Laurel’s Kitchen

The 1976 edition of Laurel’s Kitchen is the second cookbook someone gave me as a gift. My mom gave me Joy of Cooking when I turned eighteen. She wanted me to have a good, all-purpose cookbook. As she told it, it was between the current Betty Crocker cookbook at the time, and Joy. Mom flipped to her benchmark recipe, meat loaf, in each book, and Joy was the winner.

I asked for Laurel’s Kitchen for Christmas one year back when Spouse was still the Sig-O. I think he’s been happy with the results of that gift.

Since then, meatless cooking has expanded and become more refined. There have been several editions of this book, and scores of others. Since I am not a vegetarian, I just want to have meatless options available, this 44-year-old book works fine for me.

I love it, but when I look at where the bookmarks and the sticky notes are in it, I see I haven’t ventured very deeply into it. I use a lot of soup recipes (or now, personalized variations), and several bean or pea-based spreads. In fact, prepping for a meatless dinner inspired me to write this post; minestrone soup, a green salad and garbanzo spread.

This is true for Joy of Cooking as well, and, frankly, every cookbook I own. I browse through them, learning lots about the recipes, and then use a handful and tried-and-true favorites.

In my now-not-so-new library, my cookbooks have their own shelf. I may not delve deeply into them, but I’m glad they exist, helpful friends when I want to deliver a more intricate meal, or try something new.

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