Cons: always find the volume I don't want, small, paperback not as durable
The Bottom Line: Instead of purchasing the whole cookbook, this 2-volume paperback is an excellent "trial size" for a lot less investment. Excellent introduction to a must-have cookbook.
All I ever heard about when I was a child was how wonderful that the book JOY OF COOKING was. My mom was always saying how she was going to find a copy of it some day.
It became a quest.
Throughout my childhood and early teens, I was a regular competitor in baking and cooking contests. I won several awards on a local and district level, and even made into a few state competitions.
Through all of that time, I never saw the book, THE JOY OF COOKING.
THE ACQUISITION AT LAST!
One day my mother came home all excited. Somewhere, she found a copy of the "quest". The book that everyone should not be without. The most perfect excellent and fabulous resource on cooking that.....
"......THAT is ALL THE JOY OF COOKING is?!!??"
I stood there in shock. My television raped mind had become intolerant of any cookbook without pictures. No pictures? What a stupid book!
My mother used to rave about the book and how glad she was to have such a treasure in her kitchen.
I thought she was NUTS.
The ways of a mother are often passed down to children no matter what the children think they will NEVER do.
When I got married, the first thing I did was look for a copy of the BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS cookbook. My mother used that all of the time while I was growing up.
Then one day, as I was perusing the book store, holding my measley $5 in my pocket I saw it. A paperback version of the book that my mother longed for for so many years- THE JOY OF COOKING
The way I ranted and raved about this book being a treasure, you would think that I had alzheimers or something. My husband finally allowed me to spend our last $5 on this book.
TWO VOLUMES MAKE IT MORE PORTABLE
Imagine my shock when I got the book home and found out that there were 2 VOLUMES! I only had purchased 1/2 of the cookbook. No wonder the price had been so low.
VOLUME 1 Main Courses
VOLUME 2 Appetizers Desserts and Baked Goods
There are the little interesting chapters interspersed throughout both books on entertaining, menus, drinks, pastas, and other extras that make this book so special.
The pages were a tiny bit difficult to read when you got toward the center where the binding was, but it was very useable, so I decided to get the other part too.
MOM WAS RIGHT
Once I learned how eating can either keep you running to the doctor's office or liberate you to live a free life, I determined to learn as much about eating as I could. I wanted to make use of all of that wonderful fruits, berries and vegetables that previous generations had used, but are forgotten in most of today's lifeless kitchens.
That is where this book comes in.
There is information in these books that is valuable.
Unfortunately, one of the disadvantages of this cookbook being split into 2 volumes is that it always seems that when I look for a certain half of the book, I always find the half that I do not want at the moment.
Such is the case now.
I will briefly outline Volume 1 as I remember it, and then Volume 2 as it appears in front of me.
VOLUME 1 Salads The Foods We Heat Soups Cereals and Pastas Eggs Souffles and Timbales Brunch, Lunch and Supper Dishes Vegetables Sauces, Gravies, Marinades, Glazes, and Seasoned Butters Fish Shellfish Meat Game Stuffings, Dressings, Farces, or Forcemeat Poultry and Game Birds
VOLUME 2 Entertaining Menus Drinks Canapes and Tea Sandwiches Hors d'Oeuvre Fruits Pancakes, Waffles, Croquettes, and Fritters Know Your Ingredients Yeast and Quick Breads and Coffee Cakes Pies, Pastes, and Filled Pastries Cakes, Cup Cakes, Torten, and Filled Cakes Cookies and Bars Icings, Toppings, and Glazes Desserts Dessert Sauces Ice Creams, Ices, and Frozen Desserts Candies and Confections The Foods We Keep Canning, Salting and Smoking Freezing Jellies, Jams, Preserves and Marmalades Pickles and Relishes
FEATURES OF THIS 2 VOLUME SET
On each menu or within the recipes, if you are referred to another recipe, the volume number is included along with what page you will find it on. That is a helpful feature.
These volumes were made from the revised JOY OF COOKING that available in 1964. The actual print date of the paperback versions is 1974.
There are symbols throughout the book to call attention to the following
ARROW- pointers to success SNOWFLAKE- frozen foods CIRCULAR PARENTHESES- Optional LIGHTBULB SHAPE WITH X INSIDE- pressure cooking FAN W/3 BLADES- blender SQUARE WITH TWO HORIZONTAL LINES- outdoor cooking STAR- Christmas TRIANGLE- altitude cooking
CONTENTS OF THIS COOKBOOK SERIES
This series is just like the JOY OF COOKING from the same time period. There is so much information in this book that it is almost impossible begin to cover it all here in this small review.
Each recipe has cross references to informational sections where you can learn about certain ingredients you are about to use.
EXAMPLE: Baked summer squash Please read about squashes on page....
When you turn to page .... you are treated to a brief, concise yet highly informational set of paragraphs about different squash. You will learn about growing habits, categories, and how to pick them when you go to the market. You are also told basics of preparation.
Everything you need to know about entertaining, fixing food, and types of produce is in this book. I have learned valuable preserving, baking and usage information about all kinds of things such as currants, gooseberries, greengage plums, venison, turmeric....the list goes on and on.
MY COMMENTS ON THIS BOOK
No, it does not have pictures. There are some really great illustrations, however. They add charm to the books.
When I am in a hurry, I do like to have photos to motivate me to create a wonderful dinner. However, when it comes to serious information on preparing or learning about strange or unusual ingredients, this book is a must have.
Every kind of basic recipe you can think of is probably contained in this book (I speak of the two volumes here together). One day I needed information on lady fingers (cake) and sally lunn bread. They were here in THE JOY OF COOKING
There is an amazing amount of herb information contained in this cookbook series as well. Sometimes I find myself looking here and locating things I have looked everywhere else for.
THE JOY OF COOKING is one of the most valuable books on my shelf. Whether you are vegetarian or a meat and potatoes type person, you will find something in here that will interest you if you like food at all.
The information is delightfully vintage, yet completely modern at the same time. A rather timeless classic, the JOY OF COOKING is a cookbook that you will be glad to have- even if it IS in 2 volumes and you constantly misplace one like I do.....
In that case, you may find that you enjoy the book so much that you will not mind investing in the large hardbound version which is one volume only.
The paperback series of THE JOY OF COOKING is a great way to test out this cookbook and decide if you want to purchase a more expensive version later. IT is also a great way to purchase only the part of the book that interests you.