Tamar Ansh, otherwise known as the challah queen (at least that is how I know her cause of her book, Taste of Challah), just came out with the perfect Passover coobook for you and your kids. Let My Children Cook!, would be a fun book for anyone and can really help get your kids get involved in the kitchen his year. She covers all the basics, like matzah balls and charoset as well as lots of new serving ideas and recipes for the whole family to enjoy. She even throws in a few clever crafts. I spoke with Tamar and learned a bit more about her.
1. What inspired you to write this cookbook for kids?
Inspiration for a book can come from many sources; with each book I’ve done, Hashem sent me the idea and the inspiration in a different way.
For this book, Let My Children Cook!, the inspiration actually came from a totally unexpected angle. A friend of mine mentioned the idea to me in a short email. I read it quickly and the idea just took off nearly immediately in my head. I sat there all that day and part of the next and by just thinking about it without interruptions, so many ideas got put down in my first outline. The best part about it – the title!! THAT ‘came to me’ almost instantaneously! Every time I see it again it makes me chuckle inside – the title was so perfect that I just had to see this book become a reality; and now, Baruch Hashem, it is…
2. What ages do you think your book is best for?
As I wrote on the cover, this book is for “kids aged 8 – 108!” BUT, the truth is that it can really be used by nearly everybody. The recipes were written and geared towards food the average kid will enjoy and want to eat. And if they like to eat it, they will also like to try cooking it. This book’s younger cook age is around 8-year-olds and above, just as I wrote on the cover, and kids aged 11-16 will find it easiest. However, I know that anyone making Passover will enjoy it, those new to their Passover kitchen, grandmothers with grandkids coming over to visit, kids who want to make something for their cousins and friends, or mothers who want something quick and easy that their kids will eat. Just about anyone, regardless of whether there are kids in your life or not, can have a good time with this book.
3. What do you like to cook with your kids?
My kids are actually very good cooks by now. They will make anything but their absolute favorite is making sponge cakes, brownies and ice creams – in other words, desserts! Last year my girls made the most amazing potato blintzes and Pesach egg noodles (sorry, those are in my other Pesach cookbook, Pesach – Anything’s Possible!), besides lots of salads and of course, nearly every single dessert we had. They are planning to do so again…I love working together with all of them in the kitchen; it really makes it feel like the holiday is coming and the smells and the enjoyment of having them with me together is very special.
We’ll leave out mention of how many dishes we have to wash every time!!
4. What is your earliest cooking memory?
Ahem…can’t say I have one! I wasn’t much of a cook when I was a kid! Matza pizza and matza and butter were all I really did on my own…my mother was and still is a great cook, though!
6. How did you decide to add some craft projects into this book too?
I used to be a pre-school teacher and every year we made the crafts you see me listing in Let My Children Cook! The kids loved making them, I enjoyed seeing the fun they had when taking them home on that last day of school before Pesach break, and so I decided, why not share them here? Plus, kids who can do them on their own or have their parent set them up to do it, will have something productive to do with themselves while the family is so busy getting ready for the holiday. Parents of younger children are sure to appreciate this bonus to this cookbook. Try out this Passover Placemat Craft here.
Have a great, delicious and enjoyable Passover!