I HAVE A SECRET: My VERY best cookbook*

Vol. 1, No. 9, August 9th, 2010

TITLE: I HAVE A SECRET: My VERY best cookbook*


I am a family woman – I have two adult daughers and while they were growing up, supper- time was the most important meal. The rule was that we all ate together as a family. But, it was hectic since I had a full-time job out-of-the-home and I also ran an efficient household. Returning back from work, everyone was tired and hungry. I prepared the food. It was very important for me to get the food on the table ASAP. To do this, firstly, I did the groceries on the weekend and I planned ahead. Second, I had a trusted cookbook. It was and still is a necessity. I will let you in on a secret. My VERY best cookbook is  “Encyclopedia of Creative Cooking– Edited by Charlotte Turgeon, Editor of Larousse Gastronomique and The Creative Cooking Course.”


Charlotte Snyder, American born and a graduate from Smith College, (indeed a classmate of Julia Child), married Amherst College language professor Frederick King Turgeon, Mrs. Turgeon, while residing in France for a time, enrolled in the Cordon Bleu Academy in Paris, graduating in 1937. She was a prolific writer, credited with 53 books, etc. Anne Willan, founder of the Parisian cooking school, La Varenne, described Mrs. Turgeon as “a pioneer forerunner for women in the culinary arts in this country.’’ Mrs. Turgeon was regarded as the person who introduced Americans to French cooking, In 1961, this American chef and author translated and edited Prosper Montagne’s encyclopedia of food, wine, and cookery, “Larousse Gastronomique.’’ It was a huge accomplishment – it took four years, and was complicated by the need to change the European metric measurements into American measures.


Éditions Larousse, the prestigious French dictionnary people are book publishers. Its best known work was “Petit Larousse”. It is also addresses the subject of food ‘big time’.

Larousse Gastronomique is a prime example. The first edition (1938) was edited by Prosper Montagne. The preface was by George Auguste Escoffer, who codified French cookery of the 20th century. Such cookery was elevated to “Haute Cuisine”

But there is more… much more.  Other books on cooking from Larousse include as for example 1. “Larousse des cuisines du monde”; 2. “Larousse des desserts”; and 3. “Petit Larousse Patissier”. etc.


“Encyclopedia of Creative Cooking”,  Edited by Charlotte Turgeon, Editor of Larousse Gastronomique and The Creative Cooking Course” is an UNIQUE cookbook. To the question “Why?”, I say that it:

  • Is written in an easy –to-understand style.
  • Is a complete guide to creative cooking. The title says it perfectly. If you want to be creative, here, in one over-size volume are 2000 recipes for: (a) Appetizers; (b) Meat dishes; (c) Desserts; (d) Crepes; (e) Vegetable dishes; (f) Pastry; (g) Breads; and (h) Cakes; etc. The mouth-watering recipes cater to a wide variety of tastes and will definitely impress your dinner guests.
  • Enumerates the ingredients. What is so helpful for me, is that these are products, which can be easily found in most local grocery stores.
  • Has detailed instructions, which make it easy to prepare the dish.
  • Has much advice on cake decorating, souffle making and cooking techniques galore. Indeed, you feel as though you have a cooking teacher instructing you. The beauty of having this valuable book in the kitchen is that it’s readily available for reference.
  • Includes as an added bonus,  800 FULL COLOUR photos. They will give you a vivid picture of what your finished dish will look like.
  • Encourages you to experiment and be creative. Indeed, these recipes stimulate your imagination and before you know it, you have created a delightful recipe of a dish of your own

.(N.B. Dishes other than French cookery were added to make this a volume covering many other national-ethnic dishes.)


The point

I have several good cookbooks, but this is the one, which I use the most. It is wonderful. It is a cook’s dream book. These recipes will fill your house with delightful aromas. It is an excellent reference source. Through the years, I have referred to this all-in-one encyclopedic cookbook for different recipes to prepare everyday meals as well as big holiday dinners, dinner parties and also simple little get-togethers. It is my trusted kitchen ally. It never lets me down. Without fail, when I use this book, my guests compliment me on my exquisite dishes. It will be an asset in any kitchen and in my opinion, the only cook book that one really needs. I recommend it!

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.

And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours? *



-Web Tech:  richmediasound.com

The above is a new media production of Valente under its “United Author*” program.

*TM/© 2010 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

This entry was posted on Monday, August 9th, 2010 at 12:31 am and is filed under Homemakers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


One Response to “I HAVE A SECRET: My VERY best cookbook*”

  1. Larousse Cuisine Says:

    Thank you for mentioning our book!
    You may also be interested to know that we have created a website (in French for the moment) with more than 1600 recipes: http://cuisine.larousse.fr
    It’s an open website, where people can submit their recipes.
    In case you wish to know more about our publications, prizes & videos, you can always visit our facebook fan page: http://facebook.com/laroussecuisine
    and twitter profile: http://twitter.com/laroussecuisine
    Best regards
    Larousse Cuisine