As most of you know, I do love to cook.  Because of that, I am somewhat a collector of cookbooks. I would have posted a picture of them, but since all but my very favorites are in storage right now, you’ll just have to trust me. I actually accumulate so many that I try to weed them out at least once a year. I’m working on changing that as you’ll read later on.

With my recent changes in cooking I have found this one in particular to be my go to book lately.

I picked up this copy in 1997 when it was “new and revised” and I was still a newly wed. I think it was on sale….and then I let it sit on the shelf for most of the next 10 years or so, mostly using it around Thanksgiving. (The stuffing recipe is fantastic!)

This past year it has gotten a pretty good amount of use. I have found it to be very comprehensive. Here is an example of what I mean by that.

It is not only full of probably well over a thousand recipes, but it covers everything from how to hold chop stix and to how to set a table.

Each chapter also details a great amount about the topic of that chapter before even getting into the recipes. Here is the beginning of the Vegetable chapter for instance.

There are tips on buying produce, how to chop and dice them, and how to preserve them.

Here, the Fish chapter not only covers the safe handling and cleaning of fish, but there are several pages on all the kinds of fish and the best method in which to prepare them.

I only recently began cooking fish so this section has been invaluable to me.

What I love most though is that none of the recipes call for any processed brands of any kind. It’s REAL cooking. The kind real chefs do.  The book praised the benefits of buying locally, organic, and in season, before it was hip to do so. There are recipes for everything from Baked Alaska to Sloppy Joes, Dressing to homemade Taco Seasonings, and  Wedding Cake to Shortbread. Joy of Cooking covers it all.

I think that whether you are a new bride (or groom) just learning the ropes, or someone familiar with the kitchen, like me, that would like to clean up your menu some, this is a great resource. I found out this last year, that I can often find cookbooks I’m curious about at my local library. That way I can give them a good once over before I invest a few bucks a let it sit on the shelf forever.  It’s saved me a little in the pocket book. You might like to do that first before you run out and buy it.

So, I’m curious. What are YOUR favorite cooking resources?

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