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The I Hate to Cook Book: 50th Anniversary Edition [Kindle Edition]

Peg Bracken , Johanna Bracken
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $22.99
Kindle Price: $10.99
You Save: $12.00 (52%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group


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Book Description

"There are two kinds of people in this world: the ones who don't cook out of and have NEVER cooked out of THE I HATE TO COOK BOOK, and the other kind...The I HATE TO COOK people consist mainly of those who find other things more interesting and less fattening, and so they do it as seldom as possible. Today there is an Annual Culinary Olympics, with hundreds of cooks from many countries ardently competing. But we who hate to cook have had our own Olympics for years, seeing who can get out of the kitchen the fastest and stay out the longest."

- Peg Bracken

Philosopher's Chowder. Skinny Meatloaf. Fat Man's Shrimp. Immediate Fudge Cake. These are just a few of the beloved recipes from Peg Bracken's classic I HATE TO COOK BOOK. Written in a time when women were expected to have full, delicious meals on the table for their families every night, Peg Bracken offered women who didn't revel in this obligation an alternative: quick, simple meals that took minimal effort but would still satisfy.

50 years later, times have certainly changed - but the appeal of THE I HATE TO COOK BOOK hasn't.

This book is for everyone, men and women alike, who wants to get from cooking hour to cocktail hour in as little time as possible.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1298 KB
  • Print Length: 199 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B0007DZ7RQ
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 50 Anv edition (July 26, 2010)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,099 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
By cathony
My first (and favorite) mother-in-law gave this to me as a wedding present, twenty years ago. At the time I fancied myself quite the gourmet cook, and was mildly insulted. Finally, out of boredom one day, I read it cover to cover. I fell in love with it. There are several laugh-out-loud phrases in it, and Hilary Knight's illustrations are gems. Then, as I started working longer hours and no longer wanted to do something en croute for my husband for dinner, I turned to the recipes. They are simple, good and fast, and most of them can be crammed down a child's throat without too much fuss. They were written in the days before we knew about cholesterol, but hey, not everything's perfect. Are you tired of presenting Tuna Helper to your family? This will give the effect of a much more home-cooked meal. Good everyday family meals, relatively nutritious.
You should also read Peg Bracken's other books. They're terrific, too.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun to read AND good recipes to boot! September 30, 2002
Peg Bracken's "I Hate to Cook Book" sure has an awful lot of good, simple recipes for a book that purports not to be about cooking. It's fun, fun, fun to read and the recipes truly are simple and good.
The best thing about the book is Bracken's inimitably breezy voice. When she tells you to stir "Company Carrots" until they're well-coated, she writes, " . . . stirring so that all the strips get well acquainted with the sauce." When introducing a recipe for "Rosy Radish Salad," she prefaces the instructions with, "This next one uses up radishes and some of your canned beans." No doubt she's always eager to get beyond dinner because she wants to get out of the kitchen and be seated with her guests, enjoying the conversation! She's a hoot to read, and the recipes work. I love the recipe names: Lamb Shanks Tra-La, Elevator Lady Spice Cookies, Sour Cream Cinch No. 1 and No. 2, Philosopher's Chowder, Breakthrough Salad, Immediate Fudge Cake, Dazzleberry Tart (which begins, "If the dazzleberries aren't ripe yet, use canned cherry pie filling"), and more. Even the chapter names are funny (No. 22 is entitled "Stealing from Knowledgeable People"). Get this book if you enjoy cooking or hate cooking--it doesn't matter--but definitely get it if you like a good laugh and good, plain, simple recipes.
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53 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peg Bracken is so underrated! November 30, 2003
I am rapidly completing my Peg Bracken library. If you're my age (I'm in my 30s) or younger, you have probably never read -- and likely have never heard of -- Peg Bracken. She's pretty much lost to our generation. I'd heard of her but never read her stuff until I inherited the "I Hate to Cook Book" and "I Hate to Housekeep" from my grandmother (who probably didn't care for either of them).

If you like humor writing and things retro, you should at least read those two. Peg harkens back to the days when you were supposed to have a martini and slippers waiting for your husband and meet him at the door in your negligee, but she was so not into it. I hear she got divorced shortly after the first book came out, and that her husband hated her writing. Loser! Peg is also a reminder of the days when girls got their MRS degree before becoming domestic engineers...her ability with a phrase is testament to a keen knowledge of things other than casseroles and dustcloths.

You can't find a lot of info on Peg online. I hear she is still kicking, though. I like the fact that, in her author photos, she's sitting at her desk with a ciggie a la Fran Leibowitz. She was the original Cynthia Heimel. She was way ahead of her time.

(Edited to add that Peg Bracken has passed away since I wrote this review. She is missed.)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous--and not for the recipes! June 15, 2011
I picked this book up on a whim at at chuch rummage sale, and I am so glad I did. The recipes may be somewhat dated, though familiar to anyone who grew up in the 50's and 60's when cream of mushroom soup was in EVERYTHING, but some of them are still useable.

However, the recipes are NOT the reason you must read this book. Or rather, COOKING the recipes is not the reason to read it. You must read this book for the joy of spending a few hours with a woman who would be anyone's ideal of the witty best friend. Peg Bracken takes us back to a time when married women were housewives first and foremost, no matter what else they might happen to have going on upstairs, and if you were the housewife, you were the cook. Period. As she says:

"We don't get our creative kicks from adding an egg, we get them from painting pictures or bathrooms, or potting geraniums or babies, or writing stories or ammendments, or, possibly, engaging in some interesting type of psycho-neuro-chemical research like seeing if, perhaps, we can replace colloids with sulphates. And we simply love ready-mixes."

In fact, this little cookbook functions as a sort of subversive feminist broadside, but with a wicked sense of humor. From the recipe for Skid Road Stroganoff: "Add the flour, salt, paprika, and mushrooms, stir, and let it cook five minutes while you light a cigarette and stare sullenly at the sink." Another recipe is called "Something Else To Do With New Potatoes Besides Boiling Them And Rolling Them In Melted Butter and Parsley" The book is a joy from start to finish. I'm going to start looking for copies to give to my friends.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great new release of a classic
We have Peg Bracken's cookbooks in paperback and have used her recipes extensively over the years. With this new release, we get a truly nice preface by her daughter, who details... Read more
Published 1 month ago by RetiredMilitaryOfficer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little cookbook!
I have used this little cookbook almost all my like. Somehow in the passing years it got away from me, so once I saw it on Amazon I hurried to have it sent to me. Read more
Published 1 month ago by dexie cat
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful wonderful book
I bought this book because I have an old paperback copy that is literally held together by rubber bands. Always enjoyed Peg Bracken's take on life.
Published 1 month ago by Susan Harvuot
5.0 out of 5 stars So glad to have a new copy!
Growing up when this book came out, I can't help thinking that my mother must have had a copy of it, although I don't remember it. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jeanne H
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest!!!
I have every book published by Peg Bracken. . Boy can she concoct great easy dishes with just a few extra
ingredients that no one would think of. . Read more
Published 3 months ago by Renee Evers
5.0 out of 5 stars love this book
growing up my mother used to back Selma's oatmeal cookies, they were the best and after she past I figured I'd never see this recipe again and kept remembering this cookbook name... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dave Grammer
4.0 out of 5 stars Laugh-out-loud funny
I purchased this cook book for the essays alone. True, I hoped to pick up a recipe or two that might be useful for those days when it's 5 pm and you have no idea what to cook for... Read more
Published 5 months ago by J. Ney-Grimm
5.0 out of 5 stars WONDERFUL AND FUNNY
I hate to cook, but I love this book. Just reading it is a hoot, sometimes I spend so much time reading I don't cook anything, which is even better. Read more
Published 5 months ago by GinaBina
2.0 out of 5 stars Cute book, but the recipes are too simple and boring.
I thought the recipes were much to basic and simple, and I was embarrassed that I gave it as a gift once I had read through it. It's better as a starter cookbook for kids.
Published 7 months ago by CS
5.0 out of 5 stars Best cookbook ever!
I've been cooking from this cookbook since I was 8 years old -- it was the original version from the 50s. My best and most loved dish of all times came from this book -- lasagna. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mary D. Nelson
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More About the Author

Peg Bracken spent her life writing when she could, cooking when she had to, and seeing the world as only she could see it. In her passing, she leaves behind nine books, a multitude of articles, columns, pieces of light verse, and a family whom she loved... and who loved her.

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