Fix it And Forget It: The Cookbooks Americans Love

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Americans just want to cook simply, not treat their food as some kind of special occasion product.

At least that’s what you might think if you read yesterday’s front page article in the New York Times (Whipping Up a Cookbook Empire with Meatloaf Instead of Sizzle) and look at recent book sales numbers: the “Fix-It and Forget-It” series, published by Good Books has sold more copies than the combined works of the popular Food Network hosts Ina Garten, Giada De Laurentiis and Jamie Oliver.

Written by a Mennonite in Pennsylvania, Phyllis Pellman Good, the spiral-bound books are filled with recipes like ham loaf and cheeseburger soup.

“Most of us still do want to cook for ourselves and eat at home. And yet all of the pressures of our lives militate against that,” said Ms. Good’s husband, who runs the publishing company with her, which puts out hundreds of titles, the Fix It series being, by far, the most popular, to the tune of 70-90% of their $10 million annual sales.

We say bravo to anything that has Americans cooking in more than eating out. But we also applaud new and innovated approaches to cooking that also pique the interest of both experienced and novice chefs, and books that give us inspiration to explore on our own. We’re not sure ham loaf will have that effect.