General Purpose, Joy of Cooking

There have been a quite a number of excellent general purpose cookbooks published over the years, and we will try to offer them here. Two milestone books, the so-called Fannie Farmer Cookbook, and the Joy of Cooking, deserve special attention. Both are still in print in updated versions and most of the older editions are still popular. Certain editions of the Betty Crocker's Cookbook also continue to be popular.

A good history of the various editions of Joy of Cooking is on Wikipedia:

A word of caution: This category of cookbook invites passions fueled by familiarity, nostalgia and generational prejudice. We have seen mothers and daughters have words over whether the "light blue" Joy of Cooking is better than the later "white" cover edition. We have seen someone roll their eyes and argue when their mother said that The Settlement Cookbook will be found on the bookshelf of every Jewish-American household.

Item Name Price-

The Los Angeles Times California Cookbook

by the food staff of the Los Angeles Times, Betty Balsley, food editor, Abrams, 1981. Oversize hardback with DJ, 406 pages, A classic. More than 650...


The Martha Stewart Cookbook

by Martha Stewart, Potter Publishing, first edition, 1995. Hardback with DJ. Now called "The Big Blue," the handsome, well-made 619-pager is a...


The Mayors' Cookbook

by the United States Conference of Mayors, Thomas L. McClimon, ed. Acropolis, 1987. Hardback, no DJ. We almost passed this one by (mayors? cooking?)...


The Modern Family Cook Book (Meta Given) w/ elusive Jacket

by Meta Given, Ferguson & Assoc. 1953 revised edition of the 1942 publication. Hardback, with hard to find color photo DJ w/drawing of a (live)...


The Nancy Drew Cookbook

by Carolyn Keene (neé Harriet Adams and others), collectible and featured in the October 2010 issue of Woman's Day, Grosset & Dunlap, first...


The National Symphony (NSO) Cookbook (signed by Rostropovich)

by Fans of the National Symphony Orchestra, 1984 revised printing. White glossy boards, comb binding. Signed on the front leaf by the late Mstislav...


The New Basics Cookbook (1st edition, hardback)

by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins, Workman Publishing, first printing, 1989. Heavy hardback with DJ, 848 pages. Another modern classic by the duo....


The New James Beard (first edition)

By James Beard, first edition, Knopf, 1981. Hardback with DJ, 625 pages. On the cover: "The great new 1,000-recipe cookbook in which the dean of...


The New James Beard (Magnalite bonus gift edition)

By James Beard, Knopf, 1981. Magnalite cookware bonus gift edition with sown-in gift announcement page. Hardback with DJ, 625 pages. From the cover:...


The New Making of a Cook

By Madeleine Kamman, Morrow, first edition, 1997. Pristine copy. The author’s massive (5.4 lbs., 1228 pages) masterpiece won the James Beard...