Today is Family Literacy Day all across Canada. Family Literacy Day is an annual event to celebrate adults and children to read and learn together. Family’s are encouraged to spend just 15 minutes reading together today. As you know, we love reading. Books are one of our favourite ways to explore the world, learn about life and just plain entertain ourselves. I love making food that is inspired by books. You might remember the building a baby’s library baby shower I hosted a couple of years ago. This time around, I looked to my daughters to come up with the dishes we would make for our family literacy dinner. The girls came up with a fun and delicious dinner…all food from children’s books.
Our literary dinner began with a light and simple salad inspired by “The Tale of Peter Rabbit”, by Beatrix Potter. My eldest daughter wrote out all the vegetables that Peter came across in Mr. McGregor’s garden; lettuce, radishes, french beans, cucumber, parsley and carrots. My girls helped to make the salad, they took turns with all of the chopping. (recipe below)
Alligator stew…well, chicken stew…was inspired by one of my absolute authors, Dennis Lee. Lee’s popular “Alligator Pie” had us thinking of ways to make a kid-friendlier version of the dish. We made our absolute favourite chicken stew recipe, by chef Michael Smith.
With the main meal taken care of, my youngest daughter thought it might be fun to have grape pop to drink. In “The Doll People” by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin, the doll’s swimming pool is filled with grape pop…pretty silly. We decided to make our own grape pop, from concentrated grape juice. We found a simple and delicious grape-vanilla soda recipe, in FoodTV magazine.
Finally, dessert. Both of my daughters absolutely love the book “The One and Only Ivan”, by Katherine Applegate. This book follows the friendship between a gorilla Ivan and an elephant Ruby. Ivan loved bananas, no big surprise there. We decided to have sliced bananas for dessert. Something simple to end our family literacy dinner.
I love how this dinner came together. My daughters had a lot of fun reviewing the books they’ve read, looking for food to make. This really tested their comprehension and memory. We also had a great time in the kitchen, together, writing the shopping list, preparing the food, cooking the food and serving the food. We will be spending some time this evening, cuddled up on the couch, reading together. What food would you add to our family literacy day menu?
Peter Rabbit Salad
- 3 radishes thinly sliced
- 2 carrots sliced
- 1/2 cucumber sliced
- handful of green beans
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp honey
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
For the vinaigrette
- Combine olive oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
- Whisk together until combined.
- Taste and add more oil, vinegar or honey as you like.
For the salad
- Combine lettuce, sliced carrots, thinly sliced radishes, sliced cucumber and parsley.
- Blanch green beans in pot of boiling water, let cool and add to salad.
- Pour vinaigrette over salad, toss until coated.