Tuesday, January 3, 2012


The Joy of Cooking is in many ways my all purpose cookbook. It is the repository of wisdom that I consult over and over, even when I am actually cooking from another cookbook entirely.  And it has my favorite easy chocolate cake recipe (make it with whole wheat flour and skip the frosting, and it makes a nearly respectable breakfast).  It contains my favorite piece of wisdom on dinner parties:
We can offer reasoned counsels and repeat the lessons of experience and tradition, but the truth is that tif the table is attractive and clean, the food and drink honest and good, the company amiable* and interesting, and the host generous and calm, an affair can be a resounding success no matter where the glasses go or who is sitting where. And that is our last word on entertaining. 
However even Joy sometimes falters as I discovered this afternoon.  A recipe for a soup contains this ingredient: One 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, with juice, crushed between your fingers... (pg. 310, 1997 ed.) How, I ask you, am I supposed to do that?  Is this a seventh degree kitchen black belt thing?

Fortunately the recipe doesn't contain kale so I won't try to make it today.

*"Amiable" is high on my list of favorite words.

1 comment:

  1. I'll bet Joy doesn't screw you over like the newer Betty Crocker books do--in the more recent editions, they won't tell you how to fry an egg over easy, because you might get salmonella and die.

    I'd rather die from salmonella than choking down a dry, hard, disgusting egg.

    Of course if you reach a certain age and don't grasp the basic principles of frying an egg, I'm not sure Betty, Joy, or anyone else can help you in the kitchen.