter is on flour so it talks about wheat – soft wheat and hard wheat. Then the processes to make different flours and what flours are used for bread or cakes and biscuits etc. I have been reading the book cover to cover and learning a lot.
This is a fantastic book for older kids as most of the recipes are straight forward and approachable for them to cook themselves. Some require an adult but they usually come with a warning next to the recipe title ‘warning – boiling sugar!’ The food photographed in the book aren’t picture perfect but refreshingly realistic. They were all cooked by families for families and I love their approach.
The older children cooked many dishes entirely on their own – although one of us was never far away. The younger children ‘helped’ us, doing what they could (and what they felt like doing). As we cooked, phones rang, babies crawled about, and family life carried on regardless. We did it like this because we imagine you’ll be cooking the same way …
The River Cottage Family Cookbook
My two older kids have been enjoying this book as much as me because there are some fun projects like creating your own ice cream maker, building a campfire for outdoor cooking, growing your own potatoes and hosting a pancake race.
We have been cooking quite a bit from this book lately but the latest recipe was this Frozen Strawberry Milkshake. The kids wanted to make this recipe first but I hadn’t yet bought a blender here in the US. Today Elliott and I did a bit of shopping after preschool and we picked up a glass blender and a huge bag of frozen strawberries ready for a delicious after school milkshake.
Tilly got busy and roughly measured out the ingredients then blitzed them all up into a thick, icy thick shake. Yum! The only improvement according to the kids is that next time we have straws. Apparently milkshakes just taste better with a straw.
frozen strawberry milkshakes
(slight adaptation of a recipe from ‘The River Cottage Family Cookbook’)
2 cups frozen strawberries that have been hulled
1 tablespoon castor sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
Place all the ingredients in a glass blender and whiz until smooth, thick and pink.