I recently read a super interesting article in Food & Wine Magazine about the classic Joy of Cooking cookbook that was accompanied by a Cheddar-Scallion Biscuit recipe—it sounded and looked amazing. I instantly knew I had to make the recipe (and adapt it to be even easier and whole-grain, of course)! I couldn’t wait to see how it would be with whole-wheat (pastry) flour instead of white. Spoiler Alert… DEEEELICIOUS!!
Joy of Cooking
Surely I am not the only lover of Joy of Cooking here? It was one of my very first cookbooks and has always been my cooking “bible” for all things basic. I own the ’97 edition, which is apparently the most controversial one according to the article (I had no idea! LOL). When it completely wore out, my husband so kindly bought me a new copy of the exact same edition.
The recipes change from edition to edition, and if I wanted to reference the Butternut Squash soup I’ve made a million times, I wanted the version that still had it exactly as I pictured it in my original copy! I went through and transferred all my notes just as they originally appeared and have been trying to keep my second copy in good shape, although it’s starting to show some wear and tear now as well.
How Joy of Cooking Started
I found it interesting that the newest edition that comes out next year is being almost completely rewritten by the great-grandson of the original author (and his wife). Maybe I should get a copy of that version as well then? LOL. But even more interesting is how the very first edition came to be. It was written and self-published by a 50-something homemaker in 1931, Irma Rombauer, in an attempt to both find new purpose and form a career for herself shortly after her husband committed suicide. Quite an ambitious undertaking in that era! It also proves that it’s never too late to try something new.
After several years of selling a modest number of books out of her own apartment, it was revised and then picked up by a publisher, which eventually helped lead her on the path to unprecedented success with what is considered the most popular American cookbook of our time.
So, I haven’t seen the latest edition yet, but I can tell you that I give this biscuit recipe (that’ll be in there…well, at least a version of it) two thumbs up! Enjoy.