Cookbook challenge: la cuisine est un jeu d'enfants
My very first cookbook must have been La Cuisine est un Jeu d’enfants by Michel Oliver, a gift from my Venerable Mother. I think I must have been about seven when I first read this book, and I have returned to it again and again over the years. I noticed the dedication “a mon père Raymond Oliver avec toute mon admiration” for the first time only this week, when I got the book out to respond to the cookbook challenge from Alicat and Sara.
I think this may be the best cookbook intended for children I’ve ever used (I do remain a fan of Mollie Katzen’s children’s books as well). There is nothing silly or repulsive in this book that a fully-grown person wouldn’t want to prepare. There are recipes for some pretty complicated dishes, including soufflé and custards baked in a water-bath, but all the instructions are clear and gorgeously illustrated. The ingredient list is shown in pictures along the left-hand margin of each recipe. There is one picture of a plucked chicken in a bathing suit, accompanying the recipe for Poulet au sel, that terrifies me as much today as it did thirty-three years ago, but other than that, I find I want to try almost everything.
My favorite section remains the chapter on salads. I chose to prepare this salad called “Oronges” (mushrooms) (Not "oranges"as my spelling software is trying to insist). We make clever little mimetic mushrooms out of stuffed eggs and tomatoes. They are easy and delicious. I left out the anchovies (but I do love those little squiggles the signify anchovies in the margin!).