Cookbook Keepers: Page 14

Cookbook purchases seldom travel. Two fates await a cookbook.
It reposes on a collector's shelf, or it becomes part of an estate and handed down to next-of-kin.

Natalie Hetrick
Westerville, Ohio

Her favorite cookbook:
Joy of Cooking: 75th
Anniversary Edition - 2006

by Irma S. Rombauer,
Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker
Publisher: Scribner
c 2006

Asked about her collection of cookbooks, the quick answer: "Oh, a lot, a few, maybe 15 to 20." Keeper Hetrick came about her choice like any typical American in this land of plenty. Her mother set the path toward cooking in the home. Joy of Cooking has created that cooking path for generations. It was a production of the Depression, dating to 1930 when a St. Louis widow named Irma Rombauer used her savings of $3,000 to self-publish Joy. Daughter Marion tested the recipes and did the illustrating. Mother and daughter sold the book out of their apartment.

Joy has had nine revisions, each keeping fresh playing to the times. Two years after her first crude cookbook, Irma made a pitch to Bobbs-Merrill. She was rejected. Along the way, eventually, Bobbs-Merrill decided to assist, but merely revised Irma's typed pages and bounded them into 15 notebook binders.

In 1936 the first commercial Joy had a press run of 10,000 copies. They cost $2.50.

A Joy edition during World War II dealt with food rationing. For the 75th edition 4,500 recipes were tested using 400 pounds of butter, 300 quarters of milk, 485 pounds of red meat and 275 pound of fin fish and shellfish. The Joy on the market today is the first to include slow cooker recipes.

The Hetrick edition of Joy as a gift was received in 1974.

Her second keeper:
Betty Crocker's Cookbook
Everything You Need to Know to Cook Today
Betty Crocker was created by Marjorie Husted, 1921
Publisher: Betty Crocker; 9th Edition
c 2000

Betty Crocker may not be the real name of a person. but she is an icon...has been for generations since 1921. She is the trade name for General Mills. Not real? In 1949 Fortune Magazine named her the second most popular American woman, second only to Eleanor Roosevelt. The edition above is ring-bound for easy resting on a kitchen counter. Over the 90 years of cooking with Betty, more than 250 Betty Crocker cookbooks have been published, most of them single topics but all food related.

Keeper Hetrick considers the Betty Crocker collection her "go to recipe source" for her noted Mama Dukes (*) oatmeal cookies. This is, she added, "... a book every loved baker should have in their kitchen..."

(*) Mama Dukes is a fictional character in a period Southern novel set in a comfort food restaurant. Ms. Hetrick's children called her Mama Dukes, a loving reference for her soft oatmeal and raisin cookies.

Keeper Harry Henning
Gourmand, USA Bocuse d'Or Manager 2003

Columbus, Ohio

His favorite cookbook:
LaRousse Gastronomique
The World's Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia
Prosper Montagne, Editor
Many Authors, Under Constant Revision
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
c Revised, Updated Edition 2009
Original English Edition 1961

LaRousse Gastronomique
Hardcover: 1,216 pages

An A-to-Z reference on world food with major emphasis on French cuisine. This is a reference for all professional chefs and is a suggested text in all culinary schools. However, serious food writers find much of the grammar jagged, possibly because it is a literary project with, as they say, too many cooks, er, authors. As one wag once wrote, too many cooks spoil the vichyssoise.

This is a great read for foodies. This is the definitive reference for chefs.

The first edition, 1938, edited by Prosper Montagne, had a preface written by Auguste Escoffier and Phileas Gilbert, a working arrangement that led to one of the early public desputes between professional culinarians. The two had been collaborators in the creation of Le Guide Culinaire, the keeper that made Escoffier a lasting name in food history. Over the Escoffier decades he charged that Gilbert had used Le Guide recipes as basis for Larousse Gastronomique. Food writers have long cited the very public Escoffier-Gilbert dispute when they attribute a specific recipe to an individual. Copyright a recipe? There is case law...

Keeper Kaira Rouda
Novelist, Newspaper Columnist, Marketer

Winner! 2011 USA Book Awards
- Women's Fiction
Frequent Speaker to Entrepreneur
and Women's Groups
Laguna Beach, CA

Her favorite cookbook:
The New Basics Cookbook
by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins
Workman Publishing Co.
c 1989

Her top choice of this 864-pager must be universally shared. It is nearing the two million mark in sales. That makes it a modern-day classic. In the Rouda household it is used for four near-adult children, one of them a recent conversion to vegetarian. Livingup to the Basics name, there are 30-plus chapters to reflect today's kitchen, pantry and taste expectations. Amazon.com calls the 875 recipes a "labor of love."

Ms. Rouda: "The New Basics Cookbook was the first cookbook I actually purchased. My mom is a great cook and she supplied me with the Joy of Cooking when I married. I have to admit, I found it huge and the recipes rather stilted. That's why this cookbook spoke to me. Itís written for a novice, but the recipes are great. And, the authors explain everything from cuts of meat to frequently used cooking phrases. I'd say this cookbook did help me embrace the joy of cooking. My family's favorite dish is the Warm Lemon Chicken Salad. Try it and you'll be hooked."

The Second Rouda Keeper:
Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics
Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients
by Ina Garten Clarkson Potter, publisher c 2008

Ms. Rouda: "This is a gift from my dear friend Meg, I've loved this cookbook. The best part about it is turning the pages and seeing the wonderful food photography. Now that I'm the mom of a vegetarian, I've memorized almost all of the vegetable dish offerings including the roasted vegetables. Another great dish in the cookbook is the herb-crusted salmon. Simple and wonderful. If you are a desert person, you'll find some winners in here, too. It's the fresh ingredients and easy recipes that I enjoy in this book.

A Third Choice in Her 75-Count Collection:
Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats -- A Year of Deliciously Different Dinners
(A 30-minute Meal Cookbook)
by Rachael Ray
Clarkson Potter
c 2005

No Repeats Ray made her kitchen mark teaching cooking classes with her own stack of recipe cards. Creatikng a dinner in 30 minutes has always had wide appeal. Those little index cards turned into a coobook won instant success. Of course, having an hour-long, mid-day cooking show on television is a sales booster.

The Rouda blanket, all-inclusive, universal, no question about it endorsement: "everything created by Rachael Ray, all of her cookbooks, especially the 365 meals. I love that she includes shopping lists..."

Ms. Ray is the author of nine best-selling cookbooks. She is this decade's flavor.

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