Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Joy of Cooking

I have four copies of this book. One is a reproduction issue of the first 1931 edition, once is a battered copy of the linked-to version (1973 "standard" edition, widely considered to be the best) that I got from a box of free for the taking stuff at a garage sale, a copy of the 1998 revision (which has the sloppy joe recipe my husband is crazy for), and the 2006 75th anniversary edition. All of these have different recipes, side notes, charts, and information to reflect the changing times and editors (the book began life chatty, became less so culminating in the "too impersonal" 1998 edition and is now on it's way back in the other direction.) I love this edition for pure reading enjoyment. There are innumerable weird recipes (four for frog legs alone) and huge sections on wild game, (including a recipe for porcupine), sauces, frosting and tons of details on obscure cooking topics. Some people think these recipes are only average, but I think they have a good work to result ratio, in addition to the books being historic documents and fine reading as well.

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