The Better Homes and Garden Cookbook, sentimentally called the "Red Plaid Cookbook" has been in my home since I was a wee child (six or seven). My mother would use this book for family favorites like macaroni and cheese, shepherd's pie, and other goodies like chocolate chip cookies and unbaked cookies.
When I began to cook, I would look in this cookbook for recipes for bread. This cook book was the one place that I could find anything and everything - not only recipes, but also information on how to pick ripe fruits and vegetables, how to cut meats, and how to boil eggs. Since my mother was not the best cook in the world, I could find the right way to prepare a dish using this book.
So when I left home I bought one of these cookbooks to take with me. I have been through about three of them. Each book changed a little from that original book with more information on exotic fruits and foods. There is flour and sticky fingerprints marking my favorite recipes.
My only disappointment with this cook book is that it does not have a shepherd's pie recipe - the one I loved to make so long ago. I have had to assemble this recipe from other books and recipes on the internet.
So if you want to learn how to cook basic food for your family, I recommend this as a starter cookbook. Go ahead. You'll learn to boil eggs. It is a great book.