30 August 2009

august 30



What cookbook do you find yourself using over and over?

I read cookbooks like other people read novels. (Which, by the way, I once read was a sign of an eating disorder... yeah right!...) I never learned to cook when I was younger and in college lived on take out and frozen dinners. So you can imagine my panic when first realizing that Spain had not embraced the jarred, canned, and frozen phenomenon us Americans had. At the time, learning to cook seemed more daunting than learning Spanish... A friend gave me The New Basics Cookbook when I first got married. It was the only cookbook I used for years.
Now, I have over a hundred cookbooks, I only buy fresh seasonal produce, can look a fish in the eye and know when it has met its maker, and know the difference from a good wine and a great wine. However, every once in a while, I´ll revisit The Basics. I can usually find her squeezed between two Vietnamese cookbooks, her pages are stained, her back is breaking, and she is missing her front cover. I hardly cook from her anymore, but love flipping through her pages anyway. It always feels like coming home to an old friend. Who knew I could get so nostalgic over a cookbook?...

25 comments:

Le blÖg d'Ötli said...

Actually, I'm not a cook ! But I can see in my libray an old encyclopedia, brought by my parents, fifty years ago... It's quite complete... Then, in my drawers, I can find a lof of pieces of papers... took in magazines ;)

likeschocolate said...

Today, I mostly use recipes off of blogs, but my favorite cook book is called the New Basics Cookbook by Shiela Russo. Shiela was the owner of Silver Spoon in New York. All of her recipes are yummy and all seem to work out.

isabelle said...

my favorite cook book is the one I made collecting recipes from family, friends, magazines ... I try them first then the recipe can enter in the book if the family gives an approval !!

laméditerraine said...

Mmm I can cook,not perfectly,but my parents taught me how: tortilla de patata,italian food,anything in the oven,pies and cakes (those are my favourites)...
The only cook book I ever used was Karlos Arguiñano's one (you must know he's like a celebrity here xD)

Kamana said...

I love reading cookbooks. And can never resist buying them either. I am a big fan of Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson, but the most frequently used cookbook is probably Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course.

Crescent Moon said...

Mine is the Betty Crocker Cookbook that used to be my Grandmother's. The cover is damaged and some of the pages are no longer attached. I also have some notebooks filled with handwritten recipes and glued-in magazine pages from the days before internet and when I didn't have enough money to buy cookbooks. I would hand copy the recipes I wanted to keep out of library cookbooks.

caitlin said...

I usually look online for recipes. I have a bunch of cook books and don't often use them.

Anandi said...

I love love love the picture!

kyndale said...

I have a lot of cookbooks but I really like to cook stuff I find on the internet.

julochka said...

i have four that i return to over and over again, but have to say that The One is Jamie Oliver's Happy Days with the Naked Chef. but i love Nigel Slater's Real Food and Nigella's Forever Summer. oh, and the first Moro cookbook, by Sam & Sam Clark. those are my top four. :-) but i also have close to 100. :-)

Joanna Jenkins said...

"I read cookbooks like other people read novels." ME TOO! I love cookbooks. Right now Ina Garten is an easy "go-to" book but my fave is The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. I've used it for 15 years.

Did you read Julia Childs: My Life in French or see the movie "Julie & Julia" yet? The book is fabulous and the movie is pretty good. I recommend them to all food lovers.

Cris Siqueira said...

i love to cook but i only have on cookbook and i never used it! i always look for recipes on web!!

happy week jane
beijos

juliette said...

Spices of Life by Nina Simonds - i was a personal assistant for her on this book, her 7th, and have to say - honestly - I have about 8 recipes from this book we use on a regular basis, and I've tried almost every single recipe and love them all - lots of friends have used this book so much they just bought their own =) The pork/sweet potato stew is one of my husband's favorite winter dishes!

Kathy said...

I read cookbooks like novels, too! A Some of them are so well-written that they read better than fiction!!

Elizabeth said...

I'm really into The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper right now. There's a wonderful online newsletter as well from the same author, but that escapes me. I also love the food section of apartmenttherapy.com, and there are excellent recipes always in the back of Better Homes and Gardens, believe it or not.

Elizabeth said...

I'm really into The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper right now. There's a wonderful online newsletter as well from the same author, but that escapes me. I also love the food section of apartmenttherapy.com, and there are excellent recipes always in the back of Better Homes and Gardens, believe it or not.

Joyce said...

Ooooh I love cookbooks too! I can't get enough of them and cooking magazines. I cut and clip recipes and have files of them. I always said I should go through all of my recipes and pick the best. Really how many chocolate cake recipes does one need?

When are you coming home? xoxo

nicola said...

if i could only choose one for my shelf, it would be the joy of cooking. from basic to complex, it has it all.
nicola
http://whichname.blogspot.com

Sammi said...

I currently only own two cook books, but one is of course my beautiful Spanish tapas book. I love how I can make something from that book from anything in this house that's leftover :o)

Amy Bradstreet said...

I also read cookbooks like novels. There are a couple I return to regularly. The Fannie Farmer Cookbook for basics, The Tassajara Bread Book for my bread baking and Alice Water's The Art of Simple Food.

Ani said...

How to Eat Supper by Lynne Rosetto Kasper and Sally Swift. Holy cow, I've not had one bad meal from this book and the recipes are all fast, fast.

Cate said...

are you kidding? hmmm. i have to go with anything ina garten. the contessa is fabulous.

Barbara said...

I must own close to 50 cookbooks. I can honestly say I've probably read 35 of them. They are my friends!! Last year for Christmas I went through all of them as well as our recipe box and picked out my husbands favorites. I entered them into word with a personal note about most of the recipes (like where it came from, any funny stories as we served a particular dish, etc.) and printed it out on scrapbook paper and put them into a scrapbook/photo album. It was my gift to my husband for Christmas. I would have to say we use that one almost every day!

Lily Boot said...

I'm with you - cookbooks are better than novels. My favourites for reading are Elizabeth David - especially her Christmas cookbook, and Jane Grigson - what a treasure trove of information. For cooking, How to be a Domestic Goddess wins hands down - I'm amazed my hard backed copy is till holding together!

Esti said...

Ha, ha... None. I don't cook, and I'm too old to learn...

pink

I knew a girl who was blue. So she painted her world pink. xoxo