Oh yes. Epic. Hurculean. In the world of cookbooks, this mammoth tome truly is a titan.
It's also physically monstrous. Twice as large as my accounting textbook from college (yet half as expensive and a thousand times more interesting). So enormous, in fact, that I feel I am not adequately relaying the scale of this elephantine volume.
Luckily, a member of the local live nativity scene happened to wander by the house, and as he was of average male stature, I asked him to stand near my new treatise.
Just kidding, of course. This is a figurine of St. Joseph, patron saint of carpentry, the home, and real estate. Though I cannot vouch for the averageness of St. Joseph's actual physical stature, his figurine probably 4 1/2 inches tall. But the book, seriously, is HUGE. So big that I'm afraid to stand it up near the edge of a countertop lest it topple and land on a dog. Which would not make for a Merry Christmas.
I've been lusting after this book for years. Firstly, I love comprehensive cookbooks. I want to know everything about every ingredient and every dish and every cooking method imaginable. I love to look up an ingredient or a dish and find it every time (Joy of Cooking is wonderful for that, by the way). Secondly, I am fascinated with food costing. How do restaurants even begin to order enough product to prepare to serve fresh to everybody that might walk through the door and balance that with not letting all of it go to waste if they don't walk in?