Thursday, August 23, 2018

Review: The I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken

I won this book in a contest years ago but stacked it with all the rest of my cookbooks and didn't really look at it. I mean, it's the 50th anniversary reprinting but it isn't at all like the cookbooks today with glossy, drool inducing pictures and to be honest, since I actually do like to cook, I thought it unlikely there'd be much in here I'd want to cook. But we renovated the kitchen recently (a busted toilet pipe made it a necessity rather than an indulgence) and I went through my cookbooks with the express purpose of actually using them instead of just leaving them to collect dust on the shelves. So I picked this one up and cracked it open.

Have you ever actually read a cookbook like a book? This is one to do that with. Peg Bracken is hilarious and she tucks funny little gems all over the book. She definitely didn't like to cook and searched out easy and, according to her, tasty recipes for the book but her commentary on everything is pure gold. She is overly fond of mushrooms (which I hate) and some of her ingredients (can you even still buy chipped beef? And if yes, do you want to?) might be less common than they were when the book was published and these recipes clearly pre-date the fresh produce movement, but there are still recipes people who want to spend minimal time in the kitchen will probably thrill to. Since I do like to cook, there are only a handful of recipes I intend to try but I greatly appreciate the entertainment value here. If you hate to cook, you might look to this for easy, fast recipes. If you like to cook, you'll want to read it just for the giggles.


  1. I know it’ll shock you that I have a copy and haven’t used it.

  2. I had a worn second copy of this in the early 1970s and loved it. I, too, liked to cook but loved her humour.


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