The Kitchen Ranger: Fast and Easy Recipes Anyone Can Prepare


185 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 0-458-99420-0




Reviewed by Janet Arnett

Janet Arnett is the former campus manager of adult education at Ontario’s Georgian College. She is the author of Antiques and Collectibles: Starting Small, The Grange at Knock, and 673 Ways to Save Money.



This is a friendly, highly individual collection of recipes designed for anyone who can’t cook. The starting premise is that today a lot of people who missed a basic indoctrination into cooking must somehow cope in the kitchen. Many of the people in this category are men. Males, traditionally, are not taught to cook, yet as single parents or partners in a two-career household, they find they’re required to produce meals. Godley can help. She’s taught cooking classes for men and knows how much men don’t know. Her starting point is several steps back from that assumed by most cookbooks. She doesn’t expect the reader to know how to tell if a cake is done or exactly what’s meant by “greens.”

The book has an introductory section on shopping, cookery terminology, kitchen tools, and seasonings. Most recipes have a brief introduction intended to encourage the faint-hearted to get on with the chore at hand.

The recipes cover the range from soups to desserts and venture into the popular fields of game cooking and bread-making. All are geared to a modern, on-the-run lifestyle, yet they’re “real cooking” — not opening cans and packages.

There are recipes for quiche, macaroni and cheese, roast beef, and other things for which most cooks would never use a recipe. The real nature of the book is revealed under the heading “more elaborate meals”: there you’ll find directions for stew and chili.

The presentation is the traditional list of ingredients (imperial and metric measurements) followed by the method. It’s in the method that it rapidly becomes apparent this cookbook is different. There’s as much encouragement as instruction. You’re reminded to turn on the oven, to be careful, not to beat the batter too hard, to cover the leftovers. With hand-holding like this, any reader can get dinner on the table and may even come to enjoy the task.


Godley, Eleanor, “The Kitchen Ranger: Fast and Easy Recipes Anyone Can Prepare,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 19, 2024,