Happy Thanksgiving!

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I thought that today would be the most appropriate day to mention cookbooks. In the age of Google and Food Network, its tough to imagine that people still place faith in cookbooks at all. Those old-fashioned types that actually do have quite a time finding one thats best for them through trash bins of books that scream the praise of low-fat, no-fat, 30-minute, no-carb, low sodium, sugarfree diet crazes. I ran into the same problem when I decided to go on my own cookbook hunt. Eating “right” its a great idea, but I have to draw the line somewhere. I know what I’m getting into when I make brownies, so don’t try to ruin them by making them anything less than a wee bit sinful. If you take that away, they’re little more than fluffy tootsie rolls. And heaven knows I’m not going to argue a home-made meal that takes 30 minutes – considering a frozen pizza takes 20 – but “365 Days of Quick and Easy Meals” is going a little far. And I’m no Susie Homemaker, so I was also looking for a cookbook that also covers the basics.

You wouldn’t believe the kinds of cookbooks I found. Dozens were devoted to sneaking good food into children’s diets (Since when to Parents have to SNEAK anything?!) as well as books devoted to the Mafia, one devoted to Book Clubs, – which I just might buy – and even one for Cheese Lovers.

There were two in particular that caught my attention right off the bat, the first being The Ultimate Cheesecake Cookbook. This is dangerous, my friends. I have always valued cheesecake over any other food, and this made that curious little voice in the back of my mind ask ‘Exactly how many ways are there to change cheesecake??’ and I was floored. You’ll have to pick it up to see why, and its not recommended for Calorie Counters.
The second book – which I DEFINITELY will buy- is The Healthy College Cookbook: Quick. Cheap. Easy. I was rather impressed with this in the store, as well as the reviews online. Its well organized, the recipes are easy to follow and well-explained, not to mention simple. Other people have also mentioned that “The ingredients are usually on hand in a well-stocked kitchen, and, for further assistance, the authors give you thorough advice on how to stock a kitchen in the first place. In addition, the book includes a glossary on cooking and baking terms”. Each recipe gives both metric and standard measuring units and thorough nutritional information with each recipe. The only potential drawback is no pictures. But really, I’m willing to forgive a half-dozen full-page color spreads of baked ziti in return for both standard and metric measurements. My only note is that this is not a book for those following in the footsteps of Emril: it will be much too simple for your kind.

So what cookbook did I end up getting, you ask? After doing much browsing and comparing, I came to one conclusion and followed my father’s advice: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I bought the newest edition of The Betty Crocker Cookbook. It has a little bit of everything in there, you know; diet recipes, 30-minute meals, low-fat substitutes, dishes for beginners, thorough instructions, color photos, that classic plastic spiral so it lays flat… Apparently this edition has the new chapters of “casseroles” and “20 minutes or less” which I’ll have to take a look at. The cover has been updated as well and is nowhere near my mother’s red-and-white plaid cover that I remember so well.
All is well this Thanksgiving, I’m happy with my new cookbook, and I hope I’ve sparked a little something for your inner chef. Eat, Read, and be merry.

Novel Dame

Published in: on November 22, 2007 at 11:34 am  Comments (2)  

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  1. And, Happy Thanksgiving to you, dear Novel Dame! Mm-m-m…cheesecake! Cookbooks are so fun…do I dare admit that I collect them. Funny, considering I cook so little these days — and when I do, I resort to the old Italian favorites I grew up on. It is always fun to experiment, however. A fun project is MAKING cookbooks — keepsake cookbooks in particular (adding your favorite family recipes, photos, memorabilia, anecdotes, and decorating the cover). A great gift for loved ones.

  2. […] Black Apron Do you remember  that post in which I wrote about cookbooks? I do. I never bought any of them, though. I haven’t even […]

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