HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


How much will I regret getting rid of these cookbooks?

  • m

I'm about to sell some cookbooks. Most have been on the shelf since the day I bought them.

Has anyone made a great recipe from any of these books? Any recipes I should try before saying goodbye, or any recipes which will justify keeping a particular book?

These are the titles:
--Lord Krishna's Cuisine, the art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking, by Yamuna Devi
--Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking, by Julie Sahni
--Seductions of Rice, by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
--Charlie Trotter's Vegetables, by you-know-who
--Clearly Delicious, by Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz
--Taste, by David Rosengarten
--Recipes 1 2 3 by Rozanne Gold
--Healthy 1 2 3 by Rozanne Gold
--Cooking for Yourself, no discernible author, from the Williams Sonoma 'Lifestyle' Series (white and blue cover)
--Splendid Soups, by James Peterson
--The Savory Way, by Deborah Madison
--The Greens Cookbook, by Deborah Madison
--A Taste of India, by Madhur Jaffrey
--The Greenmarket Cookbook, by Joel Patraker
--A well-seasoned appetite, by Molly O'Neill
--Chez Panisse Vegetables, by Alice Waters
--Chocolate and the Art of Low Fat Desserts, by Alice Medrich
--Let them Eat Cake, by Susan Purdy
--Baking with Julia


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Chocolate and the Art of Low Fat desserts is a keeper, in my opinion. Recipies range from relatively simple, everyday desserts to fancy, high- end showpieces. Most are better described as "lower fat" than truly low-fat - but that is why they all taste good. The fallen chocolate souffle torte is one of my favorites, and no one believes me when I tell them its low fat.

    1 Reply
    1. re: SusanDB

      I agree, this is a wonderful book with both intricate and simple recipes. I would never part with this book. The fallen chocolate souffle cake is wonderful, especially if you add a thin layer of jam and raspberries on top .

    2. The yougurt-sesame marinated potatoes in Yamuna Devi's book are wonderful. I make her saag paneer all the time.

      1. I would never get rid of one of James Peterson's books. They are great for reference of the "right" way to do something.

        1 Reply
        1. re: srr

          I'm a sucker for the chicken tomatillo soup in his Splendid Soups.

        2. I would recommend going through each book, then simply make copies of the recipes that thrill you at first glance. Then, pass the book on to someone else to do the same...and so on...and so on...

          1. most of the books are keepers-
            if you want to rid yourself of any-i would gladly take them

            1. c
              cookbook addict

              Hi, my name is Jane; I'm addicted to cookbooks.
              I've been sober for a few months but fell off the wagon again recently and bought a few. But just a few! It's under control!
              Get rid of cookbooks... ? I don't understand. Are you dying? At least keep Seductions of Rice! For the love of all things holy! They had an article in in LA times about some sort of orange cake in that Susan Purdy book that was supposed to be good. Taste! Painstaking tested recipes by a bonafide food supergeek. You must try at least a few from that one.
              Chez Panisse Vegetables... oh my gosh, I can't talk about this anymore; It's too painful.

              3 Replies
              1. re: cookbook addict

                I really don't want to be known as an enabler, but are you familiar with Jessica's Biscuit?

                Great selection and prices. Even on newly published books.

                I'm not addicted (still in denial?), I don't really use cookbooks all that often, and I really have no storage space. but still, when that catalogue comes, I generally succumb...

                Link: http://www.ecookbooks.com/index.html

                1. re: bacchante

                  I find great buys at Half Price Books and of course Amazon.

                2. re: cookbook addict

                  Hi, Jane! My name is Kate and I'm a cookbook addict too. I know I am cuz when Im turned loose, I end up buying copies when I already HAVE a copy. And then I'm reluctant to give up EITHER copy! And now there's the internet for recipes!! So little time....so many recipes.....so little room in my tummy...what to do, what to do?

                3. Ditto what Hildegard said! You've got some great books there. Of the list, I would never part with anything by Julie Sahni or Madhur Jaffrey, Seductions of Rice (or their Flatbreads book), Yamuna Devi for a great reference and the almond stuffing on p 269, and Alice Waters, Rosengarten, and Julia just because. I don't use Madison very much but I'd keep her too. The others I'm not familiar with but Ortiz is generally very good.

                  1. Baking with Julia--Boca Negra

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Martha/Mo

                      Also, the Gingerbread Baby Cakes :-)

                      1. re: Gayla

                        Savory brioche pockets and pecan sticky buns.

                      2. re: Martha/Mo

                        I heartily second the boca negra. It always takes a little longer than the "exactly 30 minutes" which the recipe calls for, though. The accompanying white chocolate-bourbon whipped cream is amazing too.

                      3. If it were a matter of space and I had to get rid of any on your list, Charlie Trotter's Veg could go, he is so over the top on stuff and face it you are probably not going to do much from the book. Taste eh!, Recipes 123 and Healthy 123 I would not give shelf space to, Molly O'Neil's New York Cookbook is the better book by her, Cooking for Yourself, you could probably jettison too, Epicurious and some of the other food sites make it so easy to find so any recipes. I'm a cookbook collector too and have about 400. I took a hard look at what I had on hand,for classics and good reference books, I got rid of anything that was low fat and managed to weed out about 35 that were probably bought on a whim and then never used again. I worked in a kitchen shop a number of years ago and could get all of my cookbooks at cost. That made it easy to be indiscriminate.

                        Two I am considering donating to our Red Cross Book sale this year are The China Moon Cookbook by Barbara Tropp and her The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking. I have other Chinese cookbooks I like much better and use. Those 2 I don't. Someone else may swear by them but I'd rather free up some shelf space for something like Bouchon. That I would use.

                        1. c
                          cookbook slut

                          I reside in Tokyo and New York City and am a cookbook slut. Now finding that I must have a copy of the same book in both homes. So unneccessary. I do like the idea of photocopying those recipes you do like and purging the rest.

                          That being said, if you bake or like rice, keep the Seduction of Rice and Julia`s book. I do go back to those two, more as reference than for recipes.

                          By getting rid of these books, you will allow space for more interesting books to come into your life.

                          Simplify, simplify, simplify. You are my HERO!

                          1. Even if you don't use these regularly, I personally think these help to round out any collection and are great as timeless references and/or inspiration:

                            -Taste of India
                            -Chez Panisse Vegetables
                            -Baking w/ Julia

                            Let go of the rest, and you have decluttered a great deal.

                            1. For heaven's sake! PLEASE keep the Jaffrey and Alford books! When I relocated, I gave away my old collection to dear friends and rebuilt when I got settled in. The Jaffrey book I replaced instantly! If you do sell the others and then pine for replacements, you can find them pretty cheap at used bookstores, garage sales, etc., which is how I replaced my collection; cheaper than shipping them and certainly cheaper than buying new.

                              1. DO NOT deprive yourself of Yamuna's "Lord Krishna's Cuisine." Unless, of course, you don't like Indian food and never plan to cook it.

                                Here are recipes that I turn to again and again:

                                Chickpeas in tomato glaze
                                Curried cauliflower and potato
                                Chana dal with zucchini
                                Curried black chickpeas
                                Matar panir
                                The many saag dishes (especially the one with currants and cashews!)
                                Mustard vegetable soup, all summer long
                                Chenna pakora (!!!!), an absurd indulgence fit for a king

                                and a lot more that I cannot remember off the top of my head.

                                Furthermore, Yamuna taught me how to make panir cheese from milk and lemon juice, and she's got a good oven ghee method. And good, detailed, easy to follow recipes and methods for various breads, such as pooris and chapatis.

                                Also many good spice mix recipes for chaat masala, garam masala, etc.

                                For me and my partner this is the essential Indian cookbook. The only section I have found wanting is her pickles, and I think that's cuz she doesn't use garlic.

                                I think she is so good at explaining the recipes and techniques because she is an American who had to learn all the tricks herself as an outsider.

                                I also like Julia Child a lot, and Deborah Madison, and I have had some great things from Alice Waters' Vegetable cookbook...but of the books you listed, Yamuna's bible is the only book I would never, ever part with.

                                Link: http://www.pdbd.com/henwaller