Saturday, November 04, 2006

Cookery-bookery, BC and JoC

There's a big publicity push on for the latest edition of Joy of Cooking. I especially enjoyed the feature in the local daily asking for people's commentary and memories associated with it. My favorite was the bit on the squirrel-skinning instructions, which I always enjoyed, too. My copy is from 1967, a printing of what seems to be a 1961 edition. I think I bought this for myself, but I'm not sure where (Manhattan? Doubleday?). The most-used recipe, and a favorite, is Eggless, All Rye Honey Cake Cockaigne, very forgiving under all circumstances, including a non-regulated oven and high altitudes. It keeps very well, also, and slices very thin, tasting even better as time goes on. This cookbook was once published as a two-volume paperback set and I know that I gave it as gifts. Joy of Cooking was not the first cookbook I owned, though. That was the 1961 non-fancy edition of Betty Crocker (the one that was not in a ring-binder). It was a present. Best-loved recipes include snickerdoodles, molasses crackle-top cookies, butter spritz, German honey cookies, chocolate crackle-top cookies, pinwheel refrigerator cookies, orange-pecan bread, various layer cakes, fudge frosting, and a version of meatloaf (beef, pork, veal). There are many, many more. I've always liked the line drawings with color-wash highlights. Betty Crocker never fails. Her brownies were a favorite until James Beard's came along. Betty came from my grandmother, who never used a cookbook herself. My only electric appliance for years was a pre-WWII Sunbeam hand-mixer that my mother had given my grandmother, who had never used it, and, characteristically returned it to my mother, who never used it and who eventually gave it to me. It was like new. Somebody not me finally burned out the motor using it on too heavy a batter of some sort (the sort better attacked by a wooden spoon) or I'd have it still.


At 6:42 AM, July 06, 2007, Anonymous CreditMom said...

I dont' want to sound like an old lady but it seems to me that old cook books are better than new ones. Or may be I just miss the meals my Granma used to cook...


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