If I had to start over as a new wife and chief cook of our little household and had only one kitchen item from our wedding, it would be this book: Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, Bridal Edition:
I think the most recent edition looks like this:
I learned kitchen basics from my mom, but cooking for a spouse–and eventually a family–is different than just keeping your own little self fed through college. So for years now, I have consulted this book several times a week and she is my best friend in the kitchen. From the basics of kitchen tools, food safety and simple meal planning to menus for entertaining and tricky dishes, Betty delivers.
Besides the delicious food, the reference charts have been invaluable to me. For example, “Pork Retail Cuts: Where they Come From and How to Cook Them”, “Types of Squash”, “Fresh Vegetable Cooking Chart” and an “Herb Chart”, listing the herb, it’s form, flavor and use. Many pictures and illustrations along the way are extremely helpful.
Additionally, this book gives you a lot of room to progress. It’s not so simplified that you will outgrow it. I anticipate using this book for years to come and teaching my kids how to make all of our favorite recipes!
**Note: I thumbed through the “heavily revised” newest edition but haven’t tried it yet. It looks quite different from my book and seems to focus on a more modern approach to cooking. Even the title has been changed from ‘Bridal Edition’ to a more modern ‘Newlywed Edition’.