Only those who have met and been won by the now rather timeworn Malones will respond as intended to the warmed-over anecdotes and background notes that accompany Beany's culinary secrets. Between chats is an abundance of simple, fully annotated recipes with an emphasis on standard meat loaf, hamburger, and chicken dishes, a preponderance of snacks and desserts, a few standard imports, a heavy reliance on canned soups in casseroles and stew pots, and a section on main dishes of eggs (a staple when the Malones were short of money). In an effort to update Beany's image there's even a chapter on ""the simple life,"" with sitar music in the background and biodegradable soap in the sink, featuring organically grown fruits and vegetables and offering directions for yogurt and unleavened wheat bread--but scarcely compatible with the canned soups. Despite the introductory tables of cooking terms and ""helpful hints"" (Beany found that a little oil in the water keeps spaghetti from sticking together and rice from sticking to the pan -- and it works), there is no attempt to teach basic procedures or principles of cookery. All in all, it's serviceable but unexciting fare -- about what you would expect the Malones to consume.