Beat This!

I visited one of my new favorite places recently:  Boswell Book Company.  (http://boswell.indiebound.com/)

I found this fabulous book for only $5.99.  List price is $14.95 even on their website currently so I’m not quite sure how I got it for this very nice price.

This is technically a cookbook, but as the blurb on the front says “More than a cookbook, it is a humor book and a self-help book and a security blanket and a kind of a Bible.”  (quote from Elizabeth Berg, NPR interview)

Beat This! book cover
Beat This! book cover

The book is called Beat This!
(written by Ann Hodgman with a foreword by Elizabeth Berg)

Now you may be wondering  — Why, dear Tromp Queen, is this blog worthy?  Most of you already know that I own plenty of cookbooks (read about it here in Confessions of a Chronic Creative Collector).  I love to look through them for new recipes and read about different cooking techniques and cultures. Really.  I do.  And I really can’t help looking at cookbooks on the sale tables.  Really.  I can’t.

The blurb on the front enticed me.  I grabbed the book.  Then I wandered around until I found the cozy couch area so I could sit in comfort to take a peek inside the book.

I instantly fell in love with the author’s humor.  The chatty (sometimes snarky) asides sprinkled throughout the book caught my interest:

detail aside from Beat This! Cookbook by Ann Hodgman
detail aside from Beat This! Cookbook by Ann Hodgman
detail aside from Beat This! Cookbook by Ann Hodgman
detail aside from Beat This! Cookbook by Ann Hodgman
detail aside from Beat This! Cookbook by Ann Hodgman
detail aside from Beat This! Cookbook by Ann Hodgman

 

detail aside from Beat This! Cookbook by Ann Hodgman
detail aside from Beat This! Cookbook by Ann Hodgman
detail aside from Beat This! Cookbook by Ann Hodgman
detail aside from Beat This! Cookbook by Ann Hodgman

 

 

detail aside from Beat This! Cookbook by Ann Hodgman
detail aside from Beat This! Cookbook by Ann Hodgman
detail aside from Beat This! Cookbook by Ann Hodgman
detail aside from Beat This! Cookbook by Ann Hodgman
detail aside from Beat This! Cookbook by Ann Hodgman
detail aside from Beat This! Cookbook by Ann Hodgman

 

I love her recipe names! Descriptive and humorous
I love her recipe names! Descriptive and humorous

 

There are recipes for “A Really Great Stuffing with Sausage In It,” “Vaguely Thai-Like Beef Salad,” “Magnificent Ultra-Turkey,” and “Powerfully Better Than Any Other Pot Roast.”  The first sentence of that last recipe reads like this:  “A well-made pot roast is one of those noble, time-honored dishes that — oh, sorry, I forgot I wasn’t writing the lyrical kind of cookbook.”

I haven’t made anything from this cookbook yet, but I’ve gotten enjoyment out of it already.  I have high expectations that when I DO make something out of this book; it is going to be fabulous.

This little story in the foreword sealed the deal for me:  (Yes, I did read the foreword!)

My next door neighbors did something nice for me and so I did something nice for them, which is to say I made them Ann’s Very Controversial Apple Crisp (page 23).  The next day, the wife told me, “You know my husband never eats desserts, doesn’t like them.  He could not stop eating that apple crisp.” Another friend told me that when she first made it, she and her husband stood at the stove after it came out of the oven and ate the whole dang thing.  (She’d halved the recipe, but still.)
–from the foreword, written by Elizabeth Berg

So, if you are looking for a gift for yourself or for a friend, or you just have chronic cookbook collector syndrome — I highly recommend this book!

Related Article:

http://dcfoodrag.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/ann-hodgman-and-humor-in-food-writing/

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quirkyjazz

I am a pianist, musician, music teacher, choir director, mother, wife, daughter, sister, cousin, sister-in-law, friend, neighbor. I enjoy music (of course!), quilting, sewing, beading, traveling, kayaking, camping, biking, hiking, gardening, knitting, scrapbooking, cooking, reading, poetry, drinking good coffee, and having fun with family and friends. NOTE -- Creative Commons License: All work of The Tromp Queen (quirkyjazz, aka Jill) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 Unported License.

6 thoughts on “Beat This!”

  1. Hey kindred soul 🙂
    I too love collecting cookbooks, the whackier the better. My favourite in my collection is the Clueless Baker by Evelyn Raab. It’s a lot like Ann Hodgman’s book. It’s more like a friend talking to us 🙂

    1. Thanks for the tip on Clueless Baker. I like Pioneer Women’s first cookbook, too, but she is a bit on the arrogant side overall. Her recipes are really good, though, and her writing and photography are, too. YAY for finding kindred souls in blogworld! Thanks for reading, commenting and following.

    1. It really is a fun cookbook, and, as I said in the post I haven’t even made anything yet. A chalkboard is a good idea; I will see if I can find a spot for one. I miss my bulletin board, too. We had one just around the corner from the kitchen in the pantry/laundry/recycling/miscellaneous room (i.e. JUNK room!) in our old house. You can order the book from Boswell. Or I could go see if they more on the sale table for $5.99 and send you one?

      1. Oh thank you. You are so kind to offer that! But I just bought it from a third party seller on Amazon new for $8.00. (I think it was a deal– all the others were $14 or more!)
        Yes, ahem… I have a book problem….

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