Minimal Effort Cooking

Just Make Reservations
Housebuilding for Children

holy housewife cookbook cover

Holy Housewifery Cookbook

This cookbook is about cooking with the least amount of effort. This book is the author’s collection of recipes gathered from the wild: newspaper clippings, labels off jars, etc. Essentially, it is a 1960’s version of a Pinterest board. Most of the recipes are designed to be low effort, inexpensive, just a few ingredients, with some witty commentary thrown in. (This book reminds me of one of my mom’s favorites from that time, Peg Bracken’s I hate to cook book . It was her bible.) The copy I picked up looked like it had been used to death. I am not sure that a book like this would be as necessary as in the day of my mother. Pinterest and other recipe sites probably have that covered for the modern anti-cooking crowd.

I know a lot of folks that love to cook and experiment. This is not their book. This book is for people like me who have to cook because you have hungry people crying. I’d rather make reservations.


back cover

introduction to cooking

easy recipes

more recipes


  1. Looks as though it’s the result of an editorial board decision: “That secular Peg Bracken cookbook is a best-seller. Let’s publish a Catholic version!” It’s a sign of those outmoded times that Marbach (and Bracken) needed to be so self-deprecating about cooking. But Bracken, at least, was a sharp-witted, very good writer. (I think of her in company with writers like Jean Kerr. Cigarettes and martinis. The Mad Men years, pre-women’s lib.)…….But I’d like to read the Ethel Marbach version.

  2. There’s probably still an audience for this type of thing, if not this particular book.
    Some of us lazy cooks prefer not to poke at touchscreens with grubby hands and a well laid out cookbook has the whole recipe visible, no scrolling needed.

  3. Minimal Effort Cooking 2017:

    1) Pick up phone
    2) Dial pizza place (or open pizza place app)
    3) Order pizza
    4) Wait 20 minutes at room temperature
    5) Pay pizza dude and take pizza
    6) Serve and enjoy!

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