We can find recipes anywhere. In fact, given the unbelievable access to information that we share, a book might be the last place any of us going looking nowadays. With that being the case, a cookbook really needs to have something special to grab my attention – like lightsaber Popsicle molds. Let’s just say “[they] had me at hello.”
Chronicle Books and author Lara Starr return to a kitchen far far away with Ice Sabers, the latest entry in their Star Wars cookbook series. Like Wookie Pies, Clone Scones, and other Galactic Goodies which focused on pastries and baked treats, Ice Sabers narrows its focus to frozen desserts and refreshing beverages.
Ice Sabers continues the series goal of trying to encourage more young people to participate in the kitchen and the entire construction of the book emphasizes that. The introduction is directed at young Force users and explains all sorts of tips about being safe in the kitchen, handling equipment with care, and having fun.
It is pure charm and if there is one word to perfectly describe this cookbook, it’s charming. Starting with fun (and yes, a couple cringe worthy) recipe names like “Lan-Dough Cookie Dough”, “Ice Cream Yoda”, “Bananakin Splits”, and “Carbonite Delights”. The photos that accompany the recipes are equally as fun, with action figures that give them a very Robot Chicken vibe. From cover to cover, the focus is on having fun and engaging with kids to involve them in making the recipes.
I say making because there isn’t a substantial amount of cooking that goes on, with some of the recipes not requiring any at all. The recipes that do call for some application of heat, do so to make ingredients more manageable or mix them together so they can be formed into the correct design. In some ways, it makes the book more about crafting than cooking, but by no means is that a negative. If anything, it emphasizes how kid friendly the recipes are, so much so that kids could complete many of these dishes on their own – with a helping hand here and there when an oven needs to be used.
And right up front with those kid-friendly recipes are of course the titular “Ice Sabers”, Popsicles made with the plastic molds that come with the book. Like most Popsicle recipes, all that’s involved is mixing a few ingredients together and pouring the liquid into the mold, then freezing. The mold does need to be stored standing up, and is rather tall, so depending on your freezer setup (bucket freezers might be problematic) you might have some trouble making space for them.
Another minor gripe about the Popsicles is that the packaging includes images of, blue ,green, red and purple lightsabers, but the book doesn’t have a recipe to make a purple lightsaber Popsicle . This isn’t a huge problem as you could just substitute grape juice in another recipe, and change the food coloring, but it does stand out as a minor omission (no love for Mace Windu?).
The Popsicles take around 2 hours to freeze, though the time will vary. The Popsicles are about 20% smaller than your standard Popsicle and there are only four with the book, so you’ll have to invest in multiple copies if you’d like to have a real lightsaber Popsicle party (that sounds awesome!). That being said, these simple recipes and of course the fun of having lightsaber handles are a nice way to introduce kids to the concept of scratch making something they normally buy processed, and an alternative if you’re trying to shy away from high fructose corn syrup desserts.
Perhaps the only real issue with the book comes from the design. It’s a smaller bound paperback that doesn’t sit open by itself, which makes holding it open while you work on the recipes a challenge. Previous Star Wars cookbooks by Chronicle were spiral bound and would stay open without a problem and it would have been great if Ice Sabers had followed suit, especially since so many of the recipes involve manipulating and crafting ice-cream which means frequent re-referencing, not to mention sticky hands that made adjusting the book even more difficult.
If you’re a big Star Wars fan, this cookbook series probably already appeals to you, but if you have younglings who are strong in the Force, then this series and this book are an absolute must own. The entire series makes for a wonderful introduction to the possibilities of cooking, and the creative use of the Star Wars license will captivate young chefs and show them the fun and charm of taking an active role in the kitchen.
Ice Sabers is published by Chronicle Books and is available on Amazon and at other booksellers.