A Recipe for Family Time

What are the flavors of your childhood? What foods do you remember even years later, and what stories are associated with them? When was the last time you made a lasagna the way your Nonna did it, or grilled up cheese sandwiches with mustard like Uncle Sammy liked them? Food can be such an important way to care for yourself and your loved ones, to bond with your kids and grandkids, and to perpetuate family traditions. Why not try to make a special dish as a family? Children can help with the shopping, the prep work, and the cooking, depending on their abilities.

Maybe you want to re-envision that childhood lasagna for your gluten-free family. Maybe a taste test where mustard is replaced with pickles or tomato slices. Maybe it's too hot to cook, so you and your preschool kids are going to make smoothie popsicles or fresh fruit kebabs. There are lots of options! We have cookbooks just for kids.

Stuck for ideas? No worries -- you can start a new tradition! Consider the books on this list that have both a story and a tasty recipe included:

Picture Books with Good Taste

List created by OAKLibQ

Enjoy the full flavor of these picture books, with recipes sure to satiate all readers.

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Also, where are you keeping these family recipes? I saved my Granddad's fudge recipe (no candy thermometer required!) and a photocopy of the trusty carrot-zucchini bread that my mom made into a T-Rex cake for my fourth birthday. I have them stashed in the cloud, because it's easier for me to find them online than in the back of a drawer or inside a cookbook. But when I have the chicken-rice comfort casserole ingredients only in my head, and my wife goes to make it for dinner and leaves out the onion... yeah. We need a better system. So write that stuff down! Work out the fiddly details like how much of each spice goes in (even if your Lola never measured, make your best guess). Add your tips on how to tell when it's cooked enough and ready for the next step. Figure out what works best for your family, and then SAVE it!

Whether it's a brand-new recipe or one handed down for generations, I hope you enjoy making (and eating!) it together. Food makes memories -- and you can, too.