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I Want My Dinner Now!

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a local cookbook author, asking if she could send me her cookbook.  I told her that if she sent it to me and if I wrote about it I would express my true opinion.  She agreed to those conditions and sent me a complimentary copy of her book, "I Want My Dinner Now!"
I’ve finally had the opportunity to take a look at the book.  The author, Renee Pottle, is a Home Economist – we hardly ever hear that designation today.  Her premise is that making good, healthy family meals doesn’t have to take a ton of time and there are lots of tricks you can employ to get dinner on the table quickly and with a minimum amount of prep work. 
Looking through the book many of the recipes reminded me of things we made while I was growing up, although there are also many more contemporary dishes.  Each recipe lists measurements for 2 servings or 6, which is nice since you don’t always need to triple your ingredients when tripling your servings.  And at the end of each recipe there are suggestions for things to serve along with the dish and sometimes there are little tips.  The beginning of the book talks about common pantry items you should have on hand and the recipes also call out what should come from the pantry and what you’ll need to shop for. 
I think the whole concept is very interesting and the recipes sound good.  There are no photos and I always prefer books with photos although I do buy them without from time to time.  
Would I buy this book? Well, no and yes.  I would not buy it for myself.  Most of the dishes are very close to what I consider the "basics", things I make without really thinking about it. They don’t exactly challenge my imagination or skills.  There isn’t enough new in the book to get me excited.  I might, however, purchase this for a young person just starting out, or someone who has decided they want to focus more on cooking but doesn’t have a ton of experience or an older person who is maybe adjusting to the changes that come about as we age – someone who is no longer cooking for a crowd and might need to refocus on just themselves or a much smaller family unit.  I can easily see this being a useful reference in that context. 
In fact, I’m so sure of that, this copy of the book will be heading to Oregon with me this weekend.  I’ll be giving it to my nephew, a college freshman, still in the dorms this year but I believe next year he’ll be out in his own place.  I think this will be a fun reference for him. 
So while I can’t give this a strong recommendation, I will say I think this book has a place in the cookbook world. And, at the Amazon price of $9.97 you really can’t go too wrong!   
  1. Unknown permalink
    15-Apr-2006 12:15 pm

    A candid review!  I think this book may be right for me.  I love baking, but have been slacking in the cooking department.
    With many basic and easy recipes in this book, I might be able to polish on my cooking skills.

  2. Culinary permalink
    17-Apr-2006 7:07 am

    Thanks for stopping by and for your comment!  I\’m glad to hear you found the summary helpful.  Let me know if you decide to purchase it – I\’d love to get another perspective on the book. 
    ~ B

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