The Joy of Cooking

The Joy of Cooking

Since its original publication, Joy of Cooking has been the most authoritative cookbook in America, the one upon which millions of cooks have confidently relied for more than sixty-five years. It's the book your grandmother and mother probably learned to cook from, the book you gave your sister when she got married. This, the first revision in more than twenty years, is be...

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Title:The Joy of Cooking
Author:Irma S. Rombauer
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Edition Language:English

The Joy of Cooking Reviews

  • Katies_Faves

    The day I found out my grandmother was dying was the day I got this book.

    She was sick and we were both very hopeful that she would get better. She was lying on the couch in the living room and asked me to boil her a potato. I, being 19, had NO idea how to boil a potato! But I did not want to bother her about it - so I went into the kitchen and started up the pot of water.

    Not only did I ruin that cute little potato ... but I saw my grandmother lose it!! She came into the kitchen and saw the whole

    The day I found out my grandmother was dying was the day I got this book.

    She was sick and we were both very hopeful that she would get better. She was lying on the couch in the living room and asked me to boil her a potato. I, being 19, had NO idea how to boil a potato! But I did not want to bother her about it - so I went into the kitchen and started up the pot of water.

    Not only did I ruin that cute little potato ... but I saw my grandmother lose it!! She came into the kitchen and saw the whole potato (not peeled or cut) hanging out in the pot and lost it. She started crying... How can I leave you if you can't even boil a potato?!

    My grandfather happened to arrive home at that moment. He did a big sigh when he heard and saw the commotion. My poor frail grandma rolling around on the stool (too weak to stand up even), throwing pans around as she was trying to find another pot to make her potato in. He got her calmed down and fixed her another potato. But before it was even boiled she made him go out to the store "right this minute" and buy me the joy of cooking.

    She knew that she would not always be in the kitchen with me to help me cook -- so she got me a GREAT back up.

    That is how I knew my grandmother wasn't going to get better and that I had better learn how to boil a potato.

    I love you grandmother!

  • Carey

    The 1997 edition is infallible.

    The pre-1997 editions are good if you want to can or pickle your own veg, cook opossum, and make aspic.

    The fifth edition, ie the 75th Anniversary edition shown in the picture above, contains too much retro-inspired nonsense and does not continue the practical and innovative approach laid out in the 1997 edition.

    Basically, the 1997 edition took the heart of the Joy of Cooking, that is, that it is a book that contains all the recipes your average american cook nee

    The 1997 edition is infallible.

    The pre-1997 editions are good if you want to can or pickle your own veg, cook opossum, and make aspic.

    The fifth edition, ie the 75th Anniversary edition shown in the picture above, contains too much retro-inspired nonsense and does not continue the practical and innovative approach laid out in the 1997 edition.

    Basically, the 1997 edition took the heart of the Joy of Cooking, that is, that it is a book that contains all the recipes your average american cook needs, and updated it for the 1997 american palate (added in asian and mexican foods, , removed casseroles made with mushroom soup, etc). The first person narrative of the other editions was mostly removed.

    The 75th anniversary editions does no further innovation, and instead adds in some of the older recipes and sections (with limited practical use, in my opion), and adds a good bit of personal narrative back in.

    If you're serious about cooking, find the 1997 edition, it will never let you down. If you're interested in the evolution of american recipes from the perspective of the Becker family, the 75th anniversary edition is your book.

  • February Four

    For Christmas, I decided I was going to have Japanese strawberry shortcake (as in a sponge cake filled with strawberries and cream). I needed a basic sponge cake recipe and couldn't find one anywhere, not even in my usual high-altitude baking bible, Pie in the Sky, nor in the other book I had, The Best Recipe. It was December 24th, the only other recipe I'd found was online from New Mexico but which I did not trust (it asked me to beat the eggs until stiff, a HUGE no-no at high altitude). Almost

    For Christmas, I decided I was going to have Japanese strawberry shortcake (as in a sponge cake filled with strawberries and cream). I needed a basic sponge cake recipe and couldn't find one anywhere, not even in my usual high-altitude baking bible, Pie in the Sky, nor in the other book I had, The Best Recipe. It was December 24th, the only other recipe I'd found was online from New Mexico but which I did not trust (it asked me to beat the eggs until stiff, a HUGE no-no at high altitude). Almost at the end of my rope, it suddenly occurred to me to try this book.

    And I found it: High-altitude Sponge Cake, on page 750!

    I now have a beautiful Japanese strawberry shortcake in the fridge chilling until dinner. Christmas Eve is saved, thanks to Joy of Cooking!

  • Dianne

    In their attempt to modernize the book, the authors omitted many recipes and techniques that are still relevant. Where is Sole Florentine, for heavens sake? And while not many families routinely can or freeze food as a winter survival strategy, there are still times when I would like to know how to do it - when my CSA gives me more corn than we can manage, or when local strawberries are beautiful, fresh, plentiful, and cheap. The lack of ice cream recipes is frustrating, especially given that so

    In their attempt to modernize the book, the authors omitted many recipes and techniques that are still relevant. Where is Sole Florentine, for heavens sake? And while not many families routinely can or freeze food as a winter survival strategy, there are still times when I would like to know how to do it - when my CSA gives me more corn than we can manage, or when local strawberries are beautiful, fresh, plentiful, and cheap. The lack of ice cream recipes is frustrating, especially given that so many manufacturers are making good quality electric powered ice cream makers.

    On the other hand, there are lots of new recipes that reflect the increasing influx of immigrant culture (and food!) into America.

    I'd say, Definitely buy this book, but don't chuck your old editions of

    just yet. You're going to need both!

  • Rob

    I would not consider this my "everyday" cookbook but the

    is a definite must for anyone that takes their cooking seriously, enjoys spending a bit of time in the kitchen, and needs a good all-purpose reference that covers everything from emergency substitutions to complete banquet spreads.

    What do I like most about

    ? It is fairly encyclopedic, covering about as broad a range of cooking topics as it can; while most of the recipes are from the Western tradition, i

    I would not consider this my "everyday" cookbook but the

    is a definite must for anyone that takes their cooking seriously, enjoys spending a bit of time in the kitchen, and needs a good all-purpose reference that covers everything from emergency substitutions to complete banquet spreads.

    What do I like most about

    ? It is fairly encyclopedic, covering about as broad a range of cooking topics as it can; while most of the recipes are from the Western tradition, it also dips into some less traditional preparations (e.g., ceviche). The book does not assume that you know anything about cooking -- not sure what a "dash" is? You can look up an explanation for that. What's the difference between a filet and a cutlet? It explains that, too. (HINT: they're basically synonymous.) It has a great index, is organized well, and has recipes to cover almost any occasion and varying degrees of culinary sophistication.

    What don't I like about

    ? It's encyclopedic nature can be a little intimidating sometimes. If you already have a good idea of what you want to make, there's a good chance that you'll find a great recipe; if you're looking for ideas though, the text may overwhelm you. Speaking of text -- the pictures are all illustrations. Granted, they're

    illustrations but I tend to prefer photos in my cookbooks (helps me decide what to try next).

    One last point about

    : I would recommend it to everyone except vegetarians. The book assumes an omnivore's diet so if you eschew the animals in your diet, I would estimate that greater than half of these recipes would not appeal to you.

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