A Cooking Survival Guide for Active Independent Children
by Tiana North with a little help from her mom Taliba Holliday
240 pages, illustrated
Book Review by Kam Williams
“My Mom and Dad separated when I was still in Underoos, so I’ve had to help Mom a lot…Ever since I could pick up a spoon, my Mom has had me in the kitchen… I think every kid needs to learn how to cook to some extent. This cookbook should get you started. The recipes are very simple…
I hope pre-teens and teens use this cookbook to better take care of yourselves, and to become more independent of your parents while eating healthy, nutritious meals. I can’t believe I’m saying that—I’m starting to sound just like my Mom already! ”
-Excerpted from the Introduction (pages 1-2)
There are two reasons why I heartily recommend this very practical cookbook designed with latchkey kids in mind. First of all, Tiana North’s simple recipes sound both yummy and really easy to follow. Secondly, she devotes the first 50 pages to common sense tips about shopping, safety, and planning meals.
Only after she’s gone through an exhaustive checklist of dos and don’ts covering everything from how to light a gas stove to keeping a list of emergency phone numbers to using oven mitts to the significance of sanitation, does she even begin to share her collection of mouth watering culinary secrets aimed at the adolescent palate. This make sense, since the opus’ target demographic are ‘tweeners and teens who not only have to cook for themselves, but might need to buy food first, decide what to eat, and clean up afterwards.
Thus, there’s a chapter on “Grocery Store Economics” which shows how much you can save by clipping coupons and comparison shopping. Another area addressed is the role following a balanced diet comprised of all the basic food groups plays in maintaining health. And so forth.
As for the recipes, among those that caught my eye were ones for drinks like fresh lemonade and for cranberry and carrot juice, each made from scratch. In terms of entrees, I’d like to try Tiana’s Corn Flake Chicken, Marinated Lamb Chops, Cerviche and Toaster Oven BBQ Ribs.
Probably the best selling point for this well-organized survival guide is the fact that the author herself flourished by following the comprehensive regimen printed on these pages. Today, she no longer lives at home but in New York City where she’s studying at Fordham University while already pursuing a career in modeling and acting, oh and writing, too.