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The Crabby Cook Cookbook: Recipes and Rants Paperback – December 15, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
I highly recommend this book for it's charm, it's humor and it's fabulous meals.
Her style? Here's a sample. Can you relate?
"If I leave my office to go to the bedroom, say, to get my backscratcher, I make a note on my palm as to why I am going to the bedroom; otherwise, when I arrive there, I will have to return to my office and wait until that information resurfaces. Of if I make a phone call, I will write down the name of the person I'm calling before I dial, so when they answer, I will not need to ask them who they are."
Yeah, me too.
And now for the recipes.......135 " almost-effortless" of them spaced out over eleven chapters. I might quibble over the "almost effortless," since one woman's "simple," could be another's "complicated" .......but you won't have to purchase esoteric appliances or expensive not just out-of-season, but out-of-country ingredients.
I haven't yet decided if this is a book of wonderful recipes interspersed with hysterical stories or --(you guessed it) -- hysterical stories interspersed with wonderful recipes.
Either way, I LOVE this book and if you are an already-best-friend of mine, you might just be receiving a gift copy soon.
Who couldn't love a book with recipe titles like "Pain in the Ass Minestrone", "Richard Gere's Pot Pie", and "Liza's Sort of Homemade Chicken Soup."
This is the kind of cookbook we love because it's multifunctional -- a great read on those gray or rainy days when we don't even want to go near a kitchen and a great guidebook for those times when the creative food muse strikes and we are raring to go to try a new dish or two.
Jessica Harper's rants and recipes remind us of the late great Peg Bracken and Erma Bombeck. Crabby cooks of the world unite!
In 2 weeks time, I've prepared 6 recipes from the book. They were all well-received by me and my family (a semi-picky husband and kids, 12 and 6, who aren't adventurous but probably eat more widely than most kids), and I'd probably make each of them again. The cookbook is flagged with more that I want to try.
A caution: It may seem that this is aimed at people who hate to cook. That's not at all true. These are not 5 ingredient, 30 minute meals. Most provide a fair amount of preparation, but that means that they also don't rely on prepackaged processed items (like spice mixes or cream of ___ soup).
I think that Harper wrote this book for people like me. I love to cook. I like to try new things. But I'm busy, and sometimes I'm at a creative loss. I also HATE it when I work hard on a dish only to have my family turn their noses up at it (often without even taking a bite!).
Harper lists some foods as "Miracle Foods." These may require even more prep time and effort, but she claims that they are well-received, and for her it's worth it to spend more time to see her family eat a healthy meal.
I was doubtful, but I put her "Creamy Dreamy Pasta" Miracle Food recipe to the test. For this one, I had to get out my food processor and grate or shred carrots, zucchini, cabbage, and onion. I also took Harper's suggestion to add any veggies that are family-friendly (my family eats tomatoes and peppers, so I added those). I had been telling them that we were having "Veggie Pasta" for dinner. I honestly had leftovers in the fridge that I was prepared to serve if they didn't like it.
But they did! The husband (who wouldn't touch cabbage or zucchini with a 10 foot pole) and both kids ate it and liked it! I really liked it.
While the food processor was out, I whipped up the chimichurri sauce in another recipe and poured it on some frozen chicken to thaw, and so I had dinner ready to cook for the next night.
In Summary -- Great recipes if you want to fee your family right, funny stories that you might like to read even if you don't want to cook. Not for beginning or completely reluctant cooks, though, because there are no pictures and some of the recipes are fairly involved.