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The Good Home Cookbook
By Richard J. Perry (Ed.)
ISBN: 1584797460
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori & Chang
Publication date: April 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
List price: $ 29.95
Type: General; Comprehensive
Sample recipe: London Broil; Crab Cakes; Tartar Sauce
Intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
Apparent goal: stocking stuffer sampler comprehensive coffee-table Biblical stature
Competition: outclassed follower in the pack strong challenger likely champ
Variety: too little too much unusual nice mix just right
# of recipes: <50 <100 <200 <300 ≥300
Practical recipes: <20% <40% <60% <80% ≥80%
# of ingredients: ≤4 ≤7 ≤10 ≤12 >12
Ingredient hunt: 7-Eleven airfare required online pantry supermarket
Recipe complexity: too hard simple medium challenging professional
Instructions: inadequate verbose bare-bones full-figured educational
Time conscious: unconscious outright lies white lies realistic honorable
Cooking time: weekend project takes all day takes time ≥30 minutes <30 minutes
Added info: zip overwhelming scant balanced generous
Photos/drawings: none distracting decorative instructive glorious
Recipe results: ≤dorm food casual food family meals fancy food fit for royalty
Nutritional info: none overwhelming hit or miss adequate comprehensive
Format/Ease of Use
Layout: ugh cluttered fine considerate work of art
Legibility: unpleasant challenging tolerable clear brilliant
Production quality: cheesy dubious years of service gift quality stunning
Page numbers: non-existent hard-to-find spotty sufficient every page
Table of contents: AWOL frustrating passable useful excellent
Index quality: none tragic adequate good a treasure
Page flipping: upsetting tedious acceptable rare never
Writer: beginner food writer writing cook personality auteur
Cook: unknown self-taught chef teacher celebrity
Fulfills ambitions: falls short almost there satisfactory exceeds home run
Flavor delivered: sad inconsistent tasty delicious exceptional
Overall tone: sterile trying too hard straightforward best friend mom
Value: ouch! a little pricey worth splurging on the money a deal
Overall rating: skip it good very good excellent Ochef Top 100

Comments: This is one of the triumphs among cookbooks these days. Privately published in 2006, it gained enough attention (and sales) that it has now been picked up and re-released by a major publisher.

The Good Home Cookbook is a repudiation of the thesis that everyone wants new and trendy recipes and dishes all or most of the time – that no one wants to eat old favorites. A team assembled more than 1,000 traditional recipes that form "the foundation of American cuisine as we know it today," had them tested and cross-tested in home kitchens across the country, and published the first-ever cookbook with recipes entirely tested by the public.

We love the variety, love having access to traditional recipes and old favorites. As we said in our review of the first edition, we're not convinced that every recipe is a winner, but really that's not a practical expectation. It will be enough for many people to have access to the dishes of their youth, to a generous selection of comfort foods, and quite possibly to turn up a recipe for a long-lost, but beloved, dish.


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