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Rainbow Stew (2013): How to Boil Water and Add Things

Cathryn Falwell, Rainbow Stew (Lee and Low, 2013)


The book's three young protagonists gathering vegetables on the book's cover.

And to think, this was an everyday occurrence around the world until seventy or eighty years ago.
photo credit: Barnes and Noble

It’s kind of depressing that we live in a culture where someone needs to write a book like this—where we are so divorced from the idea of gathering fresh food, preparing it straight from the land, and then eating it right out of the pot is alien enough that someone felt the need to illustrate it to a generation of children (and, let’s be honest, a generation of parents) who are used to vegetables in cans or freezer bags and meat in styrofoam trays. (Don’t worry, I’m not implying grandpa processes a cow or anything in this book.) But on the other hand, if someone had to do it, Cathryn Falwell was the right author. Rainbow Stew‘s story is simple and simply told, with very little embellishment; grandpa gently guides the children through the process of harvesting vegetables (in the rain, so there’s the added fun of playing in the mud), preparing them (OH NOES, CHILDREN WITH PEELERS!), cooking them, and enjoying the result. Falwell includes a rudimentary recipe, but you may know Rainbow Stew as Kitchen Sink Casserole, or by any number of other names; it’s one of those dishes where you take whatever you have on hand, toss it in a pot, and let it go. The stew looks delicious, and the book is as well. ****

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

One response »

  1. My humble thanks for your delicious review.


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