Most helpful critical review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great nostalgia, but questionable value as a cookbook
on December 29, 2013
This is one of those books that's hard to ignore if you love nostalgic things. There's plenty of recipes, and a smattering of period photos and vintage ads. As for the recipes, I've tried one: Zippy's Hungarian Goulash (page 100). It has the chief ingredient as 3 lbs. of lean chuck or stew meat, cut into cubes. To prepare the meat properly, you have to coat it in flour and sear it in oil. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup flour, paprika, salt and pepper to coat the beef. I'll tip you off now...there's no WAY you're going to coat that much beef with just a 1/4 cup of flour. I had to add more, even though I only had about 2 and half pounds of beef. As another reviewer noted, there's also steps that just leave you hanging. With this recipe, step 9 says to warm up the sour cream in a separate small bowl, being careful to not let it 'boil'. But then, no further mention of the sour cream or what to do with it (other goulash recipes have this ingredient added to the meat mixture).
Overall, this is a nice book. I don't regret my purchase. But I do wonder how carefully these recipes were researched before being printed. The book is laid out quite well, starting with breakfast dishes. And a few of the photos are truly stunning. I loved the one on page 102....three guys are shown at a table in a diner with the menu board in the background. Looks to be Depression area. A hot dog and a bowl of vegetable soup would have only set you back .15 cents! But the kicker was the one guy with his head down on the table, a tipped over salt shaker by his hat. Was he dead drunk or dead tired? We'll never know.
I fully intend to try some of the other recipes, but for the time being I can only recommend this book mostly for its nostalgic appeal. I would love for the author, Linda Everett, who has put together an attractive and fun-to-read book, to chime in and provide more background on the recipes and if they were tested.