Monday, August 23, 2004


I need to retract a previous bit of food snobbery.

As some of you may remember, awhile back ago, I had a little laugh at the quaint quality of the Better Holmes and Gardens "New Cookbook" ("New" being about 40+ years old now). The Technicolor pictures, the tradition "Dad's home, better have dinner ready!" mindset of it.
Well, I have to say, I've developed an appreciation for the book.

Sure, we have alot of cookbooks. Detailing various aspects of Mexican, Indian, Thai, Provencal, and lots of veggie cuisine. All good books. The problem with all these books, though, comes when I'm not looking for any of that stuff. When I'm looking for: waffles (and not with chives and sweet honey cream), cookies, etc. I can't remember what I was trying to make when it happened. When I realized that, sure, I wasn't going to be making dinners out of this thing, but the basics...the things on which so many gourmet items are built upon. They're all in there. I'd have to comb through tons of cookbooks in order to find the basic white sauce that's right there, easy to find, in the Better Homes & Gardens.

This morning, I wanted pancakes. In a few seconds, I had the recipe and I was going. Sure, it wasn''t complex and wasn't breaking any new culinary ground. But, it was what I wanted. Simple, good, easy to make, pancakes (which tasted eXactly like the ones my mom used to make, I believe out of the same book).

Also, lets face it, in basic techniques, there's not alot which has changed in all these decades. The techniques and tests in the Better Homes book still hold up, quite well today. From making fudge to the proper way to fold-in ingredients, it's still just as good today as it was then.

I'm still not making any jello molds.