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Trouble With Cookbooks

August 25, 1994

Thank you for the article "Who's to Blame?" (Aug. 4). First of all, it was the only cookbook-related article in that day's Food Section which put cookbooks into their proper perspective, i.e., as sources for ideas, rather than blueprints for products. I've been cooking since I was a kid and I consider myself a pretty good cook; in your words, I have my "hands on knives and saucepans and ingredients." And as a person who enjoys cooking, I like to read recipes and I own a lot of cookbooks. But my usual reason for reading a recipe is not because I would ever want to make that particular dish; I read recipes to put notions into my head--concepts and ideas I might be able to use at some point when I'm faced with a bunch of raw things and the desire (or, more usually, the necessity) of turning them into something good to eat.

--ROBERT A. HAUT

Santa Monica

I was really interested in your article on cookbooks. I knew that my cookbook recipes sometimes failed miserably, but I always thought it was my fault until now.

--GLORIA DREXLER

Santa Monica

Your listing of common cooking terms is wonderful and very helpful. Every inexperienced cook should tack it at eye-level on the inside of a kitchen cupboard (inconspicuous and always available). I've been my family's cook for many years and thought that I knew it all, but found that I didn't!

--LOUISE HAUTER

La Canada

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