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I Hate to Cook . . . the book

August 24, 2010

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The Cookery welcomes Jane Manaster who shares this guest post with all of us. Many thanks, Jane!

The I Hate to Cook Book, New York, Grand Central, 2010.

Fiftieth anniversary edition.

Even those of us who enjoy cooking run out of ideas sometimes. When Peg Bracken published her I Hate to Cook Book, it wasn’t only those who shunned the kitchen who perked up and enjoyed the humor as well as the recipes. Now, fifty years later, the book has been tweaked by her daughter, Jo Bracken, and its reappearance is every bit as welcome as it was the first time round. Hilary Knight (famous for illustrating the Eloise books) added the drawings.

The book begins with thirty family dinner recipes, all with inexpensive ingredients and easy to follow. You’ll find ideas for kids’ parties, special occasions, desserts, and entertaining entertainment suggestions to meet all social occasions. The increased number of women working, more packaged and frozen dinners, and take-out meals doesn’t detract from the practical common sense the Brackens offer.

For me, the highlight is the cookie section, the recipes that take minutes to fix, except the overnight macaroons which involve a brief late evening prep, and then a stir before popping them in the oven. Peg Bracken treated us all like grown-ups who can figure out for ourselves what we should or shouldn’t be eating.   Jo, in keeping with our diet-conscious ways, adds some of the low-fat substitutions that weren’t available fifty years ago.

— JM

Jane Manaster is the author of Pecans: The Story in a Nutshell, available at Amazon and locally at BookPeople in Austin.

© 2010 Jane Manaster. All Rights Reserved.

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