Have you seen the book The Joy of Cooking?  My mother-in-law has the 1967 copy of it and every time we go to their house, I love to sit and browse it.  It has many recipes I've never heard of, but interest me so much!  So earlier this year I hopped on ebay and browsed for a few weeks, hoping to find the same edition for a near thrift store price.  No luck.  But I eventually came across one that was very beat up (read, well used and loved) and dirt cheap.

Year of printing?  1936.  I'll take it!  I don't recall the exact cost, but it was less than $5 and most of that was shipping cost.  The only thing I don't like about it is the layout is a touch different.  But oh how I love the information and unique recipes it has!  There's even a hand-written one on the inside of the cover:

I was entertained at our last visit to my mother-in-law's to hear her say she wants the new edition of it BECAUSE her book has so many recipes she's not even interested in trying.

One of my resolutions this year was to make bread by hand.  It hasn't happened.  I've used the bread machine plenty.  And well, actually I guess it has happened, I did make sour dough by hand, but the man didn't eat any of it so I let the starter die.  After catching up with Aspiring Homemaker's blog, I decided today I would make bread!  I was going to use the recipe on the can of "Dough Enhancer" I got at the grocery store yesterday, but either I put it away so well I can't find it, or it fell out of the bag and is still in the car.  I don't want to use the BHG cookbook, because many of the recipes I've used from it did NOT turn out.  Darn new editions!  I want the edition my mom has!  So I hit the cookbook bookshelf in the play room and rediscovered my copy of The Joy of Cooking.  In opening to the Breads section, I was delighted to discover the following paragraph (remember my post in regard to modern cooking temperatures, you'll understand then why I'm so delighted, that and now I'll have a gauge for when I get a wooden cook stove in my dream house):

"Oven Temperature Tests
For Those Who Have No Thermometer

Sprinkle flour on a pan and place it in a heated oven.
If it turns a delicate brown in five minutes the oven is slow-250* to 325*.
If it turns a medium golden brown in five minutes the oven is moderate-325* to 400*.
If it turns a deep dark brown in five minutes the oven is hot-400* to 450*f
If it turns a deep dark brown in three inutes the oven is very hot-450* to 500*.
A piece of white tissue-paper may be used in place of the flour."

Awesome!  Okay now I need to actually go get some bread started proofing before I get distracted again.

Post note:  Oh the awesomeness, it even explains details of how the yeast works and how to knead!!  Also how to scald the milk!  This book is awesome for people who don't know or are unsure of what they are doing!!


sleepless said…
Have fun with that !

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