Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Putting Cookbooks to the Test

Here's an article sent to me by THG contributor Joe Liebrandt (he wrote a review of Citizen's Bank Park for THG #8). Sara Dickerman writes in an article for Slate about testing out cookbooks on her novice cook of a husband.

Two of the books mentioned -- THE JOY OF COOKING and FANNIE FARMER -- are well worn staples in my cookbook cabinet. In fact, FANNIE is out on the counter now since I use her meatloaf recipe as a reference point for my own.

I'm not a huge JOY fan as I find it to be too heavy on text, especially if I'm looking for information in a hurry. The intr text to each section needs to be broken up better and I've slammed the book shut and slid it across the counter without finding what I want more often than I care to remember. On the other hand, the Latin Pork Shoulder recipe has become a staple of our kitchen and would probably be my wife's one or two top dishes of mine.

Dickerman may rank FARMER low, but I like its illustrations, its wealth of basic knowledge and its almost old school charm. You won't find a lot of cutting edge stuff in its pages, but if you want to know how long to boil that corned beef or how much milk to put in the meatloaf it's the first place I go.

How about you... what's your favorite cookbook and/or kitchen reference?

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