Homemade biscuits. Melting pats of butter. Mmmmm… For many of us, biscuits come from a box, a tube, or frozen. There’s nothing terribly wrong with that (though the ones from a tube bear little resemblance to the taste and look of homemade), but for people who have never felt the joy of being up to their elbows in flour, making “real” biscuits is a good place to start learning to cook for themselves.
People who don’t think it’s worth making a meal for one often subsist on frozen dinners, fast food, and junk. When you’re alone, it hardly seems worth it to mess up the kitchen preparing a full meal. The problem with fast fixes to hunger, though, is that they aren’t all that healthful. Sugar, corn syrup, salt, fat, artificial ingredients, preservatives — all the villains of our modern diet — are plentiful in frozen meals and fast food. The time you save eating convenience foods is probably wasted by sick days, doctor visits, or a shortened lifespan.
The Cookbook for Men Who Must is a book of basics for those who have not experienced the joy found in a kitchen, and offers a selection of “manly” recipes (barbecue, sausage gravy, meatballs, chocolate chip cookies, nachos) while emphasizing portion control, less fats, and fewer calories. It is not a diet book, and the recipes in the final chapter prove that.
Author Richard Chamberlain, who identifies himself as “the real one,” shares recipes he’s prepared for his family over the years, and none of them are difficult; none require you to debone a duck. Many of the recipes are for foods that are available prepared, but Chamberlain gives simple-to-follow instructions and encourages readers to make changes to the recipes to suit themselves. Once fledgling cooks overcome their fear of frying, baking, and roasting, they will be ready to go on to more complex recipes and cookbooks.
The Cookbook for Men Who Must takes cooks-to-be from breakfast to salads (incredibly simple) through desserts, and provides useful lists of basic equipment and ingredients every cook should have on hand (surprisingly, lemon juice wasn’t one of them). Although written for men, this cookbook makes a good foundation for anyone who hasn’t been introduced to their oven.
Bottom Line: Would I buy The Cookbook for Men Who Must? No. I’ve already conquered the basics, but for sons (or daughters) who don’t have a clue, this might be just the gift to get them started in the kitchen.