So, I've now tried five new recipes from Recipes for a Lady or a Man: The Achewood Cookbook. I tried to cook them as close to possible to the recipes, so here's the outcome.
The Verdict is:
Endearingly shitty but I'll hang onto it. It is not a professionally-written cookbook. Some of the recipes are decent (Toasted Nut Orzo), funny (The Drink of Tomorrow), or just junk food heaven (The Dogg is Home), but the two "mustard and mayo" recipes were pretty objectively terrible. Perfect Deviled Eggs Every Time had just way WAY too much vinegar and using canned beans in the Basque Green Bean Salad led to some pretty unpleasant textures but without any flavour.
Does it work as a cookbook? Not really - the recipes are a crapshoot and most of them need the benefit of improvisation and substitution. However, the reason I'm keeping it (apart from the massive stain that renders it unresellable) is that if you treat it not as a cookbook, but as a part of the comic, then it's awesome. If you liked Achewood, then this is a fantastic artefact of "what if the characters put together a cookbook?" The recipes are all in character, and there are wonderful diversions interspersed in the book. You'll get a lot more out of sitting down and reading it like a book instead of using it as a cookbook.