Who says “Dinner and a Movie” is only for adults? We’ve come up with a few fun and creative fall-inspired snack and book combos for our kid-friendly version called “A Snack and a Story”. Kids of all ages and adults can prepare and enjoy this assortment of books and recipes together. So roll up your sleeves, put on some of your favorite tunes, and let’s get cookin’ and readin’!
Apples – The quintessential fall fruit. Red Delicious, Grannie Smith, Gala, Pink Lady…the varieties are nearly endless. While some may view this book choice as divisive, Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree has endured as a childhood classic since its initial publication in 1964. Whatever your interpretation of the story (a heartwarming tale of symbiosis and altruistic giving, or the epitome of a parasitic relationship?), that luscious red apple against the vibrant green background depicted on the book’s front cover sure makes the taste buds crave some apple-inspired treats. Each of these kid-friendly desserts features apples as its centerpiece. The S’mores Caramel Apples and Apple Cider Donuts are two of our favorites.
Soup – It may be cold and rainy outside, but with a hot pot of soup on the stove and a good book in hand, you’ll soon forget about the gloomy fall weather. For those who don’t recall the plot, Stone Soup is the timeless folk tale about a group of hungry travellers who arrive at a village following a long journey. Unfortunately, the villagers are unwilling to share any of their food. So the travelers take a large pot, fill it with water and a large stone, and place it over a fire in the town square. A curious resident walks by and inquires about what is cooking in the pot. “Stone Soup!”exclaims one of the travelers. “It’s coming along quite nicely, but we could really use a few extra ingredients to make it extra tasty.” The villager offers a carrot; another passes by and offers some salt and pepper. Soon, a flavorful soup filled with all sorts of vegetables and seasonings is ready to be enjoyed by all.
In addition the important lessons about generosity and giving, this story teaches a vital cooking tip: you can use just about anything lying around the house to make a good pot of soup! Have some celery stalks sitting in the fruit bin? A can of chickpeas collecting dust in the pantry? Get creative and devise your own version of Stone Soup. If you need a little inspiration to get started, check out these versions from The Nourishing Home and the Peach Tree Road Farmer’s Market. And for some delicious soups kids will love to help prepare and eat, visit seriouslysoupy.com.
Pumpkins – Pumpkin pie and Jack-o-lanterns! ‘Tis the season for pumpkins – whether you enjoy eating them, carving them, or reading about them. We bet you never know there were so many children’s books about pumpkins. Head on down to Pumpkin Town! with Katie McKy and Pablo Bernasconi and learn what happens when one little town has an abundance of pumpkins. We can certainly think of a few ideas about how best to use them. Take one of the pumpkins and, with the help of an adult, carve a Jack-o-lantern. This video provides a nice introduction to the process. Make sure not to throw away the seeds! You can roast them for a delicious and healthy snack. Whether you’re in the mood for a soup, pie, bread, pancakes, even quinoa, these recipes are sure to satisfy pumpkin cravings for all ages.
Cranberries – Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Believe it or not, there is even a book about the cranberry! Check your local library or bookstore and see if you can get your hands on this vintage edition of Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Delvin. Discover who stole Grandmother’s favorite recipe for cranberry bread, and then bake up a batch of your own. Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without cranberry sauce. Take the traditional route with this no frills recipe, or get creative and try one of these versions. You can also spruce up the basic version with your favorite additions, including dried cranberries, mandarin orange segments, raisons, candied pecans, almonds, walnuts; and if you’re feeling extra adventurous, try adding bits of candied ginger. Ever wonder where cranberries grow and how they are harvested? Check out this fascinating video from National Geographic for the answers.
We’d love to hear your suggestions for some other Snack and a Story ideas, which you can share in the comments section below. Enjoy!