.Kitchen Classic

‘Joy of Cooking’ still tasty

Most of us own a copy of Joy of Cooking. It’s likely many a college student tucked the enduring classic into their box of belongings when they headed off to school. Or perhaps it was a wedding gift, or as in my case, the well-worn copy on my kitchen shelf was their mother’s.

Irma Starkloff Rombauer wrote Joy of Cooking, first published in 1931, along with her daughter, Marion Rombauer Becker, who recipe-tested and illustrated. They kept the All Purpose Cookbook updated for the last 88 years, and this month a ninth revised edition with over 600 new recipes hit bookstore shelves across the country.

They kept it all in the family—Irma Rombauer’s great-grandson John Becker and his wife Megan Scott spent almost 10 years mindfully revising the book to reflect and include “changing cooking methods, the availability of new ingredients and to be more globally inclusive.”

To learn more about the book, its history and the process of revising and updating this iconic compendium of recipes, Becker and Scott will discuss the process over lunch at Left Bank in conjunction with Book Passage.

In the meantime, here are two classic recipes for the season—that will remain as timeless as the beloved cookbook.

Cooks with Books: John Becker & Megan Scott present ‘The Joy of Cooking’ as part of the Book Passage Book & Author lunch at 12:30 pm, Saturday, Dec. 7 at in Larkspur at Left Bank, 507 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur. Tickets: $125 per person; $200 per couple (includes meal & book).

Classic Roast Turkey

10 to 25 servings

This is the ideal method to use for birds over 15 pounds in weight, though it works well for smaller birds, too. The lower heat ensures that the bird cooks to doneness relatively evenly. While we give the option to stuff the bird, please be aware that you will have to remove the stuffing and finish cooking it in a baking dish, as it will not cook through at the same rate as the turkey. Please read About Turkey, 426, and About Roasting Turkey, 427.

A day or more before roasting the turkey, you may brine or dry-brine it, 405 (we recommend dry-brining), if desired. If you have wet-brined the bird, pat it dry and allow it to air-dry overnight, uncovered and refrigerated, on a rack set over a baking sheet. It is imperative to dry out the skin to encourage browning.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 500°F.

If you wish to stuff the bird, have hot or at room temperature:

(Basic Bread Stuffing or Dressing, 532, or Basic Cornbread Stuffing or Dressing, 532, with any desired additions)

If you have not done so already, remove the giblets and neck from:

One 10- to 25-pound turkey

If the bird is not kosher, self-basting, or brined, rub all over with:


Loosely pack the body and neck cavities with the stuffing, if using. Bring the legs together and tie them to hold the stuffing in. Set the turkey breast side up on a V rack in a roasting pan or on a large rimmed baking sheet. Any leftover stuffing can be placed in a buttered baking dish. Brush the turkey’s skin all over with:

3 to 6 tablespoons melted butter, depending on the size of the turkey, or as needed

Transfer the turkey to the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Roast until the internal temperature of the breast reaches 155°F, and the thickest part of the thigh reaches at least 170°F. (Stuffing must reach 165°F.) This may take as little as 2 hours for a 10-pound turkey and up to 6 hours for a very large turkey. Transfer the turkey to a platter and let rest for at least 20 and up to 40 minutes before carving.

If the breast is done but the thighs are not, take the turkey out of the oven and carve the legs off at the hip joint. Place the legs on a rimmed baking sheet and return to the oven to finish cooking through while the breast and carcass rests.

Excerpted from Joy of Cooking by John Becker and Megan Scott. Copyright © 2019. Reprinted by permission of Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.


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