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Cookbook 5: The Joy of Cooking

The Joy of Cooking, by  Irma S. Rombauer, was the first cookbook I ever used as a newlywed many many years ago. This book was not a cookbook I bought, but one I found in my then boyfriend’s {now husband} book collection, I doubt he even knew he had it! I thumbed through it and found something I thought I could tackle for a dinner party I was throwing. I was YOUNG, and even though I came from a great line of entertainers I was a bit nervous about inviting the doctor and residents over for a dinner party. I was about 20. It is still one of my favorites, every once in a while I like to thumb through it and cook something for old times sake. The recipes are timeless and always come out perfectly.

I suggest this to young cooks and brides as one of the first classics for their own cook book collections. The Joy of Cooking is one of the United States’ most-published cookbooks, and has been in print continuously since 1936 and with more than 18 million copies sold. It was privately published in 1931 by Irma S. Rombauer, a homemaker in St. Louis, Missouri, who was struggling emotionally and financially after her husband’s suicide the previous year. Rombauer had 3,000 copies printed by A.C. Clayton, a company which had printed labels for fancy St. Louis shoe companies and for Listerine, but never a book. In 1936, the book was picked up by a commercial printing house, the Bobbs-Merrill Company. Joy is the backbone of many home cooks’ libraries and is commonly found in commercial kitchens as well.

Joy of Cooking’s Oatmeal Cookies
*my husband loves oatmeal cookies and these are wonderful
makes 42 cookies


  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 lb butter, soft
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3 1/2 cups rolled whole oats


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Sift (sifting is important!) flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg (its not in the recipe, but I add about 1/8-1/4 tsp of ground cloves, too) into a mixing bowl.
  • Beat butter, brown sugar, sugar, eggs, and vanilla with a hand mixer at medium speed.
  • Sift (yes, again!) flour mixture into butter mixture and mix well.
  • Fold in raisins (or chocolate chips or chocolate covered raisins) and oats.
  • Spoon 1.5 inch balls onto non-stick cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 350°F for 6-9 minutes, rotating half way through baking. (Should be lightly firm in the center when done) Be careful — oatmeal raisin cookies don’t look done when they are, so they are very easy to over cook (unless you want then to be crispy) :).

    make a note and add it to your collection.

    Buy this book here

    photo found here

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