Last I counted, I owned 69 cookbooks. It's hard to know if that's an accurate count because I've run out of space on the standing bookshelves that I bought several years ago, never dreaming I would need more than six shelves for this hobby. But there you have it. I have outgrown the bookshelves and now the books spill over onto the couch, windowsills, and night table. Last week I found one in the pantry. (True story.)
I think my love of cookbooks has officially moved from a hobby into an obsession. If I started with the first cookbook on my shelf and worked my way through, one recipe at a time, it would take approximately 26 years to make my way through the lot of them.
So, I definitely didn't need another cookbook. I definitely didn't need a compendium of recipes, a book that would add 1,400 (four years worth of) recipes to my bookshelves. But this one was just too tempting to resist. None of my other cookbooks have the recipe for Rum Omelets (this one does, on page 808) or for 19th century Rice Pilan (page 309). This cookbook is an absolute treasure trove.
I have to confess that I had a hard time selecting recipes to try. There are SO many to choose from, and so many appeal. The Brownies are great, and so is the Fennel and Blood Orange Salad. Those are two keepers for us. I'll keep working my way through. There's no shortage of interesting recipes in this publication.
What I like about this book
It reads like fiction! Each recipe tells a story of its own. It also feels great to prepare and serve these well-known recipes, exposing my family to slivers of American culinary history.
What I don't like about it
I don't have much to criticize but I will say that the design could be more engaging. I also would appreciate some photos, even if it was just a smattering of them (I can't imagine including pictures of all 1400 foods!).
|How’s the food?||Yuk.||Nothing to write home about.||Good enough to make again.||Wow. I’d eat it every day.|
|Are the recipes easy to follow?||Nope.||Pretty much.||Yes, the instructions are clear.||Terrifically written, even for a novice cook.|
|Is it a good read?||Yuk.||Readable but nothing special.||Sure.||Great reading. I’d keep it on my night table.|
|How do you like the design of the book?||Yuk.||Alright.||Good.||Flat out fantastic.|