Published in '67 and '69, the Kaufmans' book provides an interesting perspective on America's emergence from the postwar period of austerity and denial into one of recognition of just how unsophisticated American cusine had become. The culinary environment in which the Kaufman's found themselves as they wrote was one where every dish had at least one can of condensed soup, canned vegetables, stretched with potato, rice, or noodle, and had to result in a one-pot casserole of some sort. Even when fresh vegetables were cooked alone, they had to stew in the pot for hours until no one could identify them any longer! "Gourmet" was equivilent to exotic, weird, or in some way involving foreign ingredients. No one had yet suggested that good old American homecooking could be gourmet. It is in this context that the Kaufmans approach their work.