- Paperback: 1040 pages
- Publisher: Perigee Trade; Revised edition (March 28, 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399513884
- ISBN-13: 978-0399513886
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.8 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #880,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook Paperback – March 28, 1988
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Top Customer Reviews
My grandmother and mother each owned one of these books, and it was one of the earliest cookbooks that I learned to use. It is thoroughly entertaining, and a great addition to any cookbook library. However, its biggest drawback is that it was written at a time when there were no shortcuts to cooking, and most people learned how to cook at an early age. The book assumes that the reader already has the basics down, so sometimes the directions are vague. And the recipes are not meant for our harried lifestyles. There are no shortcuts, such as using frozen foods or the microwave. They were written for at a time when women worked in the home, and cooking was a big part of their job.
For a novice cook, there are other books that are better able to give the direction that is needed; either The Better Homes and Gardens (ring-bound, black and red plaid cover!) and the big red Betty Crocker cookbooks start off with the basics and are easy to use. But if you are comfortable with cooking, and are familiar with the basics, this is really a fun book to have. You will find the recipes for all of your favorite "comfort foods"; a good macaroni and cheese, great mashed potatoes, even several different ways to serve hamburger. There are some really great cookie recipes, and when I am looking for something that I remember from childhood, I can always find it here. There is even a section on using leftovers, leftover from the lean years of the Depression. (I never knew there were so many ways to use weenies.)
And if the occasion ever presents itself when you need a recipe for reindeer and elk, you will know just where to find it.
In addition to all of the recipes there are sections on nutrition, meal planning, cooking ideas, and much more. Once again this book is packed with all sorts of recipes. More than you can possibly go through in a short amount of time. The recipes aren't trendy, but this book is filled with many classics you may have grown up with.
It is really an easy to use and enormously useful book for everything from basic cooking to fancy stuff. The most wonderful part of it is that it has some great explanations for various things, over 2,000 items in the start are explained including what various processes are (including little used terms now such as devil or lard)
there are a sections for menus including what pages the recipes turn up on - but what I like most about this book, and others of this era is that you find a lot of recipes which we just don't use now - who has heard of Calf-liver dumplings, or Prune-nut bread?
But if you really want variety, well just check out the waffles, there is a basic waffle recipe with a dozen or so variations, but then there are another 10 or so different waffle recipes including corn meal, rice and southern Griddle cakes.
If you are struggling with leftovers, then turn to your pages here - what to do with leftover veges, or eggs - all have separate sections with stacks of great ideas
Under meat there is a simple and easy to reference section on how long to cook various items - and as with most good books of this time includes a chart with meant cuts - or what theyare and what they look like alogn with ideas on how to use them
at 1,000 or so pages there are recipes and ideas which will keep you inspired for years to come
This isn't the sort of book you buy to learn how to cook - you buy it keep on your shelf as a sort of culinary safety net, for those times when you need a recipe for something in a hurry, and you cant find it anywhere else in your home library. Hollendaise sauce ? It's in there. Creamed spinach ? Yes, and don't forget the obligatory sliver of garlic and tiny grating of nutmeg. Buerre Blanc Sauce ? Check. Cream of Asparagus Soup ? No problem. Bisque ? Several, and remember to stop shy of a boil after adding the yolks (or they'll break). It's ALL in there, sans fancy photos. You open the book to find a basic no-frills starting point for any given recipe, and then you explore/experiment/personalize it from there.
Weighing in at a hefty 974 pages, all of it in tiny print too, this encyclopedic tome of basic core-American cuisine is the sort of fall-back omni reference that all serious cooks had on their shelf in the days before on-line databases like 'epicurious' became easily available.
I've given it a thumbs up - not because it's enjoyable or entertaining (hardly), but because it's so useful. It's a bit dated, the instructions are minimalistic, and the few photos that are present are all B&W and not especially helpful, but it's still a good book to have on hand if your cooking styles tend to roam loose and free, and where improvized 'door knock dinners' or 'cupboard special dujour' are a frequent and welcome diversion into culinary improv.
A handy, well dog-eared, fixture atop my fridge.
This is NOT the sort of book one turns to for inspiration.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very informative. Anyone seeking older cookbooks would probably enjoy this.Published 4 months ago by spurs
Love my new cookbook, just what I expected. I purchased it because this book is a reprint of my mother's cookbooks, a collection of single booklets. back in the 1940's.Published 5 months ago by Judith T.
I have original 160 page of 1972 and 1975 Italian cook books, they are in excellent condition, Cooking Magic the Italian Cookbook, publish by
Culinary Arts Institute in... Read more