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September 2006 Cookbook of the Month: Your Feedback Here

Hello, hounds,

Well, October is only days away now, so I thought we should have a conversation about how the cookbook of the month experiment is going. Have you enjoyed it? Is it manageable with the limited thread format we have been using? Should we continue? Are you OK with my continuing to organize this?

** Also, I wanted to know if folks wanted to continue with Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking for a few more weeks or if we were ready to select a new cookbook for October.

Whenever we select a new cookbook, these are my current plans for starting threads as long as we are on the Home Cooking board:
-- around five threads for extensive reviews of new recipes we are trying
-- one thread for discussion of recipe selection, so that groups of people can get together and you can get feedback before you try a recipe
-- (new) one thread for "past picks and pans" where people can post shorter reviews of recipes they may have done in the past
-- one overall thread for general discussion

I've asked the chowhound team for their opinions but haven't heard back yet. Now I'm asking for yours. Feel free to post specific or general comments on the cookbook of the month.

And thanks for your participation!

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  1. I think you are doing a fabulous job of organizing the discussion. I've really enjoyed reading and cooking with other people and it's been great having other cooks give their feedback as to what's worked and what hasn't.

    I do have a problem with finding the threads because of the business of the HC board. I did bookmark them, but I keep forgetting to check "My Chow." More my problem that the boards but I wish there were a way to keep the threads together.

    For October, my vote is to "All About Braising" by Molly Stevens. Mostly because when the idea was tossed about a couple of weeks ago, I immediately requested the book from the library. I've briefly glanced at the book and am very excited about the recipes. Furthermore, I am in Boston and the air is cool enough for braising weather. Lastly, I mentioned it to my husband and friends and they are excited to try the braises.

    My personal preference is that we choose a cookbook sooner rather than later. Maybe halfway through the current month? I am a library cookbook tester outer before I can commit to buying a cookbook. I usually need a couple of weeks for the book to come in.

    Overall, I love this project. But, then again, I am a food geek with a slight OCD, type A personality. Peanut gallery, feel no need to comment ;-)

    1 Reply
    1. re: beetlebug

      Ditto on the request to announce the next choice earlier than later, as I, too, request them from the library.

    2. I cooked on Sunday--where do I post. I could not find the thread. I am willing to keep with Essentials or move on to another. It would be good if the threads were pinned so we could find them easily. Keep up the good work. The only thing I think I would ask is a little detail on not only the taste but the methodology, clarity of the recipe etc. if applicable.

      1 Reply
      1. re: faijay

        Okay, I found it. Now I see how to get to the threads. You have to write down the ids.

      2. First of all, thank you for doing all this work setting this up. But I am desperately jealous of all of the cooks who have been cooking up a storm. My copy is still in the mail from an online bookstore.

        I am keeping up on the posts and will hopefully get some last minute cooking in this weekend and then join in. So, my only request is that we choose a cookbook well in advance so I can join the fun if I don't have it on my shelf already.

        Thanks again and looking forward to next month.

        1. I don't have All About Braising and don't plan to get it. I would prefer to cook something new and unfamiliar, the only recipes I tried during the Marcella month were gnocchi and the carrots because I've made so many of the others.

          Can I suggest one (or more) of Bayliss' books? I have Mexico Everyday, haven't made anything except a salsa from it yet. It's a cuisine I'd like to know more about.

          I've also barely skimmed the Zuni cookbook and would like to try more of Rodgers recipes. I think many members of this board have this book already.

          For really hardcore foodies, there's Paula Wolfert's Cooking of Southwest France which I love even if I don't have the time to attempt many of her complicated recipes.

          My personal current favorite is Ana Sortun's Spice which is her creative take on Turkish/Eastern Mediterranean cuisine. I've cooked through a fair number of the recipes and enjoyed it thoroughly. I'm not sure if many members have the book, know her restaurant Oleana or have access to ingredients, so this many remain a personal exploration.

          5 Replies
          1. re: cheryl_h

            I'd go for a Bayless book. I have 3 and have cooked from them but not extensively, I tend to go back to my family's S. Az. recipes. Braising is something I tend to do all winter and have no need of a book on it.

            1. re: Candy

              Ditto on braising. The technique is really simple and I'm not going to get a book just to read different combinations of ingredients.

              1. re: cheryl_h

                Not trying to disagree with you, but I'm sure that not everyone is going to like every cookbook, so just because it's not new and unfamiliar to you, doesn't mean that it's not new and unfamiliar to someone else.

                1. re: Katie Nell

                  Of course, but I was posting my suggestions as the OP asked and giving the reasoning behind those suggestions.

              2. I think the organization of the threads so far has been great, but reiterate that it would be nice if we could keep the threads together. Perhaps if the project continues to enjoy success, there could be a board dedicated to the "cookbook of the month project" or the like.

                As to cookbook selection, I think it would be helpful if in the future we could pre-select the book for the following month about two weeks before the month starts, so that people who want to get it from the library or order it on-line have some lead-time to get the book.

                My preference for the next book would be to go with Bayless or Zuni Cafe Cookbook, since I already have those. But I'm open!