Worth the Price of the book -- 2
Great -- 3
Good -- 9
So-So -- 8
Flat-out bad -- 3
A respectable spread. There were some wonderful dishes here -- the blackberry cobbler, the halibut fettuccine, the 1-2-3 biscuits. There were also some abominations. (Creamy fried halibut. My stomach lurches just typing those words.)
The book as a whole is neither artfully nor carefully crafted; I have my doubts that the editors tested all the recipes, as several of them simply didn't work. Pains were not taken to ensure that instructions were clear and detailed.
What makes this volume extraordinary? It expresses the range and creativity of middle American cooking, genus Alaskan, without asserting a political or aesthetic agenda of its own. A welcome relief when you live in the land of Alice Waters. Best of the Best includes recipes for both flamboyantly artificial Jell-O salads and made-from-scratch chowders. I LOVE that. Here, we have a casually (or perhaps mindlessly???) unpretentious synthesis of high and low, a sadly rare phenomenon in American cookbooks, and culture.
Pompous summation concluded.
If anyone has a suggestion for the cookbook I should try next, please let me know.