Thursday, 17 November 2011

Stew a Cockatoo My Aussie Cookbook

Stew a Cockatoo My Aussie Cookbook by Ruthie May, illustrated by Leigh Hobbs (Little Hare)
HB RRP $16.95
ISBN 978-192154151-3
Reviewed by Lillian Rodrigues-Pang

This book is a breath of fresh air. You can learn Australian culture, lingo, history and food recipes. There is even a recipe on how to stew a cockatoo – page 21.

This is a cultural offering for all the family. Ruthie May describes iconic Australian speech such as rhyming slang and offers interesting facts such as the number of meat pies consumed at an AFL Grand Final day in the MCG. From this book I learned the history of many iconic Australian dishes, including a few of our family favourites. The lamington, which was accidently created by Lord Lamington and the creation of the pavlova in Western Australia to honour the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova – I wonder if anyone called her pav for short?

Some of the introductions are priceless – “Thighs, breasts and eggs – chooks have it all…” (pg 20), “The Aussie barbeque is the natural habitat for many Aussies…the shielas make salads…the blokes guard the barbeque…and everyone swats flies.” (Pg 24)

Over recent years my children have received or borrowed many childrens cooking book and one of the things I dislike are the ridiculous recipes. Usually they are colour and sugar filled concoctions that I do not want my children making let alone eating. This book offers healthier recipes as well, on page 16 there is the Dinky-di Icy Pole recipe made from blended kiwifruit, oranges apples strawberries and passionfruit – yum!

The graphics are by Leigh Hobbs – really how could it get any better? The pictures of Uncle Daz tenderizing the meat, Dame Melba inspiring peaches and cream and bush pig fairy bread are hilarious. Highly recommended as gift for visitors, children and anyone inbetween.

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