Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Food: Recipes, cookbook reviews, food notes, and restaurant reviews. Unless otherwise noted, I have personally tried each recipe that gets its own page, but not necessarily recipes listed as part of a cookbook review.

Mimsy Review: Crockery Cookery

Reviewed by Jerry Stratton, February 14, 1998

Review of Crockery Cookery, with a recipe for Mint Wafers.

AuthorMabel Hoffman
PublisherBantam Books
Length288 pages
Book Rating6

There are updated versions of Mabel Hoffman’s book, but the one I have was written in 1975. The first half of the book is a review of the various crockpots on the market; the picture of the “Rival” crockpot looks exactly like the Rival I bought in 1994. It would appear that crockpots haven’t changed much in two decades. I’m not sure what the use of the crockpot reviews are. Chances are, if you’ve purchased this book, you already have one and aren’t going to buy another.

My biggest beef with Crockery Cookery is, well, the beef! Most of these recipes are heavily into meat. We’ve got 36 pages of beef, seventeen pages of “other meats”, 24 pages of poultry; and then 14 pages of vegetables (and where the bacon plant grows, I’m not sure), 13 pages of appetizers and beverages, 16 pages of beef and other soups; 10 pages of main dishes; eight pages of beans (mostly including some form of pork); and 18 pages of breads/cakes, 14 pages of desserts.

The desserts intrigued me most of all—for the three years before buying this book, 99% of what I cooked in the crockpot was either chili or baked beans. I knew that, in theory, you could bake bread in it if you had the right equipment. But Apple Brown Betty? Mincemeat? Mint Friggin’ Wafers????

Oh, and that “right equipment” for baking bread: it’s a coffee can, despite what your manual urges you to buy.

The beef section starts out with Creole Steak Strips. The recipe looks a bit bland for Creole, but it reflects well on the book to try. Lots of forms of steak and roasts, as well as a fondue and goulash or two. There’s one recipe for lasagna, which cheats: the last 45 minutes is at 350 degrees in your oven. “Other meats” starts out with lamb but quickly goes into pork chops and other piggy meat.

The vegetables section includes a couple of good “sauerkraut” style recipes with cabbage or red cabbage. The “soups” section also has a very good corn chowder. My Tangy Corn Chowder was inspired by the corn chowder in this book.

The “beverages and appetizers” chapter has a couple of tomato drinks, some very good-looking ginger and soy chicken wings, various cereal-style snacks and hot spiced fruit drinks.

The bean section is a bit sparse. You get a “congressional bean soup” like they make in DC, Portuguese beans, Boston beans, Vermont beans, and a few others.

Lots of good-looking bread and cake recipes; I don’t drink coffee so haven’t made any yet.

The “Fresh Pears in Wine” are amazing; as are various baked apples, the rhubarb, and probably the rest of the baked fruits. I haven’t had the nerve to try the mint wafers, but I’ve used that as the sample recipe in case you want to do it for me.

All in all, I wouldn’t go searching this book out. But if, like I do, you use the crockpot to make up the week’s lunches for the freezer, and you’re looking for some new ideas, Crockery Cookery is a reasonable choice.

Mint Wafers

  • 2 tblsp butter,
  • ¼ cup milk,
  • 15 oz white creamy frosting,
  • several drops mint flavor,
  • food coloring.
  1. Combine butter and milk in crockpot.
  2. Turn to high.
  3. Cover and heat until butter melts.
  4. Stir in frosting.
  5. Cook on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add mint and color.
  7. Turn to low.
  8. Drop from teaspoon onto waxed paper, swirling tips with spoon.
  9. Makes 5 dozen.

Crockery Cookery

Mabel Hoffman

My cost: $0.30

Recommendation: Easy and interesting

If you enjoyed Crockery Cookery…

For more about Bantam Books, you might also be interested in Laurel’s Kitchen.

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For more about crockpot, you might also be interested in Barbecue ribs stew, Chickpea stew, Heathen chili, Hot sauerkraut and sausage, Spanish chickpea stew, Tangy corn chowder, and Yogurt-Lemon Chicken Salad.