Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Joy of Cooking

While considered a little old fashioned by some, I find myself going back to the Joy of Cooking again and again. It is one of those cookbooks that seems to me indispensable. While I love the recipes, what I really enjoy about the book is the knowledge of cooking and preparing food that I have learned from this great old book.

Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition - 2006
Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition
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A Breif History of Joy of Cooking

• 1930: The United States stock market crashes creating the great depression.
• 1931: Irma Rombauer takes $3,000, the modest legacy her husband leaves at his death, and she self-publishes the first Joy of Cooking. She is 54 years old.
• 1932: Irma tries to sell her book to a commercial publisher, Bobbs-Merrill of Indianapolis, IN, and is rejected.
• 1933: Prohibition is repealed and Adolf Hilter becomes to Chancellor of Germany.
• 1935: Bobbs-Merrill receives another submission of the Joy of Cooking from Irma. This version is not the self-published book but a revision, typed and bound in 15 notebook binders.
• 1936: March 26 is the publication date for the first commercial Joy of Cooking. The first print run is 10,000 copies and the book costs $2.50.
• 1937: The Golden Gate Bridge is completed in San Francisco and Gone with the Wind, a Scribner book, wins the Pulitzer Prize.
• 1939: Bobbs-Merrill publishes Irma Rombauer's book Streamlined Cooking, a cookbook dedicated to convenience foods. The book is not a commercial success.
• 1940: Freeze-drying is invented.
• 1941: Pearl Harbor is attacked and America enters World War II.
• 1943: The bestselling "wartime" edition of Joy of Cooking is published which includes how to creatively deal with the food rationing during World War II.
• 1946: A "post-war" edition is printed with very few changes.
• 1947: The microwave oven is invented.
• 1951: Marion Rombauer Becker joins her mother Irma as co-author of this edition.
• 1955: Gunsmoke debuts on CBS.
• 1961: John F. Kennedy is inaugurated as the President of the United States.
• 1962: Irma Rombauer dies in her native St. Louis. The sixth edition of Joy of Cooking is published.
• 1963: The French Chef with Julia Child debuts on public television.
• 1969: Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first to walk on the moon.
• 1970: The Beatles break up.
• 1974: President Nixon resigns and Stephen King’s Carrie is published.
• 1975: The first--and last--edition of Joy of Cooking that is completely Marion Rombauer Becker's work is published.
• 1979: Margaret Thatcher becomes the Prime Minister of Great Britain.
• 1980: The median household income in the United States is $19,074 and it seems the entire country is playing PacMan.
• 1981: The first genetically engineer plant--the Flavr Savr tomato--is approved for sale.
• 1984: Coca-Cola changes its 99-year-old formula and launches New Coke.
• 1990: East and West Germany unite.
• 1997: After a more than a two decade hiatus, the eighth edition of Joy of Cooking is published by Scribner with Ethan, Marion's son, at the helm.
• 2006: A new edition of Joy of Cooking, based on the writing and structure of the 1975 edition, is published to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Irma Rombauer's self-published cookbook.

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