Most helpful critical review
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Neither an entertaining historical book nor a good cook book
on August 21, 2011
There are few reviews for this book, with only one negative. I should have paid closer attention to the negative review. I think I agree more with that reviewer. I was expecting a book detailing menus, etc. from the White House, perhaps with a few personal recipes through the years. I enjoy reading old cook books--for example, the Times-Picayune Creole cook book comes to mind. I thought this one might be similar. Boy was I wrong! The recipes in this book have been "updated" by a couple of apparently humorless dieticians. What on earth were they thinking? I realize I am an accomplished cook and some people without any culinary experience might need a little more guidance, but who would choose to serve dishes that include bouillon granules, egg substitute, and "butter buds". Butter buds! Other "updated" recipes call for instant onions (!), dried parsley (!), red food coloring (!). The few original recipes that are in the book are not put in any kind of historical context--they are barely a blurb with a notation that they were from the 1894 cook book. Anyway, just be advised that if you are looking for an enjoyable read about culinary traditions in the White House, purchase the original book and not this updated version. I hope I can help others not waste the $12--this was my mistake, so I'll go ahead and get the genuine, unaltered version. I would also recommend that you just search on the internet for recipes, as the ones included in this volume would not be worth the time spent preparing them.