Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The I Hate to Cook Book - Peg Bracken

Well, I am one of those who hate to cook, so the The I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken definitely caught my eye!

This is the 50th anniversary edition and Peg's daughter Jo Bracken has added an especially touching forward.

The premise behind the book:
"...was born from a group of professional women who would have been much happier sipping martinis with their husbands than spending the cocktail hour in the kitchen, slaving over a hot stove. These friends decided to share their pain (and surefire recipes) with the hope that they could get back at least a portion of that cocktail hour... Two hundred recipes and a good number of Household Hints later, The I Hate to Cook Book went to press."
I enjoyed the recipes (I'll get to that in a minute) but it was Peg's sense of humour that had me chuckling out loud. She's wry,witty and oh so funny! The different chapters (entrees, leftovers - this one was priceless, potluck - strategies to avoid the entree,  birthday parties, desserts and more) are all opened with dry and droll passages. Her witticisms are part of the recipe instructions as well - read carefully.
"Never doubt it, there's a long, long trail a-winding when you hate to cook. And never compute the number of meals you have to cook and set before the shining little faces of your loved ones in the course of a lifetime. This only staggers the imagination and raises the blood pressure."
This book was originally written in the 60's, so yes, there is a lot of butter and cream. You could substitute healthier options of course, but making them as they're originally written just tasted so good! And once in a while can't really hurt, right? The keywords are quick, convenient, but still a good meal.

My garden is overflowing with tomatoes right now, so I tried one of the veggie dishes - Crisp Tomatoes. Sliced tomatoes dredged in cornmeal and fried. Guilty but good!

And my son really enjoyed French Fried Sandwiches - a version of a Monte Cristo. 

Cockeyed cake was definitely up my alley! No mixing bowl at all  - everything is put into the baking pan and mixed! Chocolaty - everyone really enjoyed this! Cottin-Pickin' Jam Tarts (4 ingredients!) also went over well.

There's great little sections at the end - over 75 household hints, and one on equivalents.

An absolutely nostalgic look back, a wonderful tribute to a mother and a lot of good cookin' too!

Read an excerpt of The I Hate to Cook Book.

And you still have time to enter my giveaway for 2 copies the I Hate to Cook Book - ends Aug 29th.

Join Blog Talk Radio as they interview Johanna Bracken, daughter of THE I HATE TO COOK BOOK author Peg Bracken.
Thursday, Aug. 26, 2 PM ET

Call-in with your questions during show time to participate in the live interview @ (646) 378-0039 


bermudaonion said...

I thought Peg Bracken's commentary was wonderful - she was certainly a witty women who was ahead of her time!

Constance Reader said...

I have a love/hate relationship with cooking--this sounds like it would be great for those "hate" days. Thanks for this review!

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

I'm so glad to hear that the content of this one is as fabulous as the cover and the title (which I covet, lol).

Ladytink_534 said...

Okay you talked me into entering! Sounds really cute.