"If you can read you can cook" – Princess Grace
Is that really true? Actually it is. Last week Peg Bracken died. Bracken, a former ad copy writer sensationalized the cooking world in 1960 when she wrote The I Hate to Cookbook. If you have never read this book please do. Bracken, turned the cooking world on its ear by showing that creating food was not some great mystery. It was as simple as a can of cream of mushroom soup and a box of frozen peas. Like The Feminine Mystique, published three years later, Bracken broke down a wall that women before had to climb. Bracken’s legacy can be found in two very popular authors, Rachel Ray and Sandra Lee. Neither of these women can cook they just throw things together and hope for the best. You can find many titles by Ray and Lee here at the library. The Iowa City Public Library doesn’t own a copy of The I Hate to Cookbook, but if you would like to read this you might want to try to interlibrary loan it . I do cook and I don’t use Rachel Ray, Sandra Lee or Paula Deen. I will suggest you try any of a number of books written by Jacques Pepin, Sara Moulton or Jamie Oliver. But to leave you with a few titles I would suggest, American Cookery by the late James Beard. It is simple and easy and Beard like the other authors I have suggested can write. Another title I use at home is The Frugal Gourmet by the late Jeff Smith. This book is warm and witty and sometimes after screwing up a good rue you need to chuckle. Of course, Peg Bracken would have just opened a jar of gravy.