Now anyone who's been to my home and flipped through my cookbooks knows that I annotate. In fact, it's a quirk my daughters love. Truthfully...I just own so many cookbooks that I don't always remember which recipe I want to do again and which I'd rather forget(those comments are the ones the girls like the best - yuch!!! disgusting!!! "what was I thinking?"). So imagine my surprise when, of the 4500 recipes (that's what it says on the cover), I've only marked one - Baked Red Snapper with Savory Tomato Sauce - comment: "very good - add olives". It calls for baking a whole fish, which would mean bones, and since my Honey hates bones, I'm not going to be making it any time soon.
So then why do I have such a warm attachment to a book with only one recipe marked up (and that one has only a mediocre review)? And then I realized.....I own three reference books
The Doubleday Cookbook(I DO have lots of great recipes marked and maybe I'll do a bunch in the next few weeks);
The Cook's Companion(too new - I just got it sometime in the last few months and haven't really looked through it yet); and
The Joy of Cooking.
But of my reference books, Joy of Cooking has the most comprehensive information for new cooks. And frankly, we're all new cooks for one thing or another even if you've been comfortable in the kitchen for years. For instance....did you know these facts about evaporated milk (I just randomly opened the book):
- is canned whole milk freed of 60% of its moisture and contains not less than 7.5% milk fat;
- reconstitute by adding 1/2 cup water to same quantity of evaporated milk and use to replace 1 cup of fresh milk in any recipe except those calling for rennet.
- it has a slightly caramelized taste due to the processing
- the cans should be inverted every few weeks in storage to keep solids from settling.
- do not hold condensed milk for more than 6 months before using (I REALLY didn't know that and now I'm heading down to my pantry to dump my old cans!!!)
Related links: Food and Drink cookbooks