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Okay, what's the DUMBEST cookbook you've owned?


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I've been following the "how many cookbooks do you own?" thread for some time now, and of my collection of 140 or so, it's kinda shameful how many have never been used...

Then again, considering about 20 or so of these are absolute garbage, that's probably for the best...

I keep these for comedy value/novelty, or perhaps because selling/giving them away would mean admitting I owned them (hey some of them I even paid for!)

So... what's the worst ones you've ever owned. Did you get them as presents/hand-me-downs or do you admit to spending your own money?

To get us started, here's my top 5 list of the the biggest loser cookbooks:

5) Cooking from the Cupboard: Okay, there are legitimate resources on pantry cooking. This ain't one of them. A terrifying overreliance on canned fish. And hey, author, you DO realize that spices and seasonings are shelf-stable, right? So why not USE them once in a while?

4) Secrets of Fat-Free Chinese Cooking: A throwback to the height of "fat hysteria" most of these recipes don't even sound appetizing enough to try. There's such a thing as "neccessary fats". Never buy a Chinese cookbook from anyone named Compenstine.

3) Wizard of Oz Cookbook: Okay this was a gift from someone who knew I was a huge Wizard of Oz fan. Basically a tossing together of stereotypical midwestern foods. No keepers.

2) Susan Powter's "Food": Another "Fat is evil, but 8,000 calories a day is fine!" book. Punctuated with lots and lots of idiotic rants. You'd better agree with everything Susan says about the diet industry, or you're a sexist pig trying to keep a hardworking woman down. :huh:

and the #1 one:

1) The Star Trek Cookbook: Hey, I'm a Trekkie, so you'd think this would be my favorite. Well, as amusing as the text can be, the recipes fall far short of tasting as alien as they look or sound. I'm guessing it's targeted towards Middle America, but I'm thinking the addition of exotic ingredients (or at least less recognizable ones) would improve the taste and perhaps the appearance of the dishes. The book could have benefitted from the addition of more hints on how to reproduce the look of dishes on the show, as well as some primers on unusual techniques and ingredients. Really expand the mind a bit. But nope, this was just a fluff piece marketed towards gullible Trekkies... like me.

(Note: there IS one very good recipe from the dozen or so I've tried, from the actors' contributions: Robert Beltran's Turkey Mole. Very traditional (turkey instead of chicken, chocolate in the mole) and one of the best moles I've ever had. (Hmm, it's almost as yummy as Beltran himself....) :wub:

An entry in the "Should suck, but doesn't" category is one I got as a present from my parents: The IKEA Real Swedish Cookbook. Several wonderful recipes that I've tried so far, and a lot of surprisingly authentic stuff for such a stereotypical store!

Edited by laurenmilan (log)

"Give me 8 hours, 3 people, wine, conversation and natural ingredients and I'll give you one of the best nights in your life. Outside of this forum - there would be no takers."- Wine_Dad, egullet.org

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hey, there's agreat review of that Trekkie cookbook on TelevisionWithoutPity.com. Check it out:

Star Trek Cookbook

Bwaahhahaaaa... oh god I'm such a geek for getting 1/2 those jokes... :blush:

"Give me 8 hours, 3 people, wine, conversation and natural ingredients and I'll give you one of the best nights in your life. Outside of this forum - there would be no takers."- Wine_Dad, egullet.org

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Once-A-Month Cooking : A Proven System for Spending Less Time in the Kitchen and Enjoying Delicious, Homemade Meals Everyday

Horrible, horrible food made from bad ingredients.

I read through - but did not buy - that one at a Borders once! I think I ODed on preservatives just reading it...

Edited by laurenmilan (log)

"Give me 8 hours, 3 people, wine, conversation and natural ingredients and I'll give you one of the best nights in your life. Outside of this forum - there would be no takers."- Wine_Dad, egullet.org

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I don't own these, but they definitely belong in the category of "I-can't-believe-someone-got-paid-for-this":

Toast

Macho Nachos

I did, for a short while, own a cookbook called something like "The California Wine Menu Cookbook." I picked it up at a garage sale for $1, which was about $.90 more than it was worth. The first recipe in the "Appetizer" section was for saltine crackers wrapped with a piece of bacon and broiled; the second was for Vienna sausages heated in the goo they're packed in and served with a "tangy" dipping sauce of half mayonnaise and half mustard. I've blocked out the rest.

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Customers who shopped for this item also shopped for these items:

Gale Gand's Short and Sweet by Julia Moskin (Author), Gale Gand (Author)

Modern Classics Book 2 by Donna Hay (Author)

Cooking by Hand by Paul Bertolli (Author)

The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen by Paula Wolfert (Author)

Simply Ming by Ming Tsai, Arthur Boehm

Those are some interesting pairings.

Bill Russell

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I've been lurking for awhile, but I had to respond to THIS topic - I'm the (embarrassed) owner of "Cooking with the Dead" - a cookbook of deadhead parking lot recipes. Lots of 'kind' vegan burritos, grilled cheese sandwiches (you need a recipe for those?!), and brownies :hmmm:

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...grilled cheese sandwiches (you need a recipe for those?!), and brownies :hmmm:

If you're stoned enough from the "brownies" you sure do! :raz:

"Give me 8 hours, 3 people, wine, conversation and natural ingredients and I'll give you one of the best nights in your life. Outside of this forum - there would be no takers."- Wine_Dad, egullet.org

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Welcome, chiquitalinda!

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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I've been lurking for awhile, but I had to respond to THIS topic - I'm the (embarrassed) owner of "Cooking with the Dead" - a cookbook of deadhead parking lot recipes. Lots of 'kind' vegan burritos, grilled cheese sandwiches (you need a recipe for those?!), and brownies :hmmm:

I'd like to have that! For some strange reason, a complete mystery to me really, I often liked the foods I picked up in parking lots before the shows. In fact, I'd devour them like I hadn't eaten in days. :blink:

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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there ought to be a site called "I'll trade you my sucky cookbook for your's" I have so many. Most of my books are in storage now for a year (still looking for a permanent res.) and I cringe everytime I have to pay the 80 bucks a mnth. Of coarse there's lots of other junk but it's the overpriced stupid books that particularly annoy me. That's why i do the library thing now, and only buy it after i've had it for awhile. That new Jamie Oliver one really sucked. Almost bought that one. And I don't for the life of me understand why anyone would pay that much money for "Aquavit" It's a cookbook for heavens sake.

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For some strange reason, a complete mystery to me really, I often liked the foods I picked up in parking lots before the shows. In fact, I'd devour them like I hadn't eaten in days. :blink:

It could be the same reason that store brand pizza tastes great in the middle of the night. :wink::laugh:

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Iowa Cooks It came from my wife's grandmother's house after she passed away.

You gotta read it to believe it. More meatloaf recipes in one book than you will ever find anywhere else. :wacko:

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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I often liked the foods I picked up in parking lots before the shows. In fact, I'd devour them like I hadn't eaten in days. :blink:

Why do I have this visual of you stumbling around in a parking lot picking up the remains of pigeon pecked pieces of hot dog. :laugh::laugh::laugh:

I nominate Real Men Don't Eat Quiche. I have no idea where this thing came from. I have even less of a clue as to why I still have it and have moved it around with me for 20 years.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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The Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook. Is there anything you can make in a crockpot that isn't a salty glop? Well, not if you're cooking from this book. That's because all the recipes include 1 pound ground beef, 2 cans cream of bile soup, onion soup mix and either 1 pound of cheese or ketchup for a zesty kick. Vienna sausages and grape jelly are optional.

The most embarrassing thing is that I bought this book for myself. :blush:

Julie Layne

"...a good little eater."

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I had to go look.

The winner, hands down, was the (Insert 80s annoying valley girl accent here)

Totally Muffins Cookbook

I think it arrived in some sort of gift basket and just never left. The book is about 100 pages long and is actually shaped like a muffin. An example of the riveting text: "If your idea of heaven is a place where caramel apples are served for breakfast, this is the muffin for you." Yikes.

What's wrong with peanut butter and mustard? What else is a guy supposed to do when we are out of jelly?

-Dad

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Any book by Joanna Lund. She is supposed to be the largest selling cookbook author in the country...sells them 10,000 at a whack on one of the shopping channels. Don't know any titles...I ordered one once and promptly returned it. Full of low-fat stuff and artificial sugars, not even SEMI-homemade. Her schtick was lowering calories in food so even her truck-driving husband would eat it. I should have known better.

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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Being the primary purchaser of cookbooks in our household, my wife is seldom involved with my selections. From time to time, she will purchase a book for me that she knows that I have an interest in but have not got around to buying. This is always a very pleasant suprise. On other occasions however, with tongue in cheek (I hope), she given me some real gems. Three that I can recall off the top of my head.....

The Texas Rangers Cookbook

White Trash Cooking

The Elvis Presley Cookbook "Are You Hungry Tonight"

Maybe I should put them on ebay as collectors items.

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