My Least Favorite Cookbook


Nothing against Jessica Seinfeld, and certainly not against the adorable cover of this book. Kudos, graphic designers: you got me to pick the thing up. The adorable retro look of the book and the enticing promise of being able to eat bad-for-you crap and somehow make it healthy was a too-good-be-true package that I wish I had recognized as such. (Of course, it helped that it was being sold by a now-defunct independent bookstore I was trying to support. It was called The Next Chapter and it was in the charming downtown of Woodland, California.)

Here is a review I wrote of the volume, and had posted on some time ago.  Consider yourself forewarned, but if you do find the need to buy the book, please please please buy it from your local independent bookstore.  Or if you love you some online shopping, try, where you can even get it used!

I don’t have kids and am not particularly interested (necessarily) in having them, so that might in part explain my bad attitude. Maybe if you’re doing something for someone else (like a kid) you’re more motivated.

Anyway, here’s the review:

I hate this book. Obviously, I’m not trying to be objective, and I’m kind of in a bad mood as I’m writing this 😦

I feel like this BOOK is deceptive!

The deal is, if you want to “sneak” healthy stuff into kids’ foods (or, into your own food, as I was hoping to do)you have to make an actual major lifestyle change: prepare to spend hours at a time to boiling up vegetables and and  liquefying them in a blender, then freezing them for a future date when you can trick your kids into eating them by saying, “Hey, kid, how about some banana cream pie, partly filled with liquid squash?”

Who would do all of this, unless they were actually, certifiably crazy? I don’t know how this book got published!  About 1% (or less) of the people who purchase this book are going to follow the strange plan of this loony lady…

Actually, to answer my own question as to how it got published, it’s because it has an appealing cover and title, and when you flip through the thing it’s filled with colorful photographs of delicious-looking recipes.  It’s only when you sit down and give it a good read that you see that this mom is insane.

I guess my biggest question is, are this lady’s cooking tactics really of nutritional value?  She (probably) can’t hurt the kids with her soupy concoctions, but isn’t it true that once you boil the heck out of vegetables and liquefy them, the vitamins and other good stuff go completely down the… well… toilet?

Speaking of which, maybe the sneaking-in-the-vegetables thing is purely for roughage purposes.  So why puree them?  Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?

My alternative title would be, “How to Give Your Kids Diarrhea”.

I’m bitter because this book was kind of expensive and I felt duped. 

Therefore, I consider this review a sort of public service message: use it well.



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