NEW New Joy of Cooking
I just read an article in the NY Times magazine that states that the 1997 edition of New Joy was something of a failure. I have used my 97 edition quite a lot, but I must admit to being a little daunted by some of the recipes. This article says the new version is more accessible. Does anyone have any thoughts on the 97 edition or the new one? Is it worth buying the latest version?
The article was in the NY Times Magazine today, Sunday, Oct. 15th. I think what the author was saying is that the 1997 edition was a failure because, well, here is a snip...
In 1997, the last time Joy of Cooking was revised, things seemed to have gone terribly wrong. Recipes from professional food writers replaced many of the books old standards, food processors whirred a bit too much and the voice of the cookbook became subsumed. In 97 we kind of lost our way, Becker concedes. You had to make your own bechamel sauce to get the perfect tuna-fish casserole. But that is not what tuna casserole is about. It is about getting home and realizing that theres nothing in the fridge for dinner and that there is nothing wrong with tuna casserole from a can.
Here is a link, but I think one has to have a 'membership' or sign in..
Here is another snip from the article regarding the newest edition...
The new edition -- a sort of greatest hits of home cooking -- raises the interesting question of whether a cookbook covering sushi to ham loaf is relevant at a time when the cookbook industry is so fragmented by microcuisines.
The new edition brings back the old voice and some favorites --like tamale pie -- but also adds some new recipes, like Mediterranean short ribs with olives, and enchiladas verdes. But mostly it is basics, many of them beloved.
After musings...the author concludes in this snip...
I cannot promise that the new Joy will spend every night with me at the stove. I confess I will never turn to it for enchiladas. But it does feel right sitting there on my shelf, telling me who I am.
The Joy reader is my mother, who juggled career and family and by and large did a heck of a fine job of it, Becker says. I also see people who are stuck overseas. I see a professional chef who is looking for ideas for specials. I see a bachelor friend who is looking to make a meal for a date.
There are two recipes in the article, one a Tamale Pie, the other a Mystery Cake with...tomato soup. I think they are back to basics if that is what you are interested in.
I realize that this doesn't really answer your question, but I have a hardback version of JoC from the 1970s and I love it. I use it all the time as a reference--how long to cook certain meats, measurement conversions, etc, and plus, I've loved the recipes I've tried. Particularly for cakes, brownies, and soups. Best of all, I got it used for next to nothing--I think at Powell's in Portland, OR. I wholeheartedly recommend at least leafing through a copy.
"...You had to make your own bechamel sauce to get the perfect tuna-fish casserole. But that is not what tuna casserole is about. It is about getting home and realizing that theres nothing in the fridge for dinner and that there is nothing wrong with tuna casserole from a can."... LOL
For me, tuna-fish casserole is a classic in the "roommate cuisine" genre. It's your week to do the cooking, and you never make a culinary production out of it -- too busy to fuss around in the kitchen. There's not much left in the groceries kitty. So, boil up some noodles, then mix with cream-of-whatever soup thinned with milk or yogurt or wine, and add a can of tuna. Top with breadcrumbs and grated cheese. Cook until bubbly.
I love the '97 edition of JOC! I've given to many brides and grooms and to friends on their b-days. It has become a corner stone of my cookbook library. If I want something basic and reliable but still contemporary, I go to it first. The appetizer section is great, as is the quick bread section.
As much as I like the idea of the 70's version, it just doesn't do it for me. There's just something a little luncheon-ish about the recipes for me. YES, it's a great reference. I own a spiral bound copy, but use it mostly for the candy recipes.