cover image The Joy of Cooking

The Joy of Cooking

Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, Ethan Becker, . . Scribner, $30 (1152pp) ISBN 978-0-7432-4626-2

They say mother knows best, but in the case of this classic cooking volume, first published 75 years ago, the adage might be more accurately "mother—and grandmother—know best." For while some previous editions of Joy have embraced passing fads and shunned the earlier versions' old-school charm, this time, the editors (led by Irma's grandson and Marion's son, Ethan) have stayed true to the spirit of the original. Fond of its forebear's quirky phrases ("There is nothing simple about these uncomplicated-looking fungi" or "a pig resembles a saint, in that he is more honored after death than during his lifetime"), the new narrative of Joy is one of, well, joy. Its recipes will prompt readers to bound into the kitchen; their range and depth is such that there really is something for everyone. Enchiladas, sushi, bagel chips, smoked brisket and corn dogs make their first appearance, while ice cream, nut butters and beef fondue return after some time away. The use of "we" throughout the text will reassure those skeptical of, say, preparing game (a section that, incidentally, has been expanded), and the overall feeling of the kitchen as a place of empowerment and enrichment makes this an essential work for all cooks. (Oct. 31)