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Cookbook of the Month poll

On the voting thread for April, there was some interest in just cooking from "Patricia Wells at Home in Provence: Recipes Inspired by Her Farmhouse in France" for the month of May, instead of voting for the month of May. Would the majority of the hounds rather do that or vote for a new one? Thanks!

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  1. I'd be happy to cook from it - I've enjoyed some of her other books.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MMRuth

      I have the book and several others by her. It is an okay book. In the French vein I find Susan Herrmann Loomis' French Farmhouse cooking more interesting and also her On Rue Tatin is an amusing read and good cookbook.

      1. Oh shoot. I went to pull this off my bookshelf to glance through it before responding, only to discover that I don't have it! Argh. I have Patrica Well's The Provence Cookbook. I've had it for a couple of years, never cooked a bit from it, but thoroughly enoyed the hour I just spent with it.

        Anyway, there seemed to be a lot of support for At Home, so I think that's fine. I'll likely not buy it, but I might check it ouf of the library or look for recipes online.

        Thanks for all of your work on this Katie Nell!

        1. The book is terrific. I love reading it, and love the recipes. I recently made the Daube and it turned out to be exceptional. People actually swooned. So many other wonderful recipes I want to try.

          1. I got the book from my library after learning it was a contender for this month's selection. There are def. some recipes I want to try, so I'd be more than happy to have this for May's book.

            1. Any other thoughts? I don't want to run with this, if not everyone is on board!

              (Just a note- a Julia Child cookbook is slated for Fall when JoanN will take over organization of the Cookbook of the Month!)

              1. Sounds good to me!

                Though I'll throw in Suzanne Goin's "Sunday Suppers at Lucques" again as a contender, just to be difficult. ; )

                4 Replies
                1. re: Rubee

                  Sounds great to me! I will be in Provence in June for my honeymoon and cant wait to get in the mood by cooking some of those foods! :)

                  1. re: Rubee

                    Suzanne Goin's book is delicious. I've been cooking from it for the past year. Everything I've made has turned out outstanding,

                    I'm a big P Wells fan, as well. don't have the book you're talking of, tho. not sure I need another Provence book. I TEACH Proven├žal cooking, for Pete's sake, and have at least 30 cookbooks on the subject, already.

                    Have you all cooked from ""In the Hands of a Chef" by Jody Adams? that's another fantastic book!

                    1. re: ChefJune

                      I have "In the Hands of a Chef." What a wonderful book! It is so cook friendly. I really like Suzanne Goin's "Sunday Suppers at Lucques" too. As a person who cooks for a living and loves to cook when not working, those two books are an inspiration.

                      1. re: zataar

                        zoinks! I have that (In The Hands Of A Chef) and never opened it!
                        It, er, was a gift. What do you like in it/about it?

                  2. I'm not that interested in that particular Wells book, and so
                    I'd appreciate a vote.

                    Suzanne Goin's "Sunday Suppers at Lucques"
                    "Local Flavors" by Deborah Madison
                    Richard Olney "Simple French Food"
                    Chez Panisse "Vegetables" -- this one seems to have the answer to my question when other books don't, and the recipes are very very good thus far.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: pitu

                      I love the idea of chez panisse vegetables, or another vegetable specific book for the spring. also second sunday suppers because i have it and could use some motivation to use it.

                      1. re: rose water

                        I agree... I love the 'theme' books and we haven't done any really vegetarian yet! :D


                      2. re: pitu

                        I love the idea of either CP Veg or Sunday Suppers at Lucques. I have several Wells book but not the new one.

                      3. I'm afraid I never warmed up to that particular Wells book. As another poster noted, there's something smug about the tone of the book. Her Bistro Cooking book, on the other hand, is a favourite of mine.

                        How about something streamlined, modern and fun, something that Aussies seem to do so well? Bill Granger and Donna Hay come to mind.

                        1. Ah, geez, you guys were supposed to make this easier, not harder!! ;-) I really have plenty of suggestions from the last suggestion thread too, plenty to wade through again.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Katie Nell

                            Ha - we wouldn't let you off that easy ; )

                            Actually, I'm pretty sure that Sunday Suppers outnumbered Patricia Wells Provence cookbook in the original April suggestions thread, if that helps.

                            1. re: Rubee

                              Yes, Sunday Suppers has had consistent interest over the months so could be in a run-off with a couple of others.

                              Katie, do what you can but don't worry about it too much. You could either have a run-off w/ suggestions given in this thread and last month's thread or start a fresh suggestion thread for May's book as you did for April's. I'll still cook from Wells' book if it's chosen or not.

                              1. re: Rubee

                                I took Sunday Suppers out of my library and was underwhelmed with it. Not one I'd like to add to my library.

                            2. thanks for doing this Katie Nell. As you know we're all an opinionated bunch, but I for one only want to offer you praise and thanks (since I'm not organizing!) . . . and a few ideas.

                              I suggest soliciting ideas and have a runoff vote among 3, as in the past.
                              I'd chime in for Sunday Suppers as an option. It's a perennial suggestion that's been postponed.
                              Also perhaps a Spanish cookbook (the new french?) for now or in the future -- Teresa Barrenechea "the cuisines of spain" and there are other new Spanish cookbooks.

                              Or at some point an Asian cookbook, such as Simple Chinese cooking by Kylie Kwong or Susanna Foo's "fresh inspiration : new approaches to Chinese cuisine" or Into the Vietnamese Kitchen.
                              Or a Nina Simonds cookbook for healthy.

                              Another idea is to check out the James Beard & IACP nominees at https://www.ecookbooks.com/products.h...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: NYchowcook

                                If it were going to be Asian my vote would be for The Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook by Fuchsia Dunlop because I LOVE her Sichuan book sooo much!!!

                              2. Sorry Katie, don't want to make your life difficult either, but I would also be interested in Chez Panisse vegetables or Sunday Suppers. Now that the weather is getting warmer, I'm more interested in dishes that rely heavily on the freshness of the ingredients. I'm sure Provencal food does that, but I kind of have the impression that it's heavier, country food.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: AppleSister

                                  Is it getting warmer there?!? Low of 18 forecasted on Easter here! It's hard for me to think about seasonal vegetables right now! Would most everyone else have access to a good variety of vegetables for May? (I so want corn season to be here!!)

                                  1. re: Katie Nell

                                    Actually, I was being overly optimistic. It's in the 40s here in NY, and that is not warm. But I guess I wish it were!

                                      1. re: Katie Nell

                                        I think the idea of doing a vegetable book is a great one, but I think the timing would be better to do that in August or September, when there are so many great vegetables available. CP Vegetables is a good one, and I also like Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian, and Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Madison.

                                        1. re: JasmineG

                                          I agree that a vegetable book would be best in the summer (July-Aug), and I particularly like CP Vegetables and love Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

                                          Other ideas for the future are Chinese -- Fushsia Dunlop has a new Hunan cookbook "revolutionary chinese cookbook", and a sichuan cookbook called "land of plenty." Also, to consider Kylie Kwong "simple chinese cooking", and I know there are lots of other highly regarded Chinese cookbooks.

                                          I'm also intrigued by "cradle of flavor" by James Oseland covering home cooking of Indonesia, Malaysia & Singapore.

                                          Food for thought, Katie Nell!

                                2. Hi, I am new to this site and would like to take part in the newest Cookbook of the Month discussion. Have you decided on a book for April? If so, how do I find it on the site? I really enjoyed your January discussion re Zuni Cafe. I am a big fan of Judi Rodger's writing and cooking. Diana

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: kennedy

                                    Here you go!

                                    For April, we're cooking out of Arabesque by Claudia Roden.


                                    1. re: Rubee

                                      Thank you. I am not familiar with this book so I'll have to go and get it. Should be fun.

                                  2. Cast my vote for Patricia Wells. Her recipes are delicious, very seasonal, and designed for the home cook. Beautiful food, healthful and delicious.

                                    I recently made the Three Beef Daube and it was a huge success.

                                    1. I checked the Wells book out of the library and voted for Arabesque because I was somewhat underwhelmed by it. So, I'm not crazy for doing it in May, but am also comfortable just not cooking from one of the books we choose (since I don't always manage to cook from them even when I have voted for something, sigh!).

                                      Thanks for asking, Katie.

                                      1. Okay, after some discussion with redwood2bay and much agonizing on my part, I'm getting ready to post the voting thread for May! Here was my thought process between this thread and the April suggestion thread on the choice:
                                        - a lot of people were okay with At Home in Provence, but quite a few were vehemently against it, so I chucked it from the voting this time around (even though it is my own top pick- see how democratic I am!! ;-)!
                                        - we just did an Asian cookbook not that long ago, so I wanted to go with a different theme this time
                                        - I am extremely interested in cooking from Frank Stitt's Southern Table, but I would like to save this until further into summer, preferably when corn is at perfection!
                                        - oh yes, and it seems like people enjoy theme months, so I am also trying to stick with a theme for the voting in May!

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: Katie Nell

                                          Hey Katie -- my $.02 -- I'd love to do something (maybe during the summer, when people don't want to be slaving over a hot stove?) that focuses on quicker cooking, maybe a little less involved (I know that some people do the cookbook thread because they want the opportunity and impetus to do more involved cooking). I'd love something that expanded my repertoire of weeknight recipes. And I don't mean Rachael Ray. For future months I'd love something like Nigella Lawson -- a lot of her recipes are fairly quick, or Jacques Pepin has a whole series of books on quicker cooking, and I think he's a master of technique. Even Patricia Wells Bistro cookbook -- I'd just love something simpler. Simple doesn't necessarily mean novice.

                                            1. re: Amuse Bouches

                                              You know, I've made a fair number of dishes from Arabesque the past couple weeks (I still need to post my reports!), and I'm shocked at how easy and simple the recipes are. Many of them don't even require specialty ingredients or slaving over a hot stove/oven all day. On top of that, I've been feeling very healthy and energized from all the grains, veggies, and olive oil.

                                              And Katie, thanks for laying out your thought process for us. I look forward to voting and cooking from the next book!

                                            2. re: Katie Nell

                                              Frank Stitt's book is much more than about corn. It is a really seasonal book. He is a member of Slow Foods and a great proponent of seasonal cooking. Just had his sweet potato tart with coconut crust and cream anglaise a couple of weeks ago. It could float off of the plate. There is food for every season in that book and i cook from it quite often.

                                              1. re: Candy

                                                I know, I know, I know! :-) I can't please everyone though, and sometimes just have to go with my gut instinct.

                                            3. I urge everyone to consider Patricia Wells, new book, "Vegetable Harvest." This is not strictly a vegetarian book, but veggies are front-and-center, making it a perfect choice for this time of year. Most of the recipes are French-inspired, but with a "heavy foreign accent." For lunch today I had the Baby Spinach, Radish, and Mint Salad -- light and very delicious.