Childhood books that introduced you to new foods



I LOVED the Scholastic Book Fairs!

My family had some crazy rules in many areas but they were very liberal about reading. I could read what ever I wanted and was reading adult fiction by 4th or 5th grade. Summer brought weekly trips to the library where I worked my way through many children’s series - we had some pretty old books there!


I don’t see this book mentioned too often, but it had a big influence on me. It’s about a kid who spends a year living in the woods on his own and devising ingenious ways to feed and clothe and shelter himself. My memory of it is a little hazy (I only read it once, when I was about the age of the kid), but I’m pretty sure there was a section in which he sewed skunk cabbage leaves together to create a vessel in which he could boil water. And made a fishhook out of two thorns lashed together. I think of this book when I have to (or choose to) use outside-the-box methods, like when I fried eggs and potatoes over charcoal during Hurricane Irene. There’s some slow cooking, let me tell you.


I’m going to have to check that out!


I LOVED that book! Every once in awhile I get sort of a flashback about it, and I don’t know why.

(Andrea Brooks) #25

Harriet The Spy is my favorite childhood book. Although you couldn’t get me to eat a tomato then; pale, hard, flavorless, in cellophane from the supermarket, the way she loved her tomato and mayo sandwiches always stuck with me. Many years later when I tried a real garden tomato I made a “Harriet” sandwich. YUM! Thanks for the memory.


That one really stuck with me! Found a copy!


I loved scholastic book fairs too. I was once in a Scholastic book catalog. A horrible picture, but I got paid! (I think about $35.00). That was my very first job.


I tried to find “What’s for lunch” in my regional library network, which is huge…no such luck…they have lots by that author but they are all books for children about saints and Biblical figures. Available on Amazon at huge prices! Where did you find your copy? Ah, I do remember those line illustrations…a great book on several levels!


“Amazon-at-a-huge-price”! Actually I don’t remember the price being an issue. I was so happy to find it.


How exciting! Were you a child? How did that come about?


I did some modeling as a child.(blushing).

(Miss_belle) #32

Interesting that some of you don’t remember food scenes in the ND books. Leafing through my collection here😊

The Secret of Red Gate Farm: “Mrs. Byrd appeared very happy as she bustled about, serving the delicious meal of hot biscuits, sizzling ham, sweet potatoes and coffee. Freshly baked lemon meringue pie for dessert.”

The Haunted Showboat: “ The girls found the meal of fried chicken, accompanied by hot corn bread and sweet potatoes very tasty. For dessert they had delicious homemade pecan pie.”
Then later at Antoine’s : The young people thoroughly enjoyed their luncheon in the famous restaurant which had been operating since 1868. The lunch included famous oysters Rockefeller, served on the half shell with hot salt, and garnished with a secret garlic sauce. Then came ‘chicken in a bag’. The waiter tore off the paper to reveal a succulent rice stuffed chicken. Dessert was pecan pie.”

My list could probably go on and on but I don’t want to bore you guys to death. Told you I was a huge ND fan😊

I loved the Scholastic book fairs too. The two books I remember most were The Outsiders & Sorority Girl. Not food related but they made a lasting impression on me. Think they were like 35 cents each back then.


I remember The Outsiders and The Endless Steppe the most.

Upon reflection, the foods that I remember most from childhood books were those I was unfamiliar with. Most of the foods you’ve highlighted from ND were things I was familiar with so perhaps they didn’t create a lasting memory for me.

(Miss_belle) #34

I was familiar with most of the foods too but at that age I still enjoyed reading it in print. I’ve always liked to read about food.:blush:


The excerpts you shared make me want to revisit the books! And mimic her meals… :pie:

(Miss_belle) #36

imo, Nancy Drew books should never go out of style😊


I also remember The Endless Steppe as well as “I am 15 and I don’t want to die”, however, those books are more notable for lack of food!


If you buy a used copy, the price isn’t too high…


My copy was definitely used, but looks good! I realize now I didn’t remember anything about Charlie, or the restaurant, or the other little girl, but I was REALLY impressed with her bring fried chicken and a table cloth for lunch.


I don’t remember much about the food at all, or why I liked them so much, but I remember passing on the love to my daughter, who had “a full set”, plus ALL of the Nancy Drew computer games. I know when continued to play the video games into adulthood. I’ll have to ask her if there are food scenes.