A Cookbook for A Knucklehead: Bachelor, New Graduate, Beginner, and Other Spoiled Brats by Harold W. Pearman

A Cookbook for A Knucklehead: Bachelor, New Graduate, Beginner, and Other Spoiled Brats
Harold W. Pearman
Outskirts Press (2011)
ISBN 9781432755508
Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (12/11)

 

Let’s make one thing clear at the very beginning – “A Cookbook for A Knucklehead: Bachelor, New Graduate, Beginner, and Other Spoiled Brats” is a quite useful starter cookbook for just about anybody, not only for spoiled brats of all varieties. When I think back to my very first steps in the kitchen, I can assure you that I would have been really grateful for a cookbook such as this one.

Let me start with the good things about it first, and there are many of them. This book is great fun, whether you ever prepare any recipes from it or not. The author’s sense of humor is quirky and very endearing, and the book is an amusing read, particularly the info in the side bars. From the purely practical sense it is an extremely functional book. It starts with the basics on anything a new cook needs to know, from the proper utensils, measuring and seasonings to instructions on some basic cooking techniques. Those, as well as the recipes which follow, all have very descriptive photographs, which will be a very valuable help for any beginner. The recipes are organized in a clear and understandable way, and that makes it easy for a new cook to decide on the dish to try next. The directions are clear and concise, and they make very sure that the cook has everything ready before starting the actual work. If the photographs are sometimes a bit blurry, that only adds to the charm of the book and the underlying message of “everybody will be able to achieve those results.” There are no fancy garnishes and no ambitious plating, but the food still manages to look appetizing.

On the not so great side, at least for me, are some formatting issues. I found the ultra tiny print in the “A Bone from Pennie” and “Ingredients” sections extremely difficult to see, but then, maybe all knuckleheads are young and have 20/20 vision. Some of the fonts, particularly the one used in the Introduction and the beginning of each chapter, are difficult to read, and somewhat unnecessarily fussy for a basic cookbook. There were also some proofreading issues, particularly the improper (and unnecessary) placement of the apostrophe in words “entree’s” and “omelet’s.”

Overall the good in this book very much outweighs the not so great, and I would highly recommend “A Cookbook for A Knucklehead: Bachelor, New Graduate, Beginner, and Other Spoiled Brats” to aspiring cooks. It would also make a fantastic gift for anybody who is venturing into the oh-so-scary world of cooking. If all else fails, the new initiates could always put the last chapter to good use – the selection of cocktails in there requires no cooking at all…


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