I like cookbooks put out by food-producing companies. After all, it is in their best interest that a dish made with their product should turn out really fine. Therefore, they take care to use the best recipes they can find, and of course they test and retest them in their own kitchens.
As I picked up the newly published "Pillsbury Kitchens' Family Cookbook," Pillsbury Company, Minneapolis, $10.95, my mind was set, despite the above title , on finding mainly recipes for baked goods, using the various Pillsbury flours and cake mixes.
How wrong I was. This is a complete cookbook! It deserves the subtitle "Guide to Better Cooking," which is the heading of one of the early chapters. This chapter includes much basic information about ingredients and their use and substitutions; also included is a good list of cooking terms and a list of weights and measures. If you read this chapter you may find things you did not know, as I did, and I am an old, experienced cook.
The number of recipes is impressive; whatever I looked up I found, often in several versions, for instance, nine kinds of bread stuffings for poultry!
Each section covers a particular part of the cooking field, beginning with a general introduction and basic rules for preparation. There are hints of possible failures and hints of possible remedies. But the recipes are set up so well that if you follow them carefully, failures are unlikely.
There are many brightly colored pictures of the finished dishes, rather inviting to make, and also instructive line drawings where needed. If you own a microwave oven, do not miss the chapter on microwave cooking. There is nutrition information, by the serving, for those who are interested.
The last recipe in the book helped me to dress up an otherwise flat, boring dinner menu. Bacon and Cream-Topped Tomatoes is easy to make in a few minutes. It looks very attractive and tastes good. Bacon and Cream-Topped Tomatoes 4 slices bacon 1/2 cup dairy sour cream 1/2 teaspoon salt 4 medium tomatoes
In a large skillet, fry bacon until crisp, remove. Crumble bacon and blend with sour cream and salt. Cut ends off tomatoes and cut tomatoes in half. Saute the cut side of tomatoes in bacon drippings; turn over. Top with sour cream mixture. Cover; saute 2 minutes or until heated through. Serves 4.