11-15-2006 02:52 PM
In the 1975 Joy of Cooking, the late Julia Child said "… it is number one on my list … the one book of all cookbooks in English that I would have on my shelf if I could have but one."
Wow! When I read these words of Julia Child's, it struck me what a privilege and honor it is to be hired as an editor of The Joy of Cooking, a book that touches the lives of so many. In many unspoken ways, the readers of Joy are the owners of Joy. Joy users feel connected to the meals and food that they and their family have created from Joy for generations. I smile when I hear stories and read letters from Joy fans about recipes such as noodle loaf or orange chiffon icing and quips about how to skin a squirrel. At book signings, it is not uncommon to have someone pluck an old edition of Joy from their tote bag, and open the pages to splattered and stained recipes for lemon meringue pie, brownies, or beef stew.
For all of my married life, a copy of the 1975 Joy of Cooking has lived on (and off!) my kitchen bookshelf. Without a doubt, Joy is the reference I turned to when I needed a culinary shoulder to lean on.
In August of 2000, by a twist of fate, I had the good fortune to meet Joy co-author Ethan Becker and his wife Susan. We both lived in Cincinnati and had volunteered to cook at a culinary fundraiser supporting local, sustainable food. After our day together in the kitchen, slicing oyster mushrooms and making a rather tasty cream of mushroom soup (from the 1931 edition of Joy of Cooking), we served the soup at the evening event. The next day, when I returned a borrowed storage container, Ethan and Susan offered me a part-time job working with Ethan on recipe development. I excitedly accepted their offer.
In the midst our recipe work, Ethan and Susan began planning for the 75th anniversary edition of Joy. Their ultimate plan, and the publisher did soon agree, was to base this historic anniversary edition on the best-selling Joy of Cooking of all time, the 1975 edition.
In order to facilitate the editorial process for the 75th anniversary edition, the Beckers asked me to exercise my food, cooking, nutrition, and organizational muscles in becoming the editorial liaison with the publisher for the new revision. As the chapters for the new book were submitted, I was not only entrusted with day-to-day communication with Scribner, but also with editing chapters, and ultimately leading the revision for the Joy family. I felt a strong sense of obligation and dedication to helping Ethan and Susan meet their goal -- a full revision of the 1975 Joy of Cooking. I am proud to say we accomplished what we set out to do. As of this writing, the 75th anniversary edition of Joy of Cooking is on The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Publisher's Weekly best seller lists.
We in the United States are at a crossroads in cooking. Home cooking beckons us to return to our kitchens, to feed and nourish the people we love for numerous nutritional, physical, and emotional reasons. In the spirit of Irma S. Rombauer, Ethan's grandmother, and Marion Rombauer Becker, Ethan's mother, I invite you to arm yourself with the "mighty cooking spoon" and a copy of the 75th Anniversary edition of Joy of Cooking. You'll be ready to fight any culinary mishap when you are armed with these trusty kitchen companions, making your way into the 21st century.
11-15-2006 08:19 PM
11-17-2006 12:50 PM
Thanks for the welcome. I look foward to my time with you, discussing the Joy of Cooking!
75th Anniversary Edition
Joy of Cooking
11-20-2006 07:35 PM
11-20-2006 07:47 PM
What a great name! It's funny, but I know we're not the only two Maggie Greens in the world. I've heard of others. The other night at a book signing we met a woman named Ginger Peppers. That's a great name too. Welcome to the discussion!
There is a Cream of Mushroom Soup on page 144 of the 75th Anniversary edition, and one of Ethan Becker's personal favorites is the Scallion and Mushroom Soup on page 145 of the Anniversary edition.
Enjoy the book, and feel free to ask more questions.
75th Anniversary Edition
Joy of Cooking