Review: The Secret Garden Cookbook

Review: The Secret Garden Cookbook

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The Secret Garden Cookbook by Amy Cotler is such a fun companion to Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. There are so many unique and interesting recipe ideas that are all connected to the classic children’s story. The book is so much more than a book of recipes, as it contains historical facts, quotes from the story, and beautiful images.

Review: The Secret Garden CookbookTitle: The Secret Garden Cookbook, Newly Revised Edition: Inspiring Recipes From the Magical World of Frances Hodgosn Burnett's The Secret Garden
Author: Amy Cotler
Publisher: Harvard Common Press
Genres: Cookbook, Lifestyle
Publication Date: January 14, 2020
Rating: four-half-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

Experience the magic and enchantment of The Secret Garden whenever you like, right at home in your kitchen. The Secret Garden Cookbook, now newly revised, is the only cookbook that celebrates the delicious and comforting foods that play such an important role in the novel and its world.

Frances Hodgson Burnett's wonderful tale The Secret Garden celebrates its young heroine, Mary Lennox, as she brings an abandoned garden back to life. It also delights in good food, robust appetites, and the health and strength they can bring. It describes a world where water, light, and loving care bring soil and plants back to life—and also one in which fresh milk, homemade currant buns, and hearty, simple fare renew and bring pleasure to the novel's complex and fascinating characters.

Amy Cotler serves up in these pages 50 recipes, all updated for the modern kitchen, that are at once true to Mary's world and completely appealing for today's tastes. You will find a bounty of baked things, including English Crumpets, Cozy Currant Buns, Jam Roly Poly, Dough Cakes with Cinnamon and Sugar, and The Best Sticky Gingerbread Parkin. (A parkin is a cake rich in molasses, honey, and sugar that often is served on Guy Fawkes Day.) There is more-substantial and savory fare for teatime and dinnertime, too, and for breakfast and brunch, along with drinks and snacks for the daily whirl—all guaranteed to keep the magic of this beloved tale alive for years to come.

The Secret Garden Cookbook is an essential companion—and the pitch-perfect gift—for anyone, young or old, who loves the book.


❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review: The Secret Garden Cookbook

Recipe books that are based off of my all-time favourite childhood stories are quickly becoming some of my most treasured books. The Secret Garden Cookbook is one that really immerses you into the world of Mary and Dickson. There are so many descriptions of food in the novel that this book really pulls the themes and the ideas behind Frances Hodgson Burnett’s writing together.

❀ Perfect Lesson Plan Extension Activities

Cotler has divided the recipe book into sections that fit with the novel and would really make perfect extension activities to a lesson plan for the classroom or at home. Each section includes a bit of history from the era of the story, beautiful illustrations, and a quote from the book that fits with the recipes. The offerings include:

  • Yorkshire Breakfasts
  • A Manor Lunch
  • An English Tea
  • From the Kitchen Garden
  • Dickson’s Cottage Food
  • A Taste of India
  • Garden Picnics

❀ Simple Instructions

I was most drawn to the recipes for An English Tea, as Cotler provides instructions for a Proper Pot of tea and Warm Cranberry Scones With Orange Glaze. The instructions were simple and and easy to follow, providing some tasty results. Definitely a book that will inspire some young chefs to create some of the food featured in the story.

The Secret Garden Cookbook

If you, or someone you know, is a fan of The Secret Garden, The Secret Garden Cookbook by Amy Cotler is one book to add to your collection. It is such a pretty book that is packed full of interesting information and food ideas to accompany the story. It will help make the wait for the new film a little bit easier as well!

About Amy Cotler

Amy Cotler

Formerly a professional chef, caterer, and cooking-school teacher, Amy Cotler transitioned in the 1990s to a successful career as a food writer. She has taught at the Institute for Culinary Education in New York City and at The Culinary Institute of America. Her other books include The Locavore Way, Wrap it Up: Bold and Bright Sandwiches with a TwistOne Pot Vegetarian Dishes, and My Little House Cookbook. She was the lead recipe developer and writer for two revised editions of The Joy of Cooking, and she hosted the New York Times online “Food Forum” for six years.


About Lori

Avid reader. Contributor to The Candid Cover. Educator.

33 thoughts on “Review: The Secret Garden Cookbook

    • Lori says:

      The nice thing about this recipe was making it in a round shape that is divided into sections. Other recipes have you rolling and cutting out biscuits. So easy!

  1. Debra Branigan says:

    Oh, what a lovely idea! I would combine the cookbook, novel, and DVD as a gift to my granddaughter and her mother. They would love to try this out. I would enjoy the recipes as well.

  2. Lori Smanski says:

    thanks for your thoughts. such a fun cover. I loved that movie. this sounds like such a fun and wonderful cook book

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