On My Shelf: The Joy of Cooking

When I was little we didn’t have many cookbooks – we made a lot of family recipes and cooked from books that were more familiar to us than the furniture, they were books that had been in the family for a long time.  One of those books we reached for most frequently was The Joy of Cooking.  I don’t remember which volume it was that we owned but I remember the weight of it in my hands when I opened it and the satisfying crinkle of the dust jacket whenever the book was moved.

My copy of Joy (as I playfully refer to it) is a library reject that my mom picked up at a library sale.  The cover lacks any glossy coating and any time you put the book down it shoots up a little pile of white dust.  I call this character building, others refer to it as messy, but it’s my Joy.

Joy is now and always will be one of my favorite cookbooks because it never fails; from the basics like a perfectly flaky dinner biscuit to the more complicated things -chocolate truffle cream frosting and almond crusted pork loin Joy has been in my life.  Not only is this a cookbook but it’s a reference book – with useful information like how to create your own spice mixes (I made Garam Masala based on the suggestions here and it was delicious) to the ratios for homemade baking powder or the conversion of eggs to cups it’s all here in one easy to handle book.

My favorite recipes are Spanikopita, Chocolate Truffle Cream Frosting, and Almond Crusted Pork Loin.  Be warned though – Joy is constantly going through new revisions and printings so my copy may not be the same copy you get and thus may not have the same recipes.

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