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The I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken
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The I Hate to Cook Book (1960)

by Peg Bracken

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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
I won this book in a contest years ago but stacked it with all the rest of my cookbooks and didn't really look at it. I mean, it's the 50th anniversary reprinting but it isn't at all like the cookbooks today with glossy, drool inducing pictures and to be honest, since I actually do like to cook, I thought it unlikely there'd be much in here I'd want to cook. But we renovated the kitchen recently (a busted toilet pipe made it a necessity rather than an indulgence) and I went through my cookbooks with the express purpose of actually using them instead of just leaving them to collect dust on the shelves. So I picked this one up and cracked it open.

Have you ever actually read a cookbook like a book? This is one to do that with. Peg Bracken is hilarious and she tucks funny little gems all over the book. She definitely didn't like to cook and searched out easy and, according to her, tasty recipes for the book but her commentary on everything is pure gold. She is overly fond of mushrooms (which I hate) and some of her ingredients (can you even still buy chipped beef? And if yes, do you want to?) might be less common than they were when the book was published and these recipes clearly pre-date the fresh produce movement, but there are still recipes people who want to spend minimal time in the kitchen will probably thrill to. Since I do like to cook, there are only a handful of recipes I intend to try but I greatly appreciate the entertainment value here. If you hate to cook, you might look to this for easy, fast recipes. If you like to cook, you'll want to read it just for the giggles. ( )
  whitreidtan | Aug 23, 2018 |
A delightful dry and witty look at cooking for those who find kitchen chores less than enjoyable. The book includes recipes for the novice or uninspired cook, household hints, and even a couple pages of equivalent and substitution tables at the back. While written close to sixty years ago, most of this book is not dated.

From her chapter about leftovers ("or every family needs a dog") we read:

"But still you can't quite bring yourself to dispose of it! So you put it in the refrigerator, and there it stays, moving slowly toward the rear as it is displaced by other little glass jars half full of leftover ham loaf and other things. And there it remains until refrigerator-cleaning day, at which time you gather it up along with its little fur-bearing friends, and, with a great lightening of spirit, throw it away."

I'm keeping this one. ( )
  fuzzi | Feb 4, 2018 |
Mrs. Bracken’s “I Hate to Cook Book” is my favorite cooking book—I even own two: a vintage and new copy. If not only for the recipes, the book is worth Bracken’s humorous comments that will make you laugh out loud while following the recipes. I have several favorites, among which are Poor Lonely Man’s Poivrade, Oh Dad, Poor Dad (nobody believes it’s made with Spam!), Coke Chicken, Pot de Chocolat, Swiss Loaf (meatloaf), and Can Can Casserole. If you don’t like to cook, take Peg Bracken with you to the kitchen: you might discover a hidden talent! ( )
  MrsRK | Nov 21, 2016 |
Great cookbook -- simple but good recipes. I love it and ironically I love to cook ( )
  WonderlandGrrl | Jan 29, 2016 |
6. An emotion or mood:



★ ★

I can comprehend why when this was originally written in 1960 it was such a hit..... What could be better than Traditional 60's comfort food..... All those canned goods (soups, condiments, veggies, & grains) mixed together or layered with the main ingredient (meat) in one pot, casserole/baking dish set to cook for 1-3 hours.... You walk away, finish up what-ever else you have to do, come back & serve it up nice hot & fresh to your happy family!

BLEECH, I would never cook w/ a canned soup (nor a dry one)...... Although you know how I do love that one dish cooking idea!

Some of the recipes sound good: Cotton-pickin' Jam Tarts; Fast Spaghetti Sauce; Sherry Chocolate Pudding; Honey Almond Sundae; Horseradish Bread: Shrimp Leaves; Cheese Wedges; Raisin Rice (more like Hye Wedding Pilaf); Parmesan Potatoes; Good Left-over Lamb Sandwiches; Portland Pilaf; Dr. Martin's Mix; and Old Faithful.

Other make me want to hork: Chilly-Night Chili; Skid Road Stroganoff; beef A-La King (2 kinds of condensed soup); Hurry Curry; Tuna Rice Curry; Clam Wiffle; Celery (condensed soup) Fish sticks; Bisque Quick (2 condensed soups w/ canned crab)......

How lovely that Peg's daughter Jo decided to honor her mother on the 50th anniversary of the book & have it republished..... I'm willing to bet, however, that Jo doesn't use these recipes.... ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
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From her chapter about leftovers ("or every family needs a dog") we read:

"But still you can't quite bring yourself to dispose of it! So you put it in the refrigerator, and there it stays, moving slowly toward the rear as it is displaced by other little glass jars half full of leftover ham loaf and other things. And there it remains until refrigerator-cleaning day, at which time you gather it up along with its little fur-bearing friends, and, with a great lightening of spirit, throw it away."
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A commemorative edition of a classic, humorous cookbook includes more than 180 easy recipes for those who fear the kitchen.

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