For a long time I thought I was the only crabby cook I knew. While I complained my way through daily cooking for my picky family, I envied my friends who seemed so Martha Stewart-y, all rushing around recipe-swapping and table-decorating, searing tuna and braising beef cheeks.
Can you relate? Do you appreciate the humor? If so, rush out a check out a copy of Jessica Harper’s The Crabby Cook Cookbook: Recipes and Rants
This is one of my very favorite kind of cookbooks — a la Ann Hodgman — the kind of cookbook that is a joy to own even if you never try a single recipe. Each recipe is prefaced by an essay talking about a food quirk of one of her family members that she has to work around, or a recipe failure, or a triumph. They are funny and relatable.
But in addition to these humorous rants, there are a lot of really great recipes. I will caution those of you who absolutely hate cooking and/or are not confident cooking from scratch that these recipes are not of the “5 ingredients or less 30 minute meals.” Some of them take a good bit of preparation, a lot of them call for several spices and creams and broths. But I think that Harper’s intent is to provide you with some recipes that will have broad appeal and will be worth the effort that you take preparing them.
I think I have the same attitude as this crabby cook. I don’t mind cooking. I actually enjoy it and think that I’m fairly proficient in the kitchen. However, it is a daily grind and requires much of us. In addition to dinner, many of us are providing breakfast and lunch in some form or another for our family. These categories are covered too.
I’ve tried 4 of the recipes in this book, and have 2 on the menu for next week. All have been a success.
If you are looking for healthy, family-friendly recipes, this is a great place to start. If you don’t like cooking, but enjoy reading about cooking, then having this book on your kitchen shelf will help you feel just a bit more domestic.
I have good news, sure to put a smile on the crabbiest cook’s face — we have a copy of The Crabby Cook Cookbook to give away (U.S. addresses only). Please leave a comment if you’d like to win. We’ll announce the winner on March 9. The Giveaway is closed.
Jennifer Donovan is a cook. And she’s often crabby. So I guess that makes her a crabby cook. Read more confessions at her blog Snapshot.