Fun, Food, Pets and Travel

Kitchen Chat

Margaret McSweeney

Sharing The Joy of Cooking

The Joy of Cooking is a treasured cookbook with millions of home chefs following the recipes and creating taste memories for their families.

As many of you know, I have been on a quest through Kitchen Chat to understand my father’s joy of cooking. Speaking with John Becker (the great-grandson of Irma Rombauer) and his wife, Megan Scott was a milestone in this journey and a hug from heaven. They are continuing the legacy of their family with a new edition of The Joy of Cooking featuring 600 new recipes and even a section on fermentation. Irma Rombauer self-published the first edition in 1931 after the death of her husband. She was in her fifties.

The top three tips for the home chef to find the joy of cooking

Lower the stakes. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It’s just food. The bar is too high in a lot of people’s minds and people feel intimidated by the

Sharpen your knives

Mistakes are frustrating, but when you make a mistake it’s an opportunity to learn. Part of the joy of cooking is the everyday learning experience you get in the kitchen.

What are your favorite stories and recipes from The Joy of Cooking?

Enjoy these delicious recipes for the holidays

Excerpted from Joy of Cooking by John Becker and Megan Scott. Copyright © 2019. Reprinted by permission of Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.  Photo credit: Heidi’s Bridge.

LATKES (POTATO PANCAKES)

About fourteen 3-inch cakes

The high starch content of russet potatoes helps hold the cakes together. Shredded celery root, parsnip, sweet potato, or carrot may be substituted for up to half the potatoes.

Wrap in a clean kitchen towel and wring to squeeze out as much moisture as possible:

1 pound russet potatoes (about 2 medium), peeled and shredded (about 2 cups)

1 medium onion, grated

Combine in a bowl with:

2 large eggs, well beaten

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour or matzo meal

1 ¼ teaspoons salt

Preheat the oven to 200°F. Heat in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until hot:

¼ inch or more vegetable oil or butter

Place spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the skillet, in batches, and form them into 3-inch patties about ¼ inch thick. Brown on the bottom for about 4 minutes, reducing the heat to medium if necessary to prevent scorching. Turn and brown the second side until crisp, about 4 minutes more. Transfer to a plate or rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels and keep warm in the oven while frying the remaining latkes. Serve at once with:

Applesauce

Sour cream or Greek yogurt

Minced chives

VEGAN EGGNOG

About eight 6-ounce servings

This eggnog is quite boozy, which is how we like it, but feel free to scale back on the rum, if desired.

Soak overnight in water to cover:

1 cup raw cashews

Drain and transfer to a blender along with:

One 13 ½-ounce can coconut milk

1 cup water

½ cup sugar or maple syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla

Blend until completely smooth and creamy. Strain into a punch bowl or pitcher and stir in:

1 cup light rum

½ cup Grand Marnier or Cointreau

Serve garnished with:

Freshly grated nutmeg

If making ahead of time, the eggnog may separate when refrigerated. Simply let it sit for 20 minutes at room temperature, then whisk well or reblend before serving.