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Endangered Recipes:
Too Good to Be Forgotten
By Lari Bobling
ISBN: 1584797665
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori & Chang
Publication date: May, 2009
Format: Paperback
List price: $17.95 
Type: Classic recipes; Food history
Sample recipe: Nancy's Granny's Homemade Peach Ice Cream
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 book highlights one of the great scourges of our time – the extinction of favorite recipes. Not a day goes by that Ochef does not receive one or more sad emails from someone wanting to recreate Great Aunt's this or Grandma's that. Saddest is a child or grandchild wanting to make a favorite dish for dad or granddad after mom or grandma has (to use Julia Child's term) slipped off the raft.

This book is a worthy drop in the bucket – for every recipe "saved" in this book there are at least a thousand – or 10,000 – that could be or should be. The book includes Welsh Rarebit, Green Goddess Dressing, French Onion Dip, Parker House Rolls, Crispy Fried Chicken, and, added to this new paperback edition, Rice Pudding.

One could take issue with the eclectic mix of recipes – from Pakistan, Lebanon, Korea, elsewhere in the Middle East, Russia, Germany, the Southwest – but, of course, everyone has favorite family recipes. The fried chicken seasoned with Sazón Spanish-style coriander and annatto seasoning blend and a hint of lemonade Kool-Aid strikes us as modern-day fusion cooking rather than an heirloom recipe. And the cod that cooks in the New England Fish Chowder for 30 minutes after coming to a boil, rather than added in the last 5 minutes, as we would do, also makes us wonder.

But it brings up a central issue – we're all accustomed to different dishes, and moms, dads, grandparents, and great aunts should be compiling and sharing at least some of the recipes that younger generations have come to love. You may think they're not worthy (the recipes, not the younger generations), but take our word for it (or the word of our ever-expanding inbox), they will be missed!


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