The Joy of CookingWhen Irma Rombauer published the first edition of this book in the 1930s it became a classic because of it's do-it-yourself approach. Fannie Farmer had standardised cooking with her groundbreaking "Boston Cooking-School Cook Book" and "The Joy of Cooking" universalized it. Suddenly, anyone could enter the arcane world of the kitchen and cook.
This tome is revered for it's breezy approach that de-mystifies the kitchen and makes the formidable doable. That caused some controversy in editions published after her death in the sixties when the book was expanded to include more diverse dishes. But, my contention is that the book has done an able job of following American cooking habits.
If you are starting out and feel a bit intimidated by the kitchen and the rows of cookbooks you face at the bookstore is not helping things - pick up this book and just start cooking. The rest will follow - I promise.
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