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Joy of Cooking

Joy of Cooking

Joy of Cooking

For the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Joy of Cooking, Joy comes full circle in a revision based on the 1975 edition which restores the voice of the original authors; focuses on American home cooking, not chef cuisine; and restores many beloved recipes lost in the most recent revision.

Seventy-five years ago, a St. Louis widow named Irma Rombauer took her life savings and self-published a book called The Joy of Cooking. Her daughter Marion tested recipes and made the illustrations, and they sold their mother-daughter project from Irma's apartment.

Today, nine revisions later, the Joy of Cooking—selected by The New York Public Library as one of the 150 most important and influential books of the twentieth century—has taught tens of millions of people to cook, helped feed and delight millions beyond that, answered countless kitchen and food questions, and averted many a cooking crisis.

Ethan Becker, Marion's son, leads the latest generation of JOY, still a family affair, into the twenty-first century with a seventy-fifth anniversary edition that draws upon the best of the past while keeping its eye on the way we cook now. It features a rediscovery of the witty, clear voices of Marion Becker and Irma Rombauer, whose first instructions to the cook were “stand facing the stove.”

JOY remains the greatest teaching cookbook ever written. Reference material gives cooks the precise information they need for success. New illustrations focus on techniques, including everything from knife skills to splitting cake layers, setting a table, and making tamales.

This edition also brings back the encyclopedic chapter Know Your Ingredients. The chapter that novices and pros alike have consulted for over thirty years has been revised, expanded, and banded, making it a book within a book. Cooking Methods shows cooks how to braise, steam, roast, sauté, and deep-fry effortlessly, while an all-new Nutrition chapter has the latest thinking on healthy eating—as well as a large dose of common sense.

This edition restores the personality of the book, reinstating popular elements such as the grab-bag Brunch, Lunch, and Supper chapter and chapters on frozen desserts, cocktails, beer and wine, canning, salting, smoking, jellies and preserves, pickles and relishes, and freezing foods. Fruit recipes bring these favorite ingredients into all courses of the meal, and there is a new grains chart. There are even recipes kids will enjoy making and eating, such as Chocolate Dipped Bananas, Dyed Easter Eggs, and the ever-popular Pizza.

In addition to hundreds of brand-new recipes, this JOY is filled with many recipes from all previous editions, retested and reinvented for today's tastes.

This is the JOY for how we live now. Knowing that most cooks are sometimes in a hurry to make a meal, the JOY now has many new dishes ready in thirty minutes or less. Slow cooker recipes have been added for the first time, and Tuna Casserole made with canned cream of mushroom soup is back. This JOY shares how to save time without losing flavor by using quality convenience foods such as canned stocks and broths, beans, tomatoes, and soups, as well as a wide array of frozen ingredients. Cooking creatively with leftovers emphasizes ease and economy, and casseroles—those simple, satisfying, make-ahead, no-fuss dishes -- abound. Especially important to busy households is a new section that teaches how to cook and freeze for a day and eat for a week, in an effort to eat more home-cooked meals, save money, and dine well.

As always, JOY grows with the times: this edition boasts an expanded Vegetables chapter, including instructions on how to cook vegetables in the microwave, and an expanded baking section, Irma's passion -- always considered a stand-alone bible within the JOY.

This all-new, all-purpose anniversary edition of the Joy of Cooking offers endless choice for virtually every occasion, situation, and need, from a ten-minute stir-fry on a weekday night to Baby Back Ribs and Grilled Corn in the backyard, or a towering Chocolate Layer Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting and Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. JOY will show you the delicious way just as it has done for countless cooks before you.

Even after seventy-five years, the span of culinary information is breathtaking and covers everything from boiling eggs (there are two schools of thought) to showstopping, celebratory dishes such as Beef Wellington, Roast Turkey and Bread Stuffing, and Crown Roast of Pork.

Happy Anniversary, JOY!
Choose a format:
  • Scribner | 
  • 1152 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743246262 | 
  • October 2006
List Price $39.99

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Joy of Cooking: Quiz

Test your culinary smarts about ingredients used in creating the more than 4,000 recipes in The Joy of Cooking.

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About the Authors

Irma S. Rombauer
Photograph © Rombauer Estate

Irma S. Rombauer

Irma Rombauer self-published the first Joy of Cooking in 1931 with the small insurance payout she received after her husband committed suicide during the Great Depression. Suddenly, society wives who used to enjoy a kitchen staff no longer had the money to employ them and began cooking for themselves. The instruction "stand facing the stove" was a bit more pragmatic than we realize. In 1936, the first commercial edition was published by Bobbs-Merrill. Marion Rombauer Becker, Irma's daughter, joined the Joy dynasty and revised and updated each subsequent edition until 1975. That edition was the first after Irma's death and was completely Marion's. Her son, Ethan Becker, has returned the book to the family's voice, revising the 1975 edition for the 75th Anniversary Edition.

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Marion Rombauer Becker

Irma Rombauer self-published the first Joy of Cooking in 1931 with the small insurance payout she received after her husband committed suicide during the Great Depression. Suddenly, society wives who used to enjoy a kitchen staff no longer had the money to employ them and began cooking for themselves. The instruction "stand facing the stove" was a bit more pragmatic than we realize. In 1936, the first commercial edition was published by Bobbs-Merrill. Marion Rombauer Becker, Irma's daughter, joined the Joy dynasty and revised and updated each subsequent edition until 1975. That edition was the first after Irma's death and was completely Marion's. Her son, Ethan Becker, has returned the book to the family's voice, revising the 1975 edition for the 75th Anniversary Edition.

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Ethan Becker
Photo Credit:

Ethan Becker

Ethan Becker is the son of Marion Rombauer Becker and the grandson of Irma S. Rombauer, the original author of The Joy of Cooking. He attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, but learned how to cook from his mom. An outdoors-man, he is a master of the grill and at cooking game. His outdoor gear and survival and combat knives are sold internationally under the brand Becker Knife and Tool. Ethan and his wife, Susan, a writer, editor, and artist, live in East Tennessee at their home, Half Moon Ridge. His website is TheJoyKitchen.com.

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