There is something to be said for the old staple cookbooks, like the Joy of Cooking, Fanny Farmer, Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book, all of which have been cited (repeatedly) as must-haves for the home cook because they are books that you can turn to again and again. But just because these books have been around for quite some time, that doesn’t mean that they were the first cookbooks you encountered. I know that they weren’t the first books that piqued my interest as a kid, but fortunately, there were cookbooks out there geared directly towards children – by which I mean that they were illustrated.
One of the first cookbooks I had that I can remember using was , embarrassingly enough, the Care Bear’s Party Cookbook. Illustrated with the characters from the very early 80s cartoon show, it was filled with brightly colored illustrations that made the simple, no-bake recipes look very appealing. I definitely made “Funshine Fizz” (a punch made with orange sherbert), Ants on a Log and Rainbow Fruit Sticks/Kebabs time and time again. Far from gourmet cooking, it was perfect for a kid who wanted to experiment with food but had very limited experience with the kitchen. I loved it and still have the book to this day, although I generally pass it over on the shelf in favor of my more “grown-up” cookbooks.
Do you remember your very first childhood cookbook, or the first one that really made an impression on you?