I haven't read the book yet; only looked into it, to find Ann's illustrations bringing familiar faces and places alive with lots of sparkle and energy. In the book, Fanny is apparently nine years old, She seems to spend the first half of this book knocking around Paris and the south of France with her mother and many familiars from la famille Panisse, cooks and artists and winemakers who've contributed their skills and intelligences and spirit to Alice's restaurant in Berkeley.
The second part of the book contains the recipes. This couscous involved chickpeas cooked with onion, cinnamon, chile, and olive oil; and a brraise of squash, carrots, turnips, onion, and tomatoes, flavored with cumin, coriander, saffron, turmeric, Cayenne pepper, garlic, and ginger. The chermoula, the green sauce on top, is similarly highly flavored: ginger, garlic, chile, cilantro, and lemon juice, along with the parsley.
What a fine thing it all made! The dish is a bit like the family; the constituents keep their individuality, but have much to say to one another, and combine to make a zesty, nourishing stew. We followed it with green salad, of course, this time with a lemon vinaigrette, and then an apple and some chocolate.
I must say: Cook is a marvelous woman, a thoughtful and generous member of a uniquely rewarding family…
illustrations by Ann Arnold. New York: Viking Young Readers Group