Amongst the most widely known and best loved cookbooks of all time, The Joy of Cooking, has been published time upon time since its official public release in 1936. Although initially published privately by Irma S. Rombauer in 1931, numerous revisions have since taken place since then. The most drastic of these occured in 1997 when it went through a major rewrite, in which the majority of the material was ghostwritten by master chefs who wrote in a style very different to the initial writings of Irma Rombauer. Even so, Irma S. Rombuaer herself had always intended the book to be a commercial adventure and did everything in her power to make first print run wsuccessful enough to support her, so perhaps she wouldn’t have disapproved too strongly.
In 1931, Irma had recently become a widow, and at 54 years of age, she used the $3000 left to her by her deceased spouse to self-publish the first edition of The Joy of Cooking. In March, 1936 the initial print run of Joy of Cooking ran to 10,000 copies at a recommended retail price of $2.50 per copy. After her death in 1962, the sixth edition of The Joy of Cooking came out in print. Some time later, in 1975, The Joy of Cooking was heavily reworked and revised by Marion Rombauer Becker. A new version of this book has just been released to mark the 75th anniversary of Irma Rombauer’s original self-published book, although it is markedly different from the original.
The Joy of Cooking is brimming with recipe tips. These never fail to absorb the reader with its practical approach to an extensive range of culinary delights. Take for example, the tip for creating ice for drinks. This explains that using clear, filtered water instead of water strong to the taste will avoid imparting unwanted flavour to your favourite drinks. Simple advice, granted, but it could make all the difference to your pre barbeque get together on the patio.
A further tip advises the reader to stop sandwiches going soggy by packing ingredients rich in water, such as tomatoes, lettuce and pickle slices, into a plastic bag and not to use them to make the final sandwich until you are ready to eat.
The volume contains pretty well all there is to know about cooking, be it breakfast or brunch, canning or preservatives, soups or stews – all the dishes and desserts you grew up with.
Over the years, The Joy of Cooking has been garnered with countless accolades from the likes of Julia Child, Paula Deen and Tyler Florence. Often described as ‘One of the most important books on American Cooking,’ it has become standard reading for everyone who needs a reference guide to support their culinary endeavours or an instant Gourmet Cooking Class [http://www.gourmet-cooking-class.com]. You can expect to pick up the current hardcover edition for $30.
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