Why does food bring us such joy? Savoring the memory of your grandma’s biscuits and gravy, or a delicious dish from a memorable trip stirs up our emotions. Food means a lot to us—it speaks volumes about who we are and the traditions we hold dear. For almost a century one cookbook has been uniting people and sparking Joy with its recipes. Are you a part of the tradition, too?

In many American households, there is one iconic cookbook that graces the shelves of grandmothers and great cooks: the famous Joy of Cooking. These well-loved books are caked with flour and gravy and dog-eared to favorite holiday classics. Packed with beloved recipes, it has been an essential part of kitchens for decades and a go-to in pre-internet kitchens!

While many people have heard about Joy of Cooking, few have heard its beautiful history that runs generations deep. Thankfully, for a new generation of cooks putting on an apron for the first time, its rich tradition is still going.

So, put your napkin in your lap and cozy up for a story that will have you cherishing your next meal with family and friends a little more!

Image: Mother and child cooking together

Source: Pixabay

Bringing Joy for Nearly a Century

Joy of Cooking has sold over 20 million copies since it was first published over 90 years ago. 1 It has become an iconic part of so many kitchens, and a foundational book for budding cooks and skilled grandmothers alike.

Like the holiday traditions it has helped bring to the table, Joy of Cooking is a familial labor of love that has been passed down from generation to generation. Starting with Irma Rombauer’s first self-published edition in 1931, Joy has passed through four generations of her family.

Now in the hands of her great-grandson, John Becker and his wife, Megan Scott, Joy of Cooking is getting an update for 2019!

After going through nearly every recipe in the Joy of Cooking library, their newest edition brings back some of the classics that have been lost over the years. And, they’ve even added a few hundred new recipes for the 21st-century kitchen. Whether you love to spend your free time in the kitchen, or your cooking style revolves more around take-out, the remarkable story of Joy will leave you inspired. It’s a great reminder of the legacies our parents and grandparents leave behind for us to take up.

This generations-long labor of love continues to help us connect with our loved ones over a great meal. Here’s the wonderful story from CBS Sunday Morning.

This is such a great example of a CBS Sunday Morning piece! If you’re looking for a wonderful show to add to your rotation, tune in on Sunday mornings. Or, go check out their YouTube channel for more!

If you want to dive into connecting over a home-cooked meal or start a new food tradition of your own, you can check out the latest edition of Joy of Cooking. Maybe even pick up a copy for yourself or loved one who, perhaps, could use a little help in the kitchen!

You can find more Joy of Cooking inspiration over on their beautiful Instagram.

“A recipe is a story that ends in a good meal.”
—Pat Conroy

What is it about food that brings us together?

Breaking bread with people, even when they seem so different from us, allows us to enjoy a part of our humanity together. Food unites us. We can have nothing in common with somebody except for our love of good food or cooking a great meal, and suddenly our relationship with them can be transformed. We can all agree over good food!

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How would some of your more difficult relationships be different if you connected over food first, instead of your differences?

Look around the table at your next meal. What memories can you make from what you have around you?

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!


Dive into more tasty traditions!

If you’re hungry for more, go check out our full library of articles exploring the food traditions of the world. It’s a corner of Ever Widening Circles that might inspire you to take a little journey with your next meal!

Food on EWC


  1. Simon & Schuster. “Joy of Cooking.” Simonandschuster.Com, 2019, www.simonandschuster.com/joyofcooking. Accessed 27 Nov. 2019.
  2. CBS Sunday Morning. “‘Joy of Cooking’ and Its Recipe for Success.” YouTube, 10 Nov. 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSeseACJK1Y. Accessed 27 Nov. 2019.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

CEO of Ever Widening Circles, Founder of EWCed

Since 2015, Liesl has been a writer, editor, and is now the CEO at Ever Widening Circles. She is a life-long camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often root-tripping—outdoor enthusiast. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV