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Is it possible not to love a crunchy almond cookie tossed in powdered sugar? And, after thousands of years of refining various cuisines, honing cooking tools, and passing down culinary knowledge from one generation to the next, is it possible to forget everything else when in the presence of one of these cookies?

Over years of observing the food world’s seasonal rush to make staple holiday dishes into exotic novelties, perhaps the most riffed-upon is the humble potato pancake, or latke.

We all have slightly unrealistic expectations about parties. When we plan one, we imagine (at least I do) perfectly ironed vintage linens atop the table, a loaf of homemade rustic bread, delicious cheeses and charcuterie, and home-canned jams, pickles, and conserves.

I feel as if I grew up in the age of the scone. I remember when coffee shops started carrying them, and it was a great treat when my mother made them at home. Now, scones are old hat. Not that they are any less delicious. In fact, they may be more so now that many of us have actually gotten the hang of making them. But does the world really need another scone recipe?

When I bought my copy of JOY after graduating high school, let's just say my cooking priorities were a lot simpler. I was living in a singlewide trailer on top of a hill and working on a goat farm. After a quick breakfast, I would work long days and come home after dark, looking for nothing so much as a simple dinner, a shower, and my twin-sized mattress on the floor.

Having a viable website has resulted in a steady stream of emails from JOY fans. As a result, we've been able to gather some basic information about the people who visit our site. One surprising find is that we have a solid fan base in Canada. I don't know why I find this surprising, as our neighbors to the North undoubtedly have many things in common with us.

Every year, I stockpile cookie recipes. I scour blogs, cookbooks, and my relatives' recipe boxes for ideas. I flip through food magazines at the doctor's office and never pass up an opportunity to ogle the cookie selection at any bakery I set foot in.

This time of year, we find ourselves eating greens of one kind or another almost every day. Cabbage, bok choy, spinach, tatsoi, collards, swiss chard, mustard greens, and kale are just some of the greens vying for position in our crisper drawers.

Love it or hate it, pumpkin pie is the quintessential Thanksgiving dessert. I, for one, have always been a fan of its bright orange hue, its custardy texture, and its affinity for whipped cream and mulled cider.


Joy of Cooking App for iPad and iPhone

After three years of collaborative effort with our friends at Culinate and Scribner, it is our pleasure to introduce the Joy of Cooking for iPad and iPhone! Please check out this full-featured, digital version of the 2006 edition. In addition to the recipes and indispensable reference information our readers know and love, the app has many features that are brand new to JOY:

  • Built-in recipe timers (you can have multiple timers going simultaneously)
  • Search for and filter recipes by key word, ingredient, cuisine, season, technique, diet, and more
  • Create shopping lists from within the app
  • Convert any recipe to metric automatically
  • Give voice commands or have recipe steps spoken to you
  • Create menus in the app
  • Share recipes from within the app
  • Color photography

Truly a JOY for the 21st century! Download by directing your browser to Don't forget to review the app!