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Joy of Cooking 1931 Facsimile Edition: A Facsimile of the First Edition 1931 Hardcover – Facsimile, April 29, 1998


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Joy of Cooking 1931 Facsimile Edition: A Facsimile of the First Edition 1931 + Joy of Cooking + Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I: 50th Anniversary
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Facsimile edition (April 29, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684833581
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684833583
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #199,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Suddenly Aunt Eunice is on the phone explaining, "Aunt Mabel won't be with us for Christmas dinner, she's taking a holiday cruise with her bridge club. So would you be a dear and bring the Cheese Custard Pie this year? The family sure loves that pie." You ponder a moment and remember that the Cheese Custard Pie wasn't half bad, a stout and hearty dish with heavy Midwestern overtones, a bit like Aunt Mabel, in fact. You've eaten the same pie every year for as long as you can remember, your parents ate the same pie, and chances are your grandparents got a little crazy and had a slice or two à la mode. Small wonder Mabel has been wowing the family with Cheese Custard Pie since 1931.

Warm fuzzy memories go suddenly bad when you realize that the success or failure of the family holiday has just been placed squarely upon your shoulders in the form of a dessert you haven't a clue how to cook. Damn that bridge club! A quick call back to Aunt Eunice reveals, "It's simple, honey, all you need is The Joy of Cooking."

In 1931, Mrs. Irma von Starkloff Rombauer was newly widowed and in need of a way to support her family. The celebrated St. Louis hostess struck on the idea of turning her personal recipes and cooking techniques into a book. She self- published The Joy of Cooking: A Compilation of Reliable Recipes with a Casual Culinary Chat, and the legend was born. Aunt Mabels everywhere related to Irma's sensible, fearless approach to the culinary arts, and Chicken à la King, Risotto, and Roasted Spanish Onions found their way onto our tables. The Joy of Cooking quickly became a modern masterpiece, the stuff of legends, the foundation of family dinners everywhere.

This facsimile of the original 1931 edition offers ample proof why The Joy of Cooking, at 15 million copies and counting, remains one of the most popular cookbooks of all time. This is where it all began, and while her Shrimp Wiggle may not be in vogue anymore, a certain pie recipe just might save your family holiday. --Mark O. Howerton

From Library Journal

This is a facsimile of the original 1931 edition of what has become a standard. A good many of the recipes probably aren't as health-conscious as consumers prefer today, but the book will definitely find an audience.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Ethan Becker is the son of Marion Rombauer Becker and the grandson of Irma S. Rombauer, the original author of The Joy of Cooking. He attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, but learned how to cook from his mom. An outdoors-man, he is a master of the grill and at cooking game. His outdoor gear and survival and combat knives are sold internationally under the brand Becker Knife and Tool. Ethan and his wife, Susan, a writer, editor, and artist, live in East Tennessee at their home, Half Moon Ridge.

Customer Reviews

A must have for foodies like me!
Metaldiva
Am glad to have this and eagerly await the arrival of another edition of Ms. Rombauer's book.
hula maiden
I don't actually cook out of this thing much but I find it interesting to read.
Dixie Diamond

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

129 of 131 people found the following review helpful By Raechel Reiter on July 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is the 1st, as in before they got picked up by a major publisher.
Don't let that kid you. This book is GREAT and professional.
Irma made up the style of cookbook we know today. Listing all ingredients up front etc. A true pioneer.
She took her book to a little printer and had a run made. That book (which this is a faithful copy of) fell into the right hands and the rest was cookbook history.
Fantastic old recipes. Even old German ones, and other euro recipes etc. Not a bland cookbook of old junk. It is all old treasures.
She always made up several variations of a recipe and had friends and acquaintances as a tasters panel. The winning versions of each are in the book.
The Dust jacket is washable with a moist cloth even on her first book, she was a very smart lady.
Buy this book and enjoy recipes that are no longer in the latest JOY. There just isn't room for everything now. And this is the old fashioned way of making them all. I am big on taste!
A must have in the kitchen.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Sallee K. on January 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book with recipes long since forgotten. Easy to read and easy recipes to prepare. The author original humor still in the book which makes it so much better.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Dixie Diamond on April 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I don't know how one rates a reprinted book.

Cookbooks have changed considerably over the past century. This is a REPRINT of the original 1931 cookbook, meaning that the recipes, methods, and layout/instructional style are from 1931. It's not just "retro recipes". It is *not* a modern cookbook. The vagueness of some of the directions and the odd recipes are par for the course for cookbooks of this vintage. You think these are weird? Look up some late 19th century cookbooks and see how much sense they make.

If what you really want is a "daily driver" cookbook, give up the nostalgia and get one of the newer editions. I don't actually cook out of this thing much but I find it interesting to read.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Sallee K. on January 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book with recipes long since forgotten. Easy to read and easy recipes to prepare. The author original humor still in the book which makes it so much better.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen on January 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love old cookbooks, and this was published in 1931, the year after my parents were married and the 2nd year of the Great Depression. There are a lot of recipes using celery,for instance, and the emphasis, quite naturally, is plain meals using readily available food and not wasting anything. Cooks in 2009 could take a leaf out of Mrs. Rombauer's book in that regard. This was before frozen food and many women did not work outside the home and they cooked from scratch, which is cheaper. There is a 6 page section at the back of the book, "Recipes & Suggestions for Leftover Food."
So far, I have not found many recipes I want to run to the kitchen and make, but it is nostalgic to see what recipes and methods women were using back then. I am inspired to look in the more recent "Joy"'s for updated versions. I am glad I bought this copy- I already have about 4 "Joy"'s from other years and I may get another vintage "Joy" from another year, maybe the 1943(War years) or 1951. I was born in 1945 and cook regularly out of the 1950 "Betty Crocker" cookbook since it was the first cookbook my mother owned after using the little cookbook she used in her high school cooking class-"Foods: Preparation & Serving", published in 1925. It's a wonderful series and I feel really connected with the women who have gone before me. I would recommend this for nostalgia's sake, mostly, not as a book to cook one's daily meals. I bought it for myself for Christmas, but I think it would make a nice gift for a woman who likes to cook- unusual, and most people wouldn't think of buying this vintage version for themselves.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Karpinski on August 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This edition of the Joy brought back countless memories---my grandmother, also of German descent and married in 1918, learned to cook in the era when Mrs. Rombauer did. So many of Grandmother's recipes reflect that fact. Reading the book was a trip down memory lane. The section on molded salads, which are definitely a lost art (or perhaps, a tradition better forgotten) is worth the price of the book for a food historian.

I would disagree with the reviewer that said she would "never cook out of it {The Joy..}," however. Some of the recipes are as good now as they ever were and have a thing or two to teach the modern cook. Example: "icebox" cakes and desserts were all the rage in the '20s and '30s, taking advantage of the capabilities of the newly available electric refrigerators. These confections are delicious, usually easy to assemble, and, by definition, a make-ahead item since they have to set up for twelve to twenty-four hours. They are great desserts for the weeknight, working-9-to-5 cook. Or---think potlucks and family gatherings,
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By george on October 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was introduced to "Joy" whilst living in Mallorca in the 1980's, an American woman gave me her copy when her husband was transferred home. It has since become my reference book for 'when in doubt'. We now have a number of issues spread throughout the family. I am now a collector of the older editions and my admiration of Irma and her daughter has only grown with the years. I received this 1931 copy as my last birthday present.

Little did I know that by the middle of the 1990's the majority of my family would be 'gluten intolerant' and 'lactose intolerant' We were so desperate to continue with our usual baking favourites that my daughter wrote her own cookbook which she subsequently published (Indulging without gluten and dairy).

If we had only paid attention to our 1967 copy of the 'Joy of cooking' and the chapter 'Know your ingredients' it would have made our lives so much easier as it never occurred to us that such an 'old' cookbook would have covered different flours!

Of all the100's of cookbook's we have - Joy of Cooking would be only one I would take if the house was burning down!
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