Loving the Classics: Joy of Cooking

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

We’re willing to bet that almost every single one of you has a copy of Joy of Cooking sitting on a shelf somewhere at home. It’s probably survived numerous cookbook purges, cross-state moves, and relationship break-ups. But we’re curious – how often do you actually use this cookbook?

I was given my copy as a college graduation present – a clear sign that I was now on my own! I use it as a resource for classic recipes and as a reference guide for techniques, temperatures, and cooking times. I use it much like a phone call to my mother, and in fact one of the first things she usually asks me when I call is “What does Joy of Cooking say?”

But I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I’ve ever made an entire recipe from this cook book. Sometimes I’ll use Joy of Cooking recipes as a jumping off point, but for actual start-to-finish recipes, I go elsewhere. And even as a reference book for techniques, Joy of Cooking has been gradually replaced by the internet, and it’s now the fourth or fifth place we check for advice instead of the first.

And yet, I can’t imagine getting rid of it! It feels like a dear old friend, albeit one I’ve fallen out of touch with over the years. My shelf just wouldn’t feel the same without Joy of Cooking there.

What about you? Do you use your Joy of Cooking?