Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The 'I Hate to Cook Book' - great even if you don't hate to cook!

This wonderful book has been in my life for mom cooked from it when we were young and I have cooked with it since my very first kitchen of my own. 

“What most of us are after, when we have a picture taken, is a good natural-looking picture that doesn't resemble us” 
    .....Peg Bracken

Peg Bracken was a smart and funny woman who understood that we don't have to be perfect to make a nice home for our family or to throw a great party.

Here is a glimpse of some of the chapters in the book (originally published in1960) -
Even the comments here are funny...Take chapter 9 - Desserts...or People are too fat anyway!

There are wonderful illustrations - which are done by Hilary Knight who illustrated 'Eloise'.

One of the recipes that my mom used to make when we were all still at home (she actually made it later when we would all gather at her house also) was Stayabed Stew.  Peg says: This is for those days when you're en negligee, en bed, with a murder story and a box of bonbons, or possibly a good case of flu.  It's a great hearty, but easy recipe.

I have made Peg's Chicken-Artichoke Casserole many times and it is delicious.  There is a Cockeyed Cake where you mix all the ingredients in the same pan you cook it in!  Crazy, but again delicious and great fun to cook with children.  Dr. Martin's Mix is a recipe that my dad remembers eating.  It combines pork sausage, rice, green onions, green bell pepper, celery, chicken stock and Worcestershire to make a yummy one pan dinner.  As Peg tells us in the book...Dr. Martin then puts the lid on and lets it simmer at the lowest possible heat while he goes out and sets a fracture.  When he comes back in about an hour, his dinner is ready.

The Tia Juana Tamale sounds delicious

1/2 C oil                            dash of tobasco
1 lg onion chopped           No. 2 1/2 can tomatoes
1 pound ground beef        1 C corn meal
2 tsp chili powder             1 C milk
2 1/2 tsp salt                     No. 2 can cream-style corn
1 C black olives

Saute the onion and garlic in the oil for 5 minutes, then add your beef and brown it.  Next, add the salt, chili powder, tomatoes, and Tabasco, cover it, and cook 15 minutes, stirring frequently, then add the corn and the olives.  Pack all this into two greased loaf pans, brush the tops with oil, and bake them at 325 degrees for an hour.

"Facts must be faced. Vegetables simply don't taste as good as most other things do." 
.......Peg Bracken

Peg Bracken's first book, "The 9-Months' Wonder" (with Helen Berry Moore), published in 1958, described the journey through pregnancy with her daughter, her only child.

Here are some of her other books:
"The I Hate to Cook Book" (1960)
"I Try to Behave Myself" (1960), an etiquette guide
"The I Hate to Housekeep Book" (1962), a book of household hints
"Appendix to the I Hate to Cook Book" (1966)
"I Still Hate to Cook Book" (1967) UK edition
"I Didn't Come Here to Argue" (1969)
"Instant Etiquette" (1969) UK edition
"But I Wouldn't Have Missed It for the World" (1973) described as "the pleasures and perils of an unseasoned traveler"
"The I Hate to Cook Book of the Year: A Book of Days" (1977) UK edition
"The I Hate to Cook Almanack" (1980)
"A Window Over the Sink" (1986) "a mainly affectionate memoir"
"The Compleat I Hate to Cook Book" (1988)
"On Getting Old for the First Time" (1997) All are wise, wonderfully helpful and laugh-out-loud hilarious.

I loaned out my original 'I Hate to Cook Book' and so had to find another - Amazon has them and many of her others.  

Add this cook book to your collection - it is a hoot to read and the recipes aren't half bad either!

Peg Bracken was with us until 2007, she passed away at the age of 89 - I'm sure she would be happy that her cook books have stood the test of time.

Let me know which is your favorite of Peg's recipes.

xoxo    Elizabeth

1 comment:

  1. This looks like a great little cookbook.
    I'll keep my eye out for it : )