[CnD] some info on Peg Bracken for those interested

Wayne Scott waynedscottjr at gmail.com
Sat Jul 23 01:41:40 CEST 2016

I haven't seen any of hers on BARD.  I wish they were.

 ----- Original Message -----
From: "Laury-Johnson, Shawnese \(LARA\) via Cookinginthedark" 
<cookinginthedark at acbradio.org
To: "cookinginthedark at acbradio.org" 
<cookinginthedark at acbradio.org
Date sent: Fri, 22 Jul 2016 12:17:48 +0000
Subject: Re: [CnD] some info on Peg Bracken for those interested

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 


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 

...  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[

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