Monday, July 27, 2009

Cookbook Review

I wrote this review a year ago, on my previous blog, but I decided to revisit it now, because last night while watching a web show about bento making, a teenager excitedly told viewers how excited she was to be getting this cookbook soon for her birthday.

A few days before Ula returned to college, our book order from Amazon arrived, bringing with it a children's cookbook that I had seen mentioned on several of the bento websites, The Manga Cookbook. I was really excited, because I had seen beautiful food pictures on The Vegan Lunch Box site that claimed to be made using recipes from this cookbook.
My excitement has been rather short lived, however. The first problem we had was not the fault of the cookbook. I had purchased a box of rice flour, so Ula could try the recipe for 3-color Dango, which are sweet rice dumplings, but when she opened the box it was full of Meal Worms. The second problem was the fault of the cookbook. Ula followed the directions exactly and the dumplings looked fine until someone tried to pick them up to eat them.

They were so soft and squishy that the skewers they were served on slid right through the dumplings, leaving the dumplings stuck to the plate and reminding me of the green slime they dump on people"s heads on Nickelodeon.
I thought Ula must have made a mistake, so I tried making a batch, but had very similar results.
Next, Blaze helped me make Jyagatama (potato balls). Blaze thought smashing potatoes with a wooden spoon was lots of fun.

But I was the only one in the family who ate more than one of the finished product. They taste just like potato salad, without the mustard, but I'm the only one here who likes potato salad.

I also tried the recipe for Nikumaki (meat rolls), using bacon, but those turned out more unappetizing than any of the rest. DH kept talking about trying to get the taste out of his mouth.

The only recipe we tried, that everyone agreed turned out well, was Usagi Ringo (rabbit-shaped apple slices).
I do want to try a few more of the recipes to see if my first choices were just bad ones. Maybe I'll have better luck with some of the other recipes.
My family thinks they've had quite enough of it!
DH says he "hates that book with the white hot intessity of a thousand suns !"

There is also a much more thorough and professional review of this book on the site Lunch in a Box:

Lunch in a Box Book Review


Tammy said...

LOL on your hubby's thoughts on the book.

What a disappointment! I do hope you try a few more recipes, though, just in hopes you will find one that works out the way it's supposed to.

My verification word is "quities." hee hee. Maybe you shouldn't try any more recipes from the book. ;)

jane said...

you know what they say, "if it quacks like a duck..." maybe you should give it up... haha! but your bento boxes are amazing!! they look like so much fun. i love this idea. thanks lisa!!

Crafty Crow