Book Review: Cooking for Two
Author: staff of Better Homes & Gardens magazine
Date: 1968, 1978
Length: 90 pages plus index
Illustrations: many color photos
Quote: “Cooking for two can be creative.”
Peanut-butter meringues? Miniature Baked Alaska? Frankfurter pizza? These recipes, collected from Better Homes & Gardens during the 1950’s and 1960’s, definitely qualify as creative.
Actually they’re the sort of recipe that used to be notorious for getting beginning cooks into trouble. If you are that stereotype of 1950’s comedy, the Bride (or Bridegroom) Who Never Cooked Before, this is not the first cookbook you need. Cooking for Two makes things like Baked Alaska, fondue, and meringues sound easy by describing them fast. Actually they’re not all that difficult once you’re familiar with your equipment, but this is not the book for raw beginners who need to be told that it’s best to open a tin of beans before setting it on the stove.
If you are familiar with basic cooking procedures, this is a “fun” cookbook. Most recipes are reasonably simple, are reasonably cheap or were at the time, and leave room for variations.
If you need to adapt your cooking to a special diet, it’s usually easy to do so. There are no completely vegetarian menus in this book but there are several vegan recipes. Each menu does suggest a wheat product and a milk product, but there are several wheat-free and/or dairy-free recipes. Some recipes specify a simple main dish and no-fuss, pre-packaged milk and wheat products, putting the “creative” focus on vegetables, fruits, desserts, rice, and even beverage recipes your guest may not have tasted before.
Cooking for Two is still widely available, despite its nostalgic vintage appeal, and therefore reasonably priced. It’s not a Fair Trade Book, but if you send $5 per book + $5 per package to salolianigodagewi @ yahoo, you could add it to the same package with one or more Fair Trade Books and save shipping costs.
Here’s the Official Book Review Cat, from Morguefile: