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American Cookery


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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I should say, the more the merrier. If there is ever question of sacrificing a small room and gaining a large closet, by all means do it, for absolute neatness is the saving grace of small quarters, and storage places are essential, if one does not wish to live in a vortex of yesterday's and tomorrow's affairs with no room to concentrate on the present.


Inside and outside the tiny house must conform to one law—elimination of non-essentials; and the person who has a clear idea of his individual needs and has also the strength of will to limit his needs to his circumstances, will find in his tiny house a satisfaction more than compensating for any sacrifices he may have made.

No one doubts that it is a sacrifice to give up a lesser pleasure even to gain the "summum bonum" and that it does take will power to keep oneself from weakly saying in the face of temptation, "Oh, well! what does it matter. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I picked this up to see whether I wanted to cull it from my giant cookbook collection, and it turns out that no, I do not, even though the style is basically the polar opposite of how we eat. It's like a snapshot of ideas about food in 1970, which makes it super interesting as a historical object...more

Pretty much the best cookbook I have ever seen.

This is another amazing historically rich culinary history of American cuisine. Yes, it is a cookbook with a great deal of historical commentary. Gastronomically inspired authors such as James Beard have filled a nitch in the non-fiction market writing about lost culinary techniques inspiring foo...more

Best cookbook I have ever owned. It was the first cookbook I remember using, and the first cookbook I bought for myself when I moved to my own place. I've stuck with the first edition this whole time. This is one of the essential books for me. If I could only keep one book that I own, it would be...more

Love how he wrote and the recipes are delicious.

James Beard's American Cookery is an 800+ page book giving not only the recipes that define "American" cookery (as opposed to French, Irish, Italian etc.) but also the history of American cuisine along with basic cooking tips--like how to cook various vegetables.

Each two-page spread has recipes...more

I won this book in the Goodreads Giveaway Contest....and I am thrilled to own this wonderful cookbook. Over 1500 recipes are included in this huge volume of Beard's collection of American dishes. The recipes are surprisingly simple and use a manageable number of ingredients. Originally published...more

This book arrived this week and I've been pleasantly surprised as I've stareted to look threw it. Initially I was daunted by its size. I'll probably never read the chapter on veal. I enjoyed reading the forward by Tom Colicchio (of Top Chef fame) and the introduction by James Beard. From there I...more

My mother passed on her "American Cookery" to me when she was no longer able to cook. It's filled with her notations and comments that only add to the humor and insight that James Beard shared in this ode to American Cooking. It's taped together and falling apart but I just can't seem to replace...more

It took me three years off and on but I read this wonderful book cover to cover. Beard's weighty tome is as much story telling and history of the influences of American foods as it is anything else. Written in the early 1970s, it gives a recorded glimpse of food techniques that would later be los...more

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