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Please recommend your fave Joy of Cooking recipes

  • t

Hi all,

I have an old Joy of Cooking. I've heard that the recipes are inconsistent- some are great, others not so great. Just thought I'd see if I can get some recommendations for recipes that you all have tried and enjoyed enough to make again. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Banana Bread. Their recipe calls for lemon zest -- it's great, and do add some toasted walnuts or pecans.

    1. I've always been happy with the basic sauce recipes. Mostly simple and easy - good for a fondation in cooking, i think. Also, the cheese puffs never fail.

      The cocktail recipes are good if you don't know how to make an old-fasioned, etc.

      But some of the more complicated dishes can be frustrating. You have to refer back to a kazillion things. It can become annoying. Or a pleasure, depending on your level of commitment to a certain dish.

      1. Gingersnaps, though I add extra ginger.

        1. p

          Hello twinmommy,

          I still enjoy many recipes from my old Joy of Cooking, although some of them need a little extra flavor: Hungarian chicken paprikas (substituting hot paprika for regular), clam sauce for pasta (adding extra garlic), mashed sweet potatoes with ginger, quiche lorraine (with 1/2 the amount of milk), and basic roll-cookie dough for Christmas cookies.

          P.S. I don't know how old your twins are, but having them sprinkle colored sugar on the roll cookies can be really fun!

          2 Replies
          1. re: parkslopemama

            My little ones just turned 2 so I'm probably going to hold off on baking with them for a bit more time. But I've already been thinking about showing them how to make cookies, bread, etc. and I just bought some cookie cutters for the occasion!

            1. re: parkslopemama

              My little ones just turned 2 so I'm probably going to hold off on baking with them for a bit more time. But I've already been thinking about showing them how to make cookies, bread, etc. and I just bought some cookie cutters for the occasion!

            2. I learned how to make a quiche 25+ years ago using the "master" recipe from The Joy of Cooking. I don't need to use the recipe anymore but I found that it was an easy basis to start with when first learning. You can adapt the recipe easily to change the flavors.

              However, when my husband became enamored with Atkins I went back to Joy and sure enough they had a recipe for crust-less quiche. The small addition of flour is minimum so this recipe is great for the 2nd stage.

              1. waffles/pancakes
                white bread
                pate with pistachios
                pizza dough
                a dozen other things I can't even remember now....

                When I want to make something and don't have a favored recipe at hand (which is usually the case), I use the Joy as a first reference to get an idea for a general approach, then adapt it according to my taste, etc... It's value is in its comprehensiveness: you can find directions for mixing a sidecar, making cassoulet, sugar cookies or turtle soup (ingredients: one turtle....). Free free to adapt as you see fit: that's the "joy of cooking," no?

                1. My neighbor once made the brunswick stew from the JOC for us, and it was fantastic. But the recipe in my version was different. So i'd be careful following anyone's recommendation for something without knowing which edition their recipe is coming from.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: papayagirl

                    which one does your neighbour have ? i was thinking about making this from mine - not sure what edition, but it was published by Plume in 1997.

                  2. t

                    Their Brownies "Cockaigne" recipe is terrific, one of the best.

                    The crispy oatmeal cookie recipe is excellent also.

                    1. There is a very good recipe for rack of lamb with a mustard rub (but I have a 6 year-old version - I think it was the first of the "New" versions), we make it all the time.

                      1. We have many cookbooks, incuding the revised JOC, but the old version is our default cookbook.

                        The brownie recipe is (almost literally) sacred text and food at our house!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: berkleybabe

                          I agree; they're outstanding. They're called brownies cocknaigne or something like that, right, and I recently saw them listed in a magazine article on classic cookbooks as one of the "must try" recipes from JOC.

                        2. "Basic rolled biscuits," buttermilk variation.

                          My grandmother never made biscuits to a recipe. This recipe comes closest to handmade Southern-grandma biscuits, and it comes out perfect every time.

                          - er

                          Link: http://enrevanche.blogspot.com

                          1. r
                            Reared on Home Cookin

                            Don't you find that recipes are a dime a dozen? Search http://groups.google.com/ and include the word "recipe", or visit Gourmet's website, or Martha Stewart's (intheslammer.com), or CooksIllustrated, or any newspaper, or this one... etc.

                            But, what the Joy has is the "About" sections at the front of chapters and subchapters, the parts that tell you the background you need, the pitfalls, etc. That is what I find useful about the Joy.

                            1. I second the Roll Cookie recipe recommendation. Not Rich Roll cookies, just the regular. This handles v well and makes fabulous Christmas or other decorated cookies that actually taste good, even (especially) after a few days.

                              1. Hi,

                                The author's family favorites were always the recipes with "Cocknaigne" included. We very often make Apple Cake Cocknaigne, which is the closest to my Oma's whose recipe I never had ,,, though everyone in my family believes I have it.

                                Julia Child once wrote an article comparing and contrasting the various editions of the Joy of Cooking. Some recipes she liked dropped out and others were modified as some here identified. The only area she was not too thrilled about in the Joy of Cooking were foreign classics were somewhat muddled.

                                The Joy of Cooking is the only cookbook which resides in my kitchen because it is such a good reference. All my other cookbooks reside in a room nearby. I usually have several editions of the Joy of Cooking, thinking like the monarchy: an heir and a spare.

                                An area I will not touch in the Joy of Cooking, their canning processing recommendations. I followed it early on for unfortunately bad results which later fermented and fizzed on the shelf.


                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Cathy2

                                  Just as an aside...I presently sit about 1 block(less if I cut thru the woods) from Cocknaige, the Beckers' home. I recently read in the paper that they've sold it and its 7 acres to a developer and are moving to TN. Yhe home is to be razed. I hope they'll have some sort of yard sale, fixtures sale before it goes so I can see it. It sounds like a fascinating place, but with land values so high right here, I'm sure it's worth more to a developer without the house than with.

                                  1. re: sudiepav


                                    Do you think you could take a picture of it? I'd love to see where they lived.


                                    1. re: Cathy2

                                      I am going to try...and I'll share the results. I'm sort of a rule-following girl, and they live WAAY back from the road, so I hate to just walk up. That's why I was sort of hoping for some sort of salvage sale. But the developer has a sign out front, and I think I'll call and inquire about such a thing. I've seen many spreads in the newspaper about parties they've held, and the house looks fascinating. As someone who loves the preservation of the old, I can't believe that it's being demolished, but I know economics rule.

                                      1. re: sudiepav


                                        I live in a neighborhood where lovingly overhauled antique houses are regarded only for the land by interested parties. Some very gracious homes have been leveled to have less than gracious homes take their place.

                                        Anyway, I hope you are successful in getting a picture.