Sometimes I suspect that it is more difficult to find a good all-purpose cookbook than any other type of cookbook. There are so many baking books, grilling books, celebrity books and beautifully illustrated, single-subject cookbooks out that they dominte the cooking section of every bookstore. And, of course, I absolutely love these cookbooks, but that being said, I also love having reliable cookbooks that I can turn to for any type recipe. The Good Home Cookbook falls into this category of all-around cookbook.
I’ve mentioned this cookbook around this site on occasion, and even mentioned it at Slashfood a while back. It is a no-frills cookbook (by which I mean no pictures) full of classic, American recipes. The really interesting thing about it is that the recipes were tested by the public; the cookbook publishers opened testing to anyone who wanted to participate and sent out recipes, collected feedback and used it to revise the recipes before publishing. I actually was one of the testers when it was being developed (and I know that more that a few other food bloggers were, too), and I can’t deny that I have a soft spot for the book in large part because I had such success with all of my test recipes.
Back to the book, don’t be put off by the fact that there are no photos. The recipes are straightforward and easy to follow. Perhaps it’s knowing how they’re tested, but there is something about this book that always makes me feel comfortable flipping to a random page – whether the recipe is for steak, an omelette, bread or cookies – and feeling confident that I’m going to be pretty happy with my results.
Lisa H.January 28, 2008
I got the Good Home Cookbook last year from the authors. They had a “get one if you promise to write a review”. I found it to be a decent all-around cookbook. Part of the schtick of the GH cookbook seems to be nostalgic American recipes – so there weren’t a lot (if any) of alcohol-free mixers, but over all, I still think it’s a good alternative to consider for a first cookbook gift if you’re tired of giving “Joy of Cooking”
breadchickJanuary 28, 2008
That’s funny Nicole. I just wrote about this cook book the other day too over at The Sour Dough. I agree, it is a fine all around cookbook.