Lucy loves these books

best cookbooks of 2013 (the kid edition)

best books of 2013

Nearly every surface of our home and kitchen studio is covered in cookbooks right now.

We’re crazy about cookbooks in our home. It’s not just because we write cookbooks that we love cookbooks. We write cookbooks because we love them. Danny and I both pore over every new cookbook that arrives in our home with great delight. (We’re lucky that publishers send us cookbooks to preview, including quite a few of the ones you see in that photo above.) A few bore us right away. Those are generally the ones with television stars on the front. (Some of those are great, however.) Or strange single-title books. (There are great ones in that category, however.) Mostly, it’s the cookbooks written with great passion, with humor and drive, with a collective sigh of wisdom from standing in front of the stove for years that call us in, over and over.

As you can imagine, both Danny and I have stacks of cookbooks on the tables next to our side of the bed. So does Lucy now.

I happen to love my Kindle for traveling, on the plane or the ferry. I have found a way to curl up with it and make it feel like reading. But there are a few kinds of books I’ll never read on an electronic device. My battered and deeply loved Penguin paperback copy of Jane Eyre. Mary Oliver poems. Buddhist books. And cookbooks. I will always want to hold a cookbook in my hands.

We fell into so many cookbooks this year, entering worlds created by people we’d like to know in person (and in many cases, worlds created by friends we trust), that we want to share them with you. Over the next week, we will be doing a series of posts about this family’s favorite cookbooks of 2013.

Today, we start with Lucy’s choices.

Lu is only 5, so you might not think she knows a good cookbook yet. But remember, she has been around the making of a cookbook since the day she was born. Right now, I think she believes that every family cooks 5 to 6 dishes a day, then sits down at the table together to discuss them. More lemon juice? How about fish sauce? Is it flaky enough? If anything, we’ve had to train ourselves to stop talking about dishes at the dinner table and simply enjoy our food with her instead. Still, her favorite game at the moment is to gather a pile of post-it notes from the desk at our kitchen studio, come up to us to take our order, then retreat to her kitchen corner and make us a meal. What she imagines is often fantastic.

I’m pretty sure she’s going to be better than both of us combined someday.

So, when Lucy approves of a book, it’s because that book appeals to her visually, because the food looks immediately interesting, and because that cookbook keeps drawing her in.

Here are Lucy’s favorite cookbooks of 2013.

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