The Joy of Cooking has been in the New York times a lot recently. First in the magazine and then this week in the food section, supposedly the cookbook issue.
In both articles, the 1997 edition, the one I have copy of, got a slagged a lot. In fact, my Joy was referred to as the new Coke of cookbooks. And, well, that really hurt. I think people are being unfair to my Joy. I have found it to be a great reference.
There are a few things I miss from my mom's copy. First, there is no squirrel recipe. As a child my mother would often read us the passage on squirrel much to our delight and amusement. Second, there is no jam chapter. The first jam I made was an apple butter from the Joy when I was in high school, so I was a little disappointed that they left out the jam. But otherwise the 1997 version is the tops. It doesn't use a lot of short cuts and is very informative. I check it everytime I am going to cook something new. Although, if I ever have to cook a squirrel I am going to be in trouble.