August 18, 2011

Fairy Tale Feasts

Once again, my friend Gretchen has pointed me in the direction of Extreme Coolness. Remember our trip to meet Hello Kitty? I would have been walking around kicking myself for missing Hello Kitty if it weren’t for my pal Gretchen! Remember the Summertime Hello Kitty post? Miss G. took those pix for me! Our daughters were born about 12 hours apart and we’ve known each other since the girls were babies.

So awhile back I was over at her house and I noticed this amazing book with amazing art sitting on her counter. “WHAT’S THIS?!” I wanted to know. Her daughter had apparently received it as a birthday present. Or Christmas? Can’t remember. I really wanted to snatch it and run away with it - I couldn’t put it down once I began looking through it.

‘Fairy Tale Feasts’ has it all, in my opinion. Really cool renditions of classic fairy tales, plus stories off the beaten path that I hadn’t heard of, retold by Jane Yolen (aka Children’s Lit writing genius).

There are stories that are short and easy-to-understand for toddlers/preschoolers. There are longer, more complicated tales for older kids (7-8+). There are sidebars to each story that give background information about aspects of the fairy tales and the food that adults will enjoy. (Did you know Al Capone set up Chicago’s first soup kitchen? I didn't.) And there are RECIPES. Like this one:

Magic Pear Crumble


1 Cup flour (115 g)
2/3 cup sugar (265 g)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 cup milk (115 ml)
4 ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch (1-2 cm) chunks
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (150 g)
1/4 cup butter (55 g), cut into 5 pieces
3/4 up boiling water, (175 ml)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).

In a large bowl, using a whisk, mix together the flour, white sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and ground cloves until completely combined.

Add milk and beat until smooth. This batter will be very thick and sticky.

With a rubber spatula, fold in the pear chunks.

Scoop the batter into an ungreased 2-quart (2 liter) baking dish or casserole.

Boil water and measure 3/4 cup (175 ml). (If you put the correct amount of water on to boil, it will be less when it is hot.)

Put the butter and brown sugar into a small heat proof bowl and put the hot water over it. Stir until melted and blended.

Pout the hot water mixture over the batter in the baking dish/casserole – do not mix.

Bake for 45 minutes. The finished dessert will be still a little syrupy with golden brown bready tufts. (Serves a family)

I haven’t seen such a fascinating book in a long, long time. Needless to say, I will be getting my own copy in short order. This is one of the most special books I’ve ever seen.

‘Fairy Tale Feasts’ includes recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert, but if that isn’t enough for you – there are more books in this series. You can find ‘Fairy Tale Dinners’ and ‘Fairy Tale Breakfasts’ here and here. There is also ‘Fairy Tale Lunches’ and ‘Fairy Tale Desserts’!

What do you think? Intrigued? Have you done any literary themed cooking with your kids?


  1. Wow--this looks amazing. I was just thinking about recipes that go with books the other day--this looks perfect. :)

  2. Hey Vanessa -- you will love love love this -- Jane Yolen is just the best and I don't know who this artist is but the art is unlike anything I've seen before. Once fall really sets in, I'm making this pear recipe! :)Melissa