If you look on GoodReads under "Popular Cookbooks Books" (sic) the Joy of Cooking is right at the top. It's reputably the go to cookbook, a "teaching" cookbook for those who don't just burn toast, they're capable of burning water. I'm not that bad, but neither am I a gourmet---I could use some teaching. I've long coveted this doorstopper book of 1,132 pages containing 4,500 recipes and finally broke down and ordered it when I had a Barnes and Noble coupon. It's like an encyclopedia of cooking. It took some getting used to. The recipes aren't organized in the manner I've come to expect. Take, for instance, the beginning of the recipe for Chili Con Carne on page 513: Pat dry: 3 pounds boneless beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes Season with: 1 to 2 teaspoons salt Heat in a large skillet over medium-high heat: 2 tablespoons olive oil And so on. Do you see what I mean? I'm used to recipes that list all the ingredients at the top, with instructions separate beneath. It was so different than how I'd done things for decades it was hard to adjust initially, although its ways have grown on me. Worth the price alone just for the sections after recipes such as "Keeping and Storing Food," "Know Your Ingredients" and "Cooking Methods and Techniques."