November 18, 2019
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Maine author has kids under her spell with fairy-themed cookbook

From magical wands to inspired breads to outdoors-only creations, the new “Fairy House Cooking: Simple Scrumptious Recipes & Fairy Party Fun!” by Liza Gardner Walsh is part imagination, part cookbook and total fun.

A former preschool teacher, Walsh’s whimsical cookbook includes a selection of real recipes for human fairy-lovers (Bird’s Nest Cookies, for instance) and fun, more imaginary ones (Swirly Sparkly Fairy Dust, for instance) for creating treats for fairies and their animal friends. Plus, there are tidbits about fairies, food-based crafts (like Glittery Fairy Face Paint and Watermelon Fairy Houses) and information on hosting parties, too. There’s even a whole section on edible flowers. It’s creative, fun and nourishing — perfect for getting kids and their favorite adults into the kitchen together.

“The idea is to create food inspired by fairies,” Walsh, who lives in Camden, said. “There’s a section about parties because fairies love parties.”

One of her favorite parts is a lesson on how to make a proper pot of tea by illustrator Hazel Mitchell, who is British. There’s also a recipe for birdseed cookies, which hang on trees for birds to nibble on.

For Walsh, whose previous books encourage kids to get outside such as “Muddy Boots,” “Treasure Hunter’s Handbook” and “Fairy Houses All Year,” as well as storybooks like “Do Fairies Bring the Spring?” this was a new challenge.

“[With recipes] you have to be very precise. My other books were not quite as prescriptive,” Walsh said. That meant more testing and proofreading — but less writing.

“It was different because I didn’t have big chapters to fill. … This was more of assembling,” Walsh said.

Although this is Walsh’s first cookbook, she is no stranger to the kitchen.

“I was actually a professional baker right out of college. … And I have always loved baking. The book is dedicated to my grandmother, who was an incredible baker and cook,” Walsh said.

She considers this project — combining cooking with her love of fairies — “an interesting challenge.”

And while she doesn’t see another cookbook in her near future, she already is hard at work on new books. A board book called “Fairies 1-2-3” is expected to be released in late fall, and the third book in her storybook series about fairies will be out next year.

Walsh will be leading a fairy house building workshop at Edythe Dyer Library in Hampden on Thursday, June 22 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

 



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