“Best of Bridge” cookbooks are a popular series in Canada. It was started by eight women who had been getting together to play bridge for over a decade. They realized that a lot of the enjoyment they experienced was related to the food they shared around their card games, and they decided to create a cookbook of their favorite recipes. A business was born, and they’ve been publishing cookbooks ever since.
From the outset, “The Ladies of the Best of Bridge,” as they like to be known, had an unconventional vision of how their business would be run. It would be a partnership of equals, a celebration of friendship, and–perhaps most of all–it would be fun. The bank manager who approved their first loan warned them they would never stay friends. They vowed to prove him wrong. Now, more than 30 years and 3.2 million book copies later, they are enjoying the last laugh.
This latest book in their series begins with tips on selecting a slow cooker with features just right for you. They go on to talk about tips for preparing ingredients, how slow cooking is optimal for tougher cuts of meat, how best to use herbs and spices, and how to prep ingredients the night before so your time in the morning will be minimal.
200 recipes with clearly written instructions are provided, including everything from breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes to snacks, soups, breads, and desserts. Recipes range from extremely simple to more challenging dishes for special occasions.
If you’ve never used a crockpot before, the book starts at the very beginning. Even if you’re experienced with slow cooking, though, I think you might find some new techniques to try. For example, I don’t make custards very often because trying to load a tippy pan of custard dishes surrounded by water into a hot oven is just not something I look forward to doing. It’s a tricky balancing act. This book suggests cooking custard in a crockpot instead. I can still use the same single serving custard dishes, but I can set them into water in the bottom of the crockpot. Brilliant solution!
While some of the ingredients are definitely not found locally, many are, and others would be very easy to adapt. Below is a link to a local adaptation I made of their Beef Goulash recipe. Spicy and scrumptious!