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rancho_gordo

The Gourmet Cookbook

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When I use this book, I'm always reminded of how great the content is but I have to admit, I rarely use it because as an enthusiastic early buyer, I have the first edition and my middle aged eyes can not see the titles of the recipes. The Yellow on yellow scheme is next to illegible in particular light. Is there any recourse for us early adapters? Did the publisher provide any kind of "trade-in" allowance?


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When I use this book, I'm always reminded of how great the content is but I have to admit, I rarely use it because as an enthusiastic early buyer, I have the first edition and my middle aged eyes can not see the titles of the recipes. The Yellow on yellow scheme is next to illegible in particular light. Is there any recourse for us early adapters? Did the publisher provide any kind of "trade-in" allowance?

Send me your address and I'll send you a third edition... The book's too good to go unused.

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Could you extend that offer to another middle ager? My copy has a few dribbles on it already and I never fail to find something delightful in it.

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Could you extend that offer to another middle ager?  My copy has a few dribbles on it already and I never fail to find something delightful in it.

Absolutely!

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Thanks, Ms. Reichl, for joining us.

I received the new Gourmet Cookbook as a gift (mine has orange, not yellow recipe titles, which I can easily read without my reading glasses).

This book languished for about a year. My immediate reaction with a cookbook is to take it to bed, and quite frankly, this one does not rest on one's chest easily. It is just too flat big to read.

However, I have been pulling it out very frequently, and am delighted every time, and have a few questions:

Your intro talks about the number of times recipes were tested, and the culling process. Where were the recipes tested? Did you do any testing at home with kids who only eat white foods, husbands who long for their mother's cooking? You mentioned the many versions of vinegar pie that had appeared over the years. What was it that swayed you to the one printed?

I appreciate very much that the various notes that are sprinkled throughout do not, like the Cook's Illustrated compendium that came out at about the same time, does not include particular product recommendations/testings. How did you decide what to include in these sidebars?

Introductions to the recipes. How many of you were involved in these introductions?

Finally, congrats on this book. It has an absolutely outstanding index. I don't know who was responsible for the indexing, but I certainly appreciate the ability to check the index for most main ingredients and come up with a list.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Thanks, Ms. Reichl, for joining us.

I received the new Gourmet Cookbook as a gift (mine has orange, not yellow recipe titles, which I can easily read without my reading glasses).

This book languished for about a year.  My immediate reaction with a cookbook is to take it to bed, and quite frankly, this one does not rest on one's chest easily.  It is just too flat big to read.

However, I have been pulling it out very frequently, and am delighted every time, and have a few questions:

Your intro talks about the number of times recipes were tested, and the culling process.  Where were the recipes tested?  Did you do any testing at home with kids who only eat white foods, husbands who long for their mother's cooking?  You mentioned the many versions of vinegar pie that had appeared over the years.  What was it that swayed you to the one printed?

I appreciate very much that the various notes that are sprinkled throughout do not, like the Cook's Illustrated compendium that came out at about the same time, does not include particular product recommendations/testings.  How did you decide what to include in these sidebars?

Introductions to the recipes.  How many of you were involved in these introductions?

Finally, congrats on this book.  It has an absolutely outstanding index.  I don't know who was responsible for the indexing, but I certainly appreciate the ability to check the index for most main ingredients and come up with a list.

This book was very much a group process. It began with Zanne, Kempy and me spending time every day with Diane Abrams, the Gourmet book editor, trying to figure out which recipes to use. Then they went down to the kitchens to be tested. Every recipe was tested here at Gourmet, by our own cooks. (They were paid to do this, it was not part of their job.) We tested probably twice as many recipes as we ended up using, because we only wanted the best in the book. We gathered to taste daily at 9:30 and at 12:30, and we were brutal. (The tasters were me, Zanne, Kempy, Diane, Doc Willoughby and all of the cooks.) WE kept refining and refining, trying to make each recipe as good as it could be. Many were done 8 or 9 times.

Rux Martin, our editor at Houghton Mifflin also weighed in. There were recipes she wanted, others she didn't. Some she wanted changed or refined.

I wrote all the chapter openings. Jane Daniels Lear wrote most of the recipe heads and the sidebars; she has a particular talent for that, and she researched them obsessively. I think they're great, and the ones I wrote myself are not as good. (Those she didn't write either Doc or I did.) Kempy and Zanne then went through all of them and made notes, so they were edited at least 3 times.

AS for the index - we had an indexer do it, and if we'd had space it would have been even more thorough than it is, but frankly, we couldn't imagine the book weighing another ounce!

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I am adding this cookbook to my wanted list for christmas! i can't wait! i have gotten from the library and just loved it. :wub:


"i saw a wino eating grapes and i was like, dude, you have to wait"- mitch hedburg

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