Monday, August 11, 2008

Mud Pies and Other Recipes

Mud Pies and Other Recipes
Marjorie Winslow ~ illustrations by Erik Blegvad
Macmillan, 1961
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.

Amen sister.

Also by:
A Year is a Window
The Last of the Wizards
The Diamond in the Window
Plenty of Fish


Anonymous said...

I HAVE THIS BOOK! it was my FAVORITE growing up! i LOVE this book! it's been the inspiration for two of my blog posts so far.

here's one:

Anonymous said...

Oh I want this book :) I am going to go try to find it right now :)

be sure to comment on my giveway to win!

Burgin Streetman said...

it really is the best...

Burgin Streetman said...

it really is the best...

Sharon Lovejoy said...

I too love the Mudpies book. I spent so much of my childhood in my Grandmother' garden with dirt up to my neck. I created the most glorious mudpies with hollyhock blooms, smooshed snapdragons, grass, and dandelions. I even tasted a few.

I think that book helped lead me to the writing of my first book Sunflower Houses. It was a powerful influence.

Keep up yur wonderful blog.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

I just came in from the garden and had a hankering for this book. My copy is nearly 50 years old and the threads are showing but I love it as much today as I did when I was 6. Thanks for posting

MommaofMany said...

I'd love to add this one on our shelves. It looks great!

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