When I was first married to the Englishman, I had grand designs for making meals that would really impress him with their heartiness, flavor and variety. That was before I discovered what a fussy eater he is. It's in the day-to-day of matrimony that reveal a spouse's disdain for olives or green peppers or anything else that gives food a lift (harrumph). Perhaps if this book had been around when we were first married, things might have been different.
published by John Wiley and Sons, 2013, £19.99
The brand new Betty Crocker Newlywed Edition is just what you need when you're discovering each other's likes and dislikes. The recipes start with the basics and build from there. So if you're married to a meat and potatoes man like I am, then you'll soon discover that meat loaf is fine, but the salmon loaf with cucumber sauce is a step too far.
For those of you outside the US who haven't heard of Betty Crocker - she isn't a real person. She was a persona developed by General Mills in the US back in the 1920's to give a more human face to the public when responding to the questions of America's home cooks. Different women became "Betty Crocker" over the years, but anymore Betty Crocker is really just a euphemism for dependable recipes, advice and cookbooks.
I am thoroughly impressed with this cookbook on many levels because it gives you the building blocks of good cooking so that when you are ready to stretch yourself in the kitchen, you have a foundational understanding. Not only does it provide reliable techniques and recipes, but it also now shows you what might go wrong. For example, pictures are provided of what a proper loaf of bread should look like along with what underrisen and overrisen loaves look like, which is most helpful when you don't have your mother nearby to tell you what went wrong with your baking.
The recipes are thoroughly modern and up-to-date with ingredients and flavors that would have been unheard of back when my grandmother's 1950s edition was published (although I would never part with my grandmother's cookbook). Times change and so do recipes, but what doesn't change is Betty Crocker's reliability.
If you are new to marriage or the kitchen, Betty Crocker will become a staple on your bookshelf. And I think your mother would agree.