148 of 150 people found the following review helpful
An Inexpensive Classic, Full of Great Suggestions,
This review is from: The Breakfast Book (Hardcover)
This durable classic was written by one of the better known names among American cookbook authors, who apprenticed with James Beard and supervised the rewrite of the Fannie Farmer cookbook. The book endures by providing a super coverage of a neglected culinary subject. While there are dozens of books with chapters on breakfast dishes, there are only a small handful of books devoted exclusively to breakfast written in the last 20 years. This book, neatly typeset, edited, and designed by the Alfred A. Knopf crew, should grace your shelf for a long time, even if your space is limited.
This book among my favorite types of cookbooks to own, as it gives you easy access to a great number of recipes on a single subject. This is even better than books on fish or red meat or potatoes or chicken, as it covers a wide range of recipes for all flavors available to a single meal. And, Ms. Cunningham does touch all the bases. Her chapter titles are:
Yeast breads such as American White Bread.
Toasts, French Toast, and Breakfast Sandwiches.
Quick Breads such as biscuits, cornbread, scones, muffins, and fruit breads.
Cereals, hot such as oatmeal and corn, such as granola
Doughnuts and Fritters
Griddling, as in pancakes and waffles
Eggs, as in boiled, omelets, frittatas, souffles, baked, scrambled, poached, fried, and so on
Fruit Fixing, as in applesauce, poached apples, stuffed pears, fresh juices, rhubarb, pineapple, mango, etc.
Potatoes, as in oven fries, hash browns, potato pancakes, potato bacon pie, and potato custard
Meat and Fish as in steak, chipped beef, corned beef hash, bacon, ham, fresh fish, fish hash, and salt cod
Custards and Puddings, an extension of eggs or cereals, depending on how you look at them
Cookies, Pies, and Cakes as in yum, yum, cookies for breakfast
Condiments, as in jellies, jams, caramel, syrups, and salsas
Breakfast Beverages as in tea, coffee, hot chocolate ya da ya da ya da
Some reviewers have stated that her recipes are easy. While this may be true of most topics above, it is not true of yeast breads. Even the simplest recipes, and Cunningham's are relatively simple, require a modest amount of skill and a fair amount of time, so I must say that Cunningham is more concerned with good recipes and completeness than she is with speed.
While Miss Marion covers all the bases, some are covered a lot better than others. The yeast bread chapter has only a few samples and an exceptionally picky person may feel that the book suffers by not having a brioche recipe, as this is a perfect ingredient for French Toast. I will only point this out and generally suggest that if you are serious about making bread, check out either `Baking with Julia' as an excellent general introduction to baking or Rose Levy Beranbaum's `The Bread Bible' for the straight skinny on everything bread. For the very best Southern biscuits, check out Nick Malgieri's `How to Bake'.
The coverage of eggs and toast and condiments and cakes and custards and puddings and pancakes is terrific. This represents the strongest reason to own a copy of this book, if you are especially fond of leisurely weekend breakfasts or brunches. There are dozens of recipes for things I knew people did actually eat for breakfast, but never came close to having them myself or even seeing them on restaurant menus.
As with the bread and biscuit recipes, do not believe Ms. Cunningham has absolutely covered all bases in chapters such as Meats and Beverages. She does not always cover the most common recipe for a dish. A perfect example is her creamed chipped beef recipe that includes mushrooms. A classic recipe would not include mushrooms and would include Worcestershire sauce and a little cayenne.
This aside, this book packs an enormous punch with 288 recipes for a list price of $20 and an Amazon discounted price of $14.
Very highly recommended, especially for a modest budget and a big appetite for big breakfasts.
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 25, 2011 11:34:05 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 25, 2011 11:34:43 PM PDT
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2011 6:26:23 AM PDT
B. Marold says:
Yes, many Americans eat breakfast as if they worked as lumberjacks or coal miners. Any excuse to live off the fat of the land.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 10, 2011 8:24:12 AM PST
Alexis Rosoff Treeby says:
This is rather like looking at a full English and asking if people really eat that for breakfast. Answer: Not every day.
(The full American breakfast descends from farm breakfasts, which are hearty, for obvious reasons. Eating anything like that today is normally a weekend treat.)
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 10, 2011 10:43:40 AM PST
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2012 12:26:06 PM PDT
M. High says:
Are you British? I learned of the "Full British Breakfast" from my husband when he lived in Cheltenham for a semester: eggs, fried mushrooms, fried tomatoes, sausage, bacon, baked beans, and toast. My British friend told me they say "Breakfast like a king, supper like a pauper."
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2012 12:46:09 PM PDT
B. Marold says:
Dear M. High,
I am as American as the day is long. Having visited both England and mainland Europe, it seems as if the American breakfast is a compromise between the English big breakfast and the slim "continental" breakfast.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›