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OP: Casserole Cookery

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by Marian and Nino Tracy

The Viking Press, 1943. Spiral bound. Very Good.

“Being lazy and liking to cook and to entertain, we struggled futilely for a long time over how to combine these features pleasantly. Finally the thing came to us—that thing being a casserole,” begins this 1941 book by a former food editor and her husband, Marian and Nino Tracy.

One pot/pan cookery is an evergreen category, so here are 150 recipes that honor laziness in the kitchen while getting something edible on the table. 

Sleekly designed, the book keeps one recipe to a page, and each includes menu suggestions, a few lines for “cook’s comments” and a sometimes-cheeky note from the authors. Ham and oyster pie, for example, could be served with a salad and buttermilk biscuits “(prepared ones that come in tubes).” 

The steak and onion pie might take advantage of leftover steak “if you have it; we never do,” comment the authors. The pork chops with sour cherries casserole is described as “weird but winning.” 

Charming and fun.

Ours is a 1943 fourth printing, bearing the ownership stamp of Ann B. Zekauskas on the front free endpaper. Ann B. Zekauskas (1927–2014) was one of the first notable food stylists who entered the field in the 1950s and was particularly known for her skill with styling ice cream under hot studio lights. Very Good with some soiling and fraying to the cloth boards. Spiral bound. 

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