This has unknowingly been one of my favorite cookbooks since I was a child. My nana gifted The I Hate to Cook Book to my mom when she was first married, and my mom used many of these recipes throughout my childhood. I remember frequently requesting the “Skid Road Beef Stroganoff,” one of my all-time favorites. My mom had always wanted to grab copies for my sister and I, but the book, published more than 50 years ago, was out of print.
Last month, I called my mom for the beef stroganoff recipe so that I could introduce Xavier to this favorite dish. With The I Hate to Cook Book on her mind, my mom decided to give finding the book another shot. Amazingly enough, Jo Bracken, daughter of the original author, Peg Bracken, released a 50th anniversary edition in 2010.
The recipes are all fairly simple and require pantry and shelf-stable types of products. Not only are there wonderful recipes, but there’s some great reading in here to. Jo’s foreword and Peg’s chapter intros are a delight. Peg’s 60’s-era commentary is humorous as well. In the beef stroganoff recipe she mentions lighting a cigarette while waiting for things to cook. Times have changed! I love that they didn’t edit those things out, as weird as it sounds, because it’s part of the book’s charm. Take a look at what the book has to offer!