JOY, JOY, JOY!!!
Joy of Cooking is my kitchen bible. I was sooo happy to see the family put out a revised, updated, revisited, reworked 75th edition. It was the only thing on my Christmas list this year.
I developed a little test to judge a good cook book that makes any such claims such as, "The Only Cook Book You'll Ever Need". I look up saurkraut and if the recipe begins with; "open a can of saurkraut and..." I close the book.
Funnily enough, the recipe in my prized 75th edition of Joy for saurkraut, on page 256 advises to either use "store bought" or use the recipe for fresh on page 256. It's a circular reference to itself. It should point the reader to page 954 where the actual recipe for fresh saurkraut begins with "take a head of cabbage..."
Don't get me wrong, I've never made fresh saurkraut in my life, but I like it, and just may try to make it some day. I just find it heartening to know that there really IS a reliable compendium of all kinds of techniques and information on the subject of cooking. Way more than the best manual ever, it also informs, provides anecdotal histories, recommendations for entertaining, and even what to do when all else fails.
My favorite quoted quote refers to ham or pork items; "The pig is never as revered in life as it is in death." I just love that.