The Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors – one of my favorite cookbooks

The Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant AncestorsI didn’t grow up knowing how to cook. Both of my parents worked and my mom specialized in making “minutas”, meals that can be thrown together in minutes: steaks, milanesas, gnocchi, soups from bullion cubes. Once I lived on my own, I didn’t even think about cooking beyond these very basic things but once I got married I found myself with lots of free time while I looked for a job and a desire to “feed” my husband. I didn’t know how to cook much, so I hit the library for cookbooks.
One of the first cooks I discovered was The Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors: Recipes You Should Have Gotten from Your Grandmother. I already knew the Frugal Gourmet from TV and the idea of cooking food from different countries intrigued me – Mike and I had gotten a guide to ethnic restaurants in the Bay Area when we were courting, and we had been expanding our culinary tastes. This booked seemed perfect for doing the same at home.
And so we did and in the process discovered many wonderful recipes. I haven’t actually cooked from this book in many years, but it came to mind today while writing about Cuban food (I got the best recipe for ropa vieja from this book) and I thought I’d share the book with whoever reads my blog.
Now, one of the reasons why I really recommend this book is that the recipes are easy. These are home recipes, made by home cooks with no training over generations and passed from parents to children. Immigrants were usually poor, so the recipes don’t usually require expensive ingredients or cooking equipment. They are ideal recipes for beginners and anyone looking for a simple intro into a new cuisine.

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