[CnD] some info on Peg Bracken for those interested

Laury-Johnson, Shawnese (LARA) laury-johnsons at michigan.gov
Fri Jul 22 14:17:17 CEST 2016

Thanks for sending this. Do you know if any of her books are available through BARD? 

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeanne Fike via Cookinginthedark [mailto:cookinginthedark at acbradio.org] 
Sent: Thursday, July 21, 2016 11:11 PM
To: cookinginthedark at acbradio.org
Cc: Jeanne Fike <jfike636 at charter.net>
Subject: Re: [CnD] some info on Peg Bracken for those interested


I got the following on Peg Bracken from Wikipedia for those interested.



Ruth Eleanor Bracken was born on Feb. 25, 1918, in Filer, Idaho, and reared in Clayton, Mo. (She adopted the nickname Peg as a young woman.) She earned a bachelor's degree from Antioch College in 1940 and later worked as a freelance advertising copywriter. Died Oct 23, 2007 Born in Filer, Idaho, Bracken grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and graduated from Antioch College in 1940. She married and moved to Portland, Oregon, where she worked as an advertising copywriter

along with Homer Groening, father of Matt Groening.

She lived for a number of years in 

Bolinas, California.


During the 1960s and 1970s, Bracken's writing reassured women that they did not have to be perfect to have a happy, well-managed home. Her best-known book

is The I Hate to Cook Book, written in 


The book came about when she and some other working-women friends "pooled their ignorance" and came up with a core of recipes strong on ease of preparation.

It was followed by The I Hate to Housekeep Book and The Appendix to the I Hate to Cook Book. The two cookbooks were later published together as The Compleat

I Hate to Cook Book. All are illustrated with amusing line drawings by 

Hilary Knight

(best known for illustrating 



Kay Thompson).

The recipes are distinguished by unusual names and peppered with sardonic comments. For example, one recipe is for "Wolfe Eggs," which are for eggs the

way the fictional 

Nero Wolfe

would cook them. "Stayabed Stew" could be left to cook by itself and was perfect "for those days when you are en negligee, en bed, with a murder story

and a box of bonbons, or possibly a good case of flu"; mashed potatoes topped with cheese and baked in a casserole become "

Spuds O'Grotten".

A chapter on vegetables and salads is subtitled "This Side of 


"; her selection of simple family-oriented main dishes is "30 Day-by-Day Entrees, or, The Rock Pile". The recipes themselves were written in much the same

style ("Brown the garlic, onion, and crumbled beef in the oil. Add the flour, salt, paprika, and mushrooms, stir, and let it cook five minutes while you

light a cigarette and stare sullenly at the sink").


She went on to write books in a similar vein on housekeeping, etiquette and travel. She also wrote humorous pieces for women's magazines.


... in the past few years I have unintentionally made some culinary discoveries, mainly involving prepared foods and easier ways to do things ... I am

well aware that to skilled and ardent cooks my innocent pride in these findings will resemble that of the little man who showed up at the Patent Office

last year with his new invention, designed for talking across distances, which he had named "the telephone."


Bracken continued writing into her seventies, publishing her last book, On Getting Old for the First Time, in 1997. She died in 2007. The I Hate to Cook

Book was updated and re-released in 2010.



She is survived by a daughter, Johanna Bracken, who wrote a foreword for the fiftieth anniversary edition of the I Hate To Cook Book.


Partial bibliography[


Cookinginthedark mailing list
Cookinginthedark at acbradio.org

More information about the Cookinginthedark mailing list