Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Book Review: Better Homes & Gardens After Work Cookbook

Title: Better Homes and Gardens After Work Cook Book
        
Author: staff of Better Homes and Gardens magazine
        
Date: 1974
        
Publisher: Meredith Corporation
        
ISBN: none, but click here to see it on Amazon
        
Length: 96 pages including many full-page full-color photos and index
        
Quote: “Prepare the food in your spare time on weekends or the evening before the meal, then store it in the freezer or refrigerator. When you arrive home from work, simply add the finishing touches and put the dish on to cook.”
        
Making your own premixed and frozen foods is one strategy for saving time for home-cooked meals after work. This book provides recipes that work well with this technique and two others: choosing foods that cook quickly, and choosing foods that cook slowly but don’t require much attention.
        
This cookbook was put together while Better Homes and Gardens was still employing a nutritionist who believed that just about everything needs some kind of dairy product dumped into it. Several recipes that call for cheese (and butter and, in some cases, milk or cream) will work as well or better without a single dairy item. Others really do depend on cheese, at last for bulk, and you may have to experiment with tofu if you don't digest cow's milk or just think one form of animal fat is enough for one day. 
        
Gluten-intolerant readers are a little better off with this book; several recipes are wheat-free. Eggs, soy, and other common allergy triggers are also easy to avoid while using recipes found in this book.
        
Vegetarians and vegans, however, won’t enjoy this book unless they’re into cooking with “meat analogs.” (This is a fascinating school of cookery if you can digest highly processed mixtures of wheat and soybeans.) There’s an “Indian Pizza” that involves adding more cheeses to pre-frozen cheese pizzas, a baked bean dish that could be made without the bacon and sausage, a vegetable soup that could be made with vegetable stock rather than canned chicken broth, and a soufflé made with mushrooms and cheese...and all the other main dishes are meat or fish dishes. Some of them would work with “meat analogs,” but, being gluten-intolerant, I can’t say what the percentage would be.

Books "authored" by corporations aren't Fair Trade Books, but if you buy this one ($5 for the book + $5 for shipping) you may add it to a package along with a Fair Trade Book and pay only one shipping charge for the package.