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Worst. Cookbook. Ever.

Cookbook

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85 replies to this topic

#61 Andrew Fenton

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 06:30 PM

Cool. What makes [the New Vegetarian Epicure] better?


I haven't actually read the original, but in the notes to the new cookbook, she mentions that the recipes were heavy, with cheese and dairy taking a central role. The recipes in the new cookbook are definitely vegetable-centered. They're not all hits, but there are a few recipes (including a really terrific broccoli soup) that I make regularly.

#62 Catherine Iino

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 08:59 PM

I never owned the first Vegetarian Epicure, but I still have the original Vegetarian Epicure, Book Two, and I think you would be pleasantly surprised by it. The recipes are quite international and are respectable precursors to a lot of foods that came into style a little later, from baba ghanoush to bread salad. Some of the recipes from the book that I still like and use:

Cranberry Bread
Orange Date Bread
mushroom and barley stuffed cabbage rolls
Apple pudding (really a clafoutis of sorts)
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#63 Moopheus

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 04:38 AM

I can tell you, from extensive personal experience, that the New Joys of Jell-o (1974), is an abomination. A crime against humanity.
"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

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#64 PassionateAmateur

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 06:46 PM

I ordered sight-unseen from amazon a used copy of  'Cordials from Your Kitchen: Easy, Elegant Liqueurs You Can Make and Give' -- it arrived and I discovered that in about 1/2 the recipes the major flavoring ingredient is a spoonful of "flavoring extract".  Are you kidding me?  I want my 3 dollars back!  Anyone have similar disappointments putting their knickers in a twist?



#65 minas6907

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 08:12 PM

I was sort of disappointed with the Garde Manger text from CIA. I love the subject, but soon realized the much of the content was already in The Professional Chef. Anyways, now I'm rather selective with any of the CIA texts, that book cost more then it was worth for repeated recipes, instructions, and photos.

#66 jjahorn

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 02:46 AM

A First Cookbook for Children (Dover Pictorial Archives)

I thought it would have recipes to do with my kids - but they were normal 'adult' type recipes.

The production quality was like what a church group would put together as a fund-raiser.

The 'Chilrdens' element where some bad pictures that a child could colour in - they pictures seem to have all been drawn int he 19th century. (from the style)



#67 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 04:41 AM

Er, what about that Ferran Adria family meal book? Here, open a packet of potato crisps/tub of icecream/etc.


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#68 SylviaLovegren

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 05:45 AM

A First Cookbook for Children (Dover Pictorial Archives) the pictures seem to have all been drawn int he 19th century. (from the style)

They probably are from the 19th century, since it's Dover. They print things that are out of copyright.

#69 Mjx

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 05:46 AM

A First Cookbook for Children (Dover Pictorial Archives)

I thought it would have recipes to do with my kids - but they were normal 'adult' type recipes.

The production quality was like what a church group would put together as a fund-raiser.

The 'Chilrdens' element where some bad pictures that a child could colour in - they pictures seem to have all been drawn int he 19th century. (from the style)

 

That looks quite a bit like the first cookbook I started from, when I was 8 (oh, and actually, those drawings are almost certainly vintage 1970s work): the same sort of unchallenging entry-level stuff, unlikely to scare kids off cooking (more likely to bore them a bit, pushing them to seek out a proper cookbook).

 

I once picked up a copy of a work called Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker, while I was waiting for my sister at a book shop, and needed to kill something between 5 and 45 minutes. The cover was perfectly pleasant. However, the contents of the book made me want to destroy all copies of it. I wish I could remember what the problem was (I seem to have firmly blotted out all the details), but I recall my search for anything redeeming in the book left me with the distinct impression that it is a cruel joke.


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#70 HungryC

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 06:37 AM

I offer you Lizzie's Amish Cookbook, a spinoff from an Amish romance novel series. Aside from sme decent bread recipes, it offers excerpts from the novels and recipes filled with processed ingredients. http://www.amazon.co...omance cookbook

#71 liuzhou

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:11 AM

I have a bit of a collection of utterly useless cookbooks published in Chinese. These are on both Chinese and Western cuisines.

 

The Chinese cuisine books tend to go along the lines of

 

Ingredients: Chicken (500g); Onion (enough), Garlic (Enough) Soy Sauce(Enough)...

 

Method: Cook until ready.

 

The Western books are clearly written by people who have only ever seen pictures of the dishes in question and imagined/fantasised how they might have been prepared. And they suggest more of the "enough".



#72 Syzygies

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 09:24 AM

Er, what about that Ferran Adria family meal book? Here, open a packet of potato crisps/tub of icecream/etc.

 

Actually, I like that book. (Ferran Adria signed my copy on his tour, and he put far more into our brief exchange than any politician I've met.)

 

In general, paying someone known best as an author to write yet another book is like paying someone for sex. And having a hack in the middle interpret an actual cook for what their editor imagines to be my circumstances? No thanks. I'd much rather make the interpretation myself.

 

For example, there are also some great ideas for the home cook in Thomas Keller's books, but they are not to be taken literally unless one has a highly trained staff of twenty.


Per la strada incontro un passero che disse "Fratello cane, perche sei cosi triste?"
Ripose il cane: "Ho fame e non ho nulla da mangiare."

#73 Renn

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 12:44 PM

I also really like the Adria Family Meals book.  If you're familiar with El Bulli's cuisine, they've never been afraid to take advantage of ready-made food products.  When you have the workload of an El Bulli, you draw the line differently in terms of what you're willing to do from scratch vs. what to purchase ready-made.  It's also an additional avenue for their creativity.  It's a questioning of an assumption...Of course at home you can draw your own lines of what is acceptable.  

 

Even more so than the recipes themselves though, that book is the first I've seen that attempts to adapt haute-cuisine restaurant systems of produce management/staff meal to the home context.  And in that aspect, I think it's both underestimated and likely under-utilized....but completely useful at home.

 

 

PS, the potato-chip tortilla is delicious.

 

My "avoid" cookbook is Aliza Green's "Starting with ingredients"  Maybe it's just me, but every time I try to look up something...I can't find it.  That, plus it's huge and unwieldy means that I had to get rid of it.  This is in stark contrast to all of her field guide books...all of which have been the exact opposite of "Starting with ingredients".  Compact, useful, comprehensive. 



#74 Lisa Shock

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 04:04 PM

Mayonnaise, Hollandaise, Bernaise 'edited by' Justine Harding et al.

 

I bought this online, unseen, while researching whether or not to write my own book on the topic. This book contains a compilation of sauce recipes from previously published sources owned by the publisher. There is no author given for any recipe, they just credit the editors of the source cookbooks. The 200+ recipes given include gravies, pestos, marinara sauces and fruit coulis. Only 17 of the recipes are for a mayonnaise, hollandaise or bernaise and those recipes are just the bare-bones classics taken/stolen from Escoffier, Mrs. Beeton, and other classic sources. If you own any decent comprehensive cookbook like Joy, Fannie Farmer, Escoffier, Julia's Mastering the Art, etc. you already have these recipes and far, far more.

 

The binding is hardback, and that's the only nice thing I can say about this book. Amazon.com has copies for $2.45 and I am warning you not to waste your money on it, you will regret it.


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#75 jjahorn

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 12:07 AM

That looks quite a bit like the first cookbook I started from, when I was 8

 

Ahhh... My first cookbook was an excellent Sesame Street Cookbook that I have not been able to find for my girls. It had simple to medium recipes presented by the puppets as their favourites. I don't really remember much of what was in it, but I liked to look at it, and do remember the chocolate chip cookies from the Cookie Monster. For some reason I also remember a pea soup - must have been Oscar...



#76 SylviaLovegren

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 05:41 AM


That looks quite a bit like the first cookbook I started from, when I was 8

 
Ahhh... My first cookbook was an excellent Sesame Street Cookbook that I have not been able to find for my girls. It had simple to medium recipes presented by the puppets as their favourites. I don't really remember much of what was in it, but I liked to look at it, and do remember the chocolate chip cookies from the Cookie Monster. For some reason I also remember a pea soup - must have been Oscar...


Was that the 70s Sesame Street Cookbook? http://www.alibris.c...B&hs.x=0&hs.y=0

#77 jjahorn

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 10:56 PM

I would not have recognized the cover (found a pic here: http://muppet.wikia....Street_Cookbook)

But it seems to be the book.

Rubber Duckie Floats, Sherlock Hemlock's "P" Soup...

The cookies are not chocolate chip though... Well, 30 years later, things get fuzzy



#78 LaurieB

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 06:07 PM

"Astronaut Surprise"

How could you NOT want to make this?

I almost fell off my chair laughing.

#79 Lisa Shock

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 02:38 AM

I agree with Diet for a Small Planet and it's successor, Recipes for a Small Planet. I started being a vegetarian when those books were released, and recall vividly measuring out ingredients to ensure complete proteins were available at every meal. The Moosewood Cookbook was a little better, and, the Vegetarian Epicure was notably better. I'm not saying good, I'm just saying that the 'Diet' books are a lot worse.

 

There used to be a website with a really disgusting company cookbook posted on it. I have lost the link, or else it no longer exists. I believe that I linked to it on EG long ago, before some forum updates that make search kind of wonky. Now, that cookbook was not a professional endeavor, and was only made to be seen by employees, but it was bad, really bad despite low expectations.



#80 Panosmex

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 06:21 PM

I am on my second copy of The Vegetarian Epicure, Book Two, having worn out the first copy. Many, although not all, of the recipes, are among my regular favorites. The salads section is especially good. I often use the pizza dough and sauce recipe. There are two very good gazpachos. This is a book deserving more respect.

Note: I am not a vegetarian. 

 

Some of Adele Davis's books are candidates for "worst". I haven't looked at one in a long, long time, but I shudderingly recall a recipe for a raw liver "shake".


Buen provecho, Panosmex

#81 pervis

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 11:18 AM

Volt

#82 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 11:53 AM

Volt

What is so bad about it? Just curious; I have not read it.



#83 redolivemartini

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 07:14 AM

Blendtec should be ashamed of themselves. Though to be fair, I used the Vitamix recipe binder that came with my parents' Vitamix YEARS ago (around 9) and they had a recipe for French Onion Soup- that I made- that just basically just told me to chop the onions in beef stock using the blender, then boil them together. Needless to say, it didn't taste good.



#84 Lisa Shock

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 02:38 AM

Ok, I finally found it! The Company Cookbook: accept no substitutes!



#85 scubadoo97

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 03:35 AM

Okay, you win

#86 Lindacakes

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 12:00 PM

Mayonnaise, Hollandaise, Bernaise 'edited by' Justine Harding et al.

 

I bought this online, unseen, while researching whether or not to write my own book on the topic. This book contains a compilation of sauce recipes from previously published sources owned by the publisher. There is no author given for any recipe, they just credit the editors of the source cookbooks. The 200+ recipes given include gravies, pestos, marinara sauces and fruit coulis. Only 17 of the recipes are for a mayonnaise, hollandaise or bernaise and those recipes are just the bare-bones classics taken/stolen from Escoffier, Mrs. Beeton, and other classic sources. If you own any decent comprehensive cookbook like Joy, Fannie Farmer, Escoffier, Julia's Mastering the Art, etc. you already have these recipes and far, far more.

 

The binding is hardback, and that's the only nice thing I can say about this book. Amazon.com has copies for $2.45 and I am warning you not to waste your money on it, you will regret it.

 

. . . Malaise . . . 


I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.





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