This week's Booking Through Thursday question asks: "What’s the most useful book you’ve ever read? And, why?"
Remember the old, silly game of adding "in bed" to any fortune cookie fortune? It made the fortune more meaningful. Har. Har.
When I read book questions like this, I have a similar, if more sacred rule: Add "other than the Bible" to any question that asks what is your superlative book in any category. Otherwise, the answers would be repetitive.
Even with that qualifier, my answer is still easy -- The Joy of Cooking. There is no more useful book in my house. There is no other book I turn to several times a week to teach me or remind me how to do something. It was the first cookbook I ever owned and, even though I have a newer edition now, it is still really the only cookbook I really need.
I may tweak the recipes or only use them for the basic structure, but every recipe is in there, from apple pie to pâté de foie gras. And there are many useful illustrations. Even my 1995 edition includes everyone's favorite, How to Skin a Squirrel: