Friday, March 23, 2012

Cookbooks: The Best of the Best and More and The Rest of the Best and More

Though they seem unlikely early heroes of the self-publishing explosion, the vast success of the enterprise they started almost as an aside more than 30 years ago has blossomed into a cover story over the years.

In the mid-1970s a group of women who had been meeting for getaway weekends for over a decade (I’m guessing to play bridge, but I’m not sure about that) had an idea. Since an important aspect of their time together had always been about food, they decided to collect their recipes and publish a cookbook. Thirty-five years and over two millions copies of various books later, this impromptu publishing consortium has ceased being self-published, but the re-publication -- albeit in more polished form -- of their original recipes in two brand new volumes will offer new generations of cooks the opportunity to share in their homespun fare.

The Best of the Best and More and The Rest of the Best and More are newly published by Robert Rose as large, handsome, spiral-bound editions. The two editions include the original recipes from the first six Best of Bridge books, but have been updated, polished and added to: Best of the Best includes over 70 new recipes, Best of the Rest has 100.

So who will love these books? Well, those raised on the originals, for starters. Also, anyone who uses the word “potluck” with pride. These are more than basics -- though those are here, as well -- simple and classic instructions on how to make just about everything. Better than new, after all these years. ◊



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