There is no argument that Paul Newman was one of the greatest actors of our time, but he also touched, and continues to touch, the lives of many children with his “Hole-in-the-Wall” camp for kids. When Mr. Newman first started his food company, Newman’s Own, with only his homemade salad dressing, he probably couldn’t envision it ballooning into a thriving worldwide business. But when it escalated, he decided to give away all the profits to charity. In 1987, Mr. Newman had the inspiration to build a camp for kids who have cancer, leukemia, and other serious blood diseases. He found a wilderness area in Connecticut, and developed the first Hole-in-the Wall camp. Every summer, children come to the camp free of charge where they swim, ride horses, perform in plays (of course!), and play all kinds of sports. Some children come in wheelchairs, and some have lost legs and arms to disease, but the camp is filled with laughter and good times and they can forget for awhile that they are ill.
The cookbook is filled with great recipes from Paul Newman and his family, from his friends, and from the winners of his past recipe contests, which awarded cash prizes to the winners’ designated charity. There are fun photos of the camp activities, some which included celebrities donating their time to the camp doing skits for the children. They also donated recipes: you will find Julia Roberts’ Baked Potato Soup, Tony Randall’s Sausage and Roasted Pepper Pizza, Candace Bergen’s Baked Halibut, or Sarah Jessica Parker’s Deviled Shrimp Salad.
Mr. Newman obviously loved to be in the kitchen, but as he wrote in the preface to the cookbook, kids need to be involved with cooking activities. He said we need young people cooking in the kitchen, and “in a world of fast food, frozen food, and fake food, no blessing could be more welcome than the tumultuous voices of little children piercing the uproar in the kitchen: Cookie cutter, please! Basting brush needed! Quick! The spatula! It is a sweet song devoutly to be wished. To this task we have set these pages. Of the children. For the children. By the Children.” Now that statement deserves an Oscar!