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Fun to read, but lousy recipes
on September 2, 2014
This book was a fun read, but the recipes so far are far less than impressive.
I am an accomplished bread-baker, but am always up for trying new recipes. Therefore, the first recipe tried from this book was her "Everyday Bread." I had misgivings from the start, but I plugged on. I should have listened to my gut, as the recipe produced two bricks that weren't even edible straight from the oven (and I've found that even pretty awful bread is good straight from the oven with butter!). This weekend, I made the chocolate birthday cake recipe. This turned out fine, however, it's worth nothing that it is basically a Wacky cake AND it comes from someone else's cookbook (The I Hate to Cook Book, by Peg Bracken). The author includes a cooked icing recipe and says that her grandmother made it differently, but she feels this method is easier. The icing turned out okay, but not great, and I'm left wanting to ask how her grandmother made it, because I strongly suspect it's much better if made that way.
I also found her difficulty/hassle ratings to be baffling at times. For instance, she says that roasting your own chicken is a hassle and you should just buy a rotisserie chicken, but that homemade marshmallows are not at all a hassle. I'm not sure what planet she's from, on either account. A roast chicken is no work at all. And marshmallows, while not difficult, are a pain in the butt and a massive mess.
I will probably try a couple more recipes in the name of science, but thus far, I am not impressed. I'd suggest borrowing the book for a fun read, but pass on actually making anything from it.