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The I Hate to Cook Book: More Than 180 Quick and Easy Recipes (1960)
by Peg Bracken
No current Talk conversations about this book.
Historical, sociological interest. Very dated, most of the recipes were offputting
As someone who doesn't cook...I loved this book.
Pretty hilarious, and actually helpful at the same time. She's got some wonderful cheats that still work great. The illustrations are delightful, the narrative voice is honest and charming, and it's one of my favourites (and the sequel is just as good if not better).
(Note: 5 stars = amazing, wonderful, 4 = very good book, 3 = decent read, 2 = disappointing, 1 = awful, just awful. I'm fairly good at picking for myself so end up with a lot of 4s).
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.
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Wikipedia in English (1)
Presents a commemorative edition of a classic, humorous cookbook that includes more than 180 easy recipes for those who fear the kitchen, covering such categories as entrees, side dishes, salads, vegetables, and desserts, along with household hints.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)641.5 — Technology and Application of Knowledge Home and family management Food And Drink Cooking, cookbooks
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Hachette Book Group
An edition of this book was published by Hachette Book Group.
It's written in a funny, breezy style and while some of it's dated now (the chapters on dinner parties and ladies luncheons especially), there is still a lot of great things in it. What's fabulous is that none of the recipes require fancy ingredients (although it's pretty funny to see lamb considered a cheap meat and assuming everyone has a well-stocked bar of liqueurs) or long prep times. A lot of recipes here use either cream or mushrooms (I hate both) but I still found some simple recipes that I want to try.
If you're like me, who doesn't want to spend ages cooking, I'd recommend checking out this classic. ( )