Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Hungry Monkey: Book Review

Hungry Monkey
Hungry Monkey is the funniest book I've read all year. It might seem odd that I would even bother reading a book about "a food-loving father's quest to raise an adventurous eater" since I don't have kids myself. I only review things here that appeal to me personally, so I approached the book thinking perhaps I would review it for another site, but I literally couldn't put it down. Since then I've recommended it to just about everyone I know who has little ones. I don't dare lend anyone my copy because there are too many recipes I have bookmarked to try.

I can hear you saying to yourself, what recipes from a book about cooking for and with kids could she possibly want to make? Let me tell you, just about all of them. But in particular, I want to make Corn with Scallions, Jalapeno and Lime, Bibimbap, Roasted Trout with Fennel, Onions and Cilantro and Gingerbread Cupcakes with Lemon Glaze, I won't make the scrumptious sounding Baked Pasta with Cauliflower because it calls for 2 cups of cream and I'm pretty sure that's my yearly allotment, even if it does serve 4 people.

I read all of Hungry Monkey over a lazy weekend poolside in Napa and I laughed out loud. A lot. I'm not sure there has ever been a book as refreshingly honest about what it's really like to cook for and feed kids. Author Matthew Amster-Burton is funny in a smart and self-deprecating kind of way that makes you want to be friends with him. His daughter Iris is one of those hilarious little girls that are very common in my family. She is very entertaining, which is really saying something since I'm not actually related to her.

Hungry Monkey is a great Summer read, but it's also the perfect gift for anyone with a kid, a picky eater or the smug parent of a two year omnivore for that matter (you'll have to read the book to find out why).

Note: I hesitated to review this book, because the best I can really do is tell you to read it. Fortunately there are 3 chapters available online so you can see for yourself why I'm raving about it.