Mud Pies and Other Recipes
Marjorie Winslow ~ illustrations by Erik Blegvad
NYR Children's Collection, 2010
Oh my goodness. Tucked up among some other titles in the attic ~ so small I almost missed it all together ~ was an old friend I haven't seen in years. Many a summer day was spent mixing rainspout tea and dandelion souffle, while a mud pie baked in the sun. If you look closely at these pictures, you will even see my own childhood mud stains still clinging to the pages of this dear, dear title after all these years. So special is this book to me that I am copying the forward here in full...
This is a cookbook for dolls. It is written for kind climates and summertime.
It is an outdoor cookbook, because dolls dote on mud, when properly prepared. They love the crunch of pine needles and the sweet feel of seaweed on the tongue. The market place, then, will be a forest or sand dune or your own backyard.
You can use a tree stump for a counter. The sea makes a nice sink; so does a puddle at the end of a hose. For a stove there is the sun, or a flat stone. And ovens are everywhere. You'll find them under bushes, in sandboxes or behind trees.
Cooking utensils should, whenever possible, be made from something that would otherwise be thrown away. Cutting the side from an empty milk carton leaves a perfect loaf pan, while slicing an inch or two from the bottom of another makes a good square cake pan. The bottom half of a heavy cardboard egg carton does nicely as a muffin tin and as a mold for individual cakes and pies. Empty frozen pie pans are very useful. So are frozen orange juice cans, cupped milk bottle tops, small flower pots, pop bottle caps and coffee cans.
Doll cookery is not an exacting art. The time it takes to cook a casserole depends on how long your dolls are able to sit at table without falling over. And if a recipe calls for a cupful of something, you can use a measuring cup or a teacup or a buttercup. It doesn't much matter. What does matter is that you select the best ingredients available, set a fine table, and serve with style.
A Year is a Window
The Last of the Wizards
The Diamond in the Window
Plenty of Fish