Well, not really, it's not my first choice for leisure time activity but I enjoy it sometimes. Claire is a budding pastry chef and keeps our kitchen humming. On vacation, I was reading a humorous article about one woman's kitchen adventures. She mentioned the I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken, published in 1960 (the only cookbook her mother had owned). I didn't think much of it at the time, but while perusing the shelves of The Book Nook in Rockport, I saw this charming little book (of course I will always find both the yarn shop and the used book store wherever I travel). It was meant to be.
The book's illustrations are by Hilary Knight, who also illustrated the delightful Eloise. This alone was reason to own it. Reading about the 1960's housewife who had better things to do than cook is the real charm. The chapter titles include The Leftover - or Every Family Needs a Dog, Potluck Suppers - or How to Bring the Water for the Lemonade, and Desserts - or People are too Fat Anyway. There's even a helpful Household Hints section - "If your veils or lace collars get that tired look, you can crisp them by ironing them between two sheets of waxed paper."
This morning I happened upon this article in the New York Times. It appears that the author's daughter has revised and reprinted the book for its 50th anniversary. What great timing that I discovered this book this summer; I am so glad that I have the original on my kitchen shelf! So, I'm trying something new - after much wasted time trying to understand it, I think I've set up an account with Amazon so that if you are inclined to purchase The I Hate to Cook Book: 50th Anniversary Editionfrom them, I will earn a small commission. If this works and I make a little money, I will invite you over for dinner and Claire and I will cook an authentic meal from the original book!