HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


July 2007 Cookbook of the Month: Cast Your Vote Here

Slightly late again, sorry! :-(

Please cast your vote for ONE of the following:


-- FOREVER SUMMER, by Nigella Lawson


Please add your votes to this thread. Voting will be open until June 15th. I'll announce the July cookbook of the month on June 16th.

Thanks for participating!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Vegetarian cooking for everyone - because I have that one, and it includes a very wide variety of food - could be used equally well by lots of different people.

    1. For the first time, I own all of them... I vote for Nigella, only because it is the one I use the least and will encourage me to pick it up.

      1. Chez Panisse Veggies!

        1. Forever Summer is my vote, since I own it and the recipes I've made from it have been great (including the CH fave - watermelon and feta salad).

          1. I have Forever Summer. outside of the Watermelon salad, I rarely use it...her fried Hloumi is good too. But my vote is for NONE OF THE ABOVE!!!!! To me Alice Waters so over, you at least 3-4years ago, old and tired. After the Greens cookbok I've never had much iterest in Deborh Madison. I gues I will be pasing again

            10 Replies
            1. re: Candy

              I agree. These books, in their time, were exciting. Now, they're old. There are many new and exciting vegetable-based and seasonal cookbooks that we could be considering. Why aren't we?

              1. re: pikawicca

                Either you or Candy are more than welcome to e-mail me if you would like to help with the organizing of the cookbook of the month... I would welcome the help, honestly. I simply went by what had the most suggestions in the suggestion thread this month. My e-mail is katie_nell@hotmail.com I look forward to your suggestions!

                1. re: Katie Nell

                  Katie - I just wanted to say you've done, and are doing, a FANTASTIC job putting all this time into going through threads and choosing the nominees for each month. And I think you've picked great choices - Arabesque and Sunday Suppers are two of my favorites. Great job!

                  1. re: Katie Nell

                    I'd love to help, and I'm sure Candy will too. We're both cookbook junkies and tend to snap up new ones if they look good.

                  2. re: pikawicca

                    I don't think that a new cookbook would necessarily mean that it would be a better choice. Personally, I enjoy perusing through older cookbooks OR re-acquainting myself with a cookbook that I've owned but haven't cooked from in awhile. It's like catching up with an old friend (which most of the time, is more enjoyable than making small talk with a new acquaintance.)

                    Lastly, both Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking and Hot Sour Salty Sweet were "older" cookbooks and huge hits on the HC board. Moreover, newer cookbooks can sometimes be difficult for library users (myself included) to access.

                    1. re: beetlebug

                      I'n not suggesting that we limit ourselves to new cookbooks, just that Candy and I read a lot of them. We both also have large collections of older cookbooks, and some of them are favorites. Candy also frequently checks cookbooks out of our local library, so she's up on what's available. As to vegetable books, specifically, I can think of three newish ones that I find exciting: " Vegetable Harvest" by Patricia Wells, "Vegetable Love" by Barbara Kafka, and "Fresh Food Fast" by Peter Berley. I think the main reason I like newer books is that cooking is evolving all the time: New ingredients become available, and new techniques are introduced; I enjoy exploring and discussing these. However, your point is taken about how enjoyable it can be to discuss old favorites. Perhaps each month we could have a mix of old and new to choose from.

                      1. re: pikawicca

                        One problem with newer cookbooks is that they may not yet be at local libraries, and, if they are, there may be waits to get them. I don't have the resources or inclination to buy the cookbooks of the month, so the library is my source for them. Hence, I'm reluctant to do anything too new.

                      2. re: beetlebug

                        Also, Katie has been doing it the same way for months - she takes the time to go through the thread for ideas from the Chowhounds from the previous month, and then she narrows it down to the three that garnered the most interest. These aren't random choices, but actually what have already been suggested by the majority of Chowhounds. I think it's a fair way for a wide range of CHs of varying levels of experience, access to ingredients and books (library inventory varies), and personal tastes to suggest what they would like to do, and have input on the choices.

                        I too own hundreds of cookbooks, and add (too many) to my collection every year. In the last few months, the three most recent were Edna Lewis, "Biba's Italy", and Vincent Price's 1965 edition of "Treasury of Great Recipes" (thanks for the rec CH!). But then again, I don't consider Alice Waters "old and tired" ; )

                        1. re: Rubee

                          I have never been a fan of Alice Waters, either her cookbooks or her restaurant: way overrated IMO. The Inn at Little Washingtonl was doing the local thing, producing much better food at the same time, in Virginia. Alice is good at self-promotion, but her cooking is mostly hype. I ate three meals at Chez Panisse years ago and felt like I'd been orderd to consume a bland diet for medical reasons. I absolutely do not understand the raves.

                      3. re: pikawicca

                        Both the books for April and May were either brand new or on the newer-side -- Arabesque came out in October 2006 -- only six months before we picked it for the April book --and Sunday Suppers came out the previous Christmas.

                        Personally, I like the mix of old and new books and think the balance has been great.

                    2. I will say Chez Panisse Veggie only because I already have it..

                      1. VCFE by Madison.

                        Thanks, katie nell!

                        1. All 3 look like great choices to me, but I'm not going to vote. I've just not been good about participating beyond reading everyone else's wonderful reviews. I really will try to participate this time, whichever book is chosen.

                          Katie Nell, you've done an OUTSTANDING job with this great volunteer task/contribution to the CH community. Thanks for your time!

                          1. I'm torn between the Nigella and the Deborah Madison; either one would be great. Just not excited by the Waters idea.

                            You are doing a really great job, and I know this must be a LOT of work. While I don't post much on these threads, I do lurk and get lots of great hints, and am playing along at home. I think these are really good, interesting selections.

                            1. All the choices look and sound terrific and I would be thrilled to cook from any of them. My library has all the choices so I am fairly indifferent. Deborah Madison has the slight edge because of this thread:


                              PS. BTW Katie, you are doing a fabulous job. Great choices all around.

                                1. Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone - because I have it, but also because I was just thumbing through it the other day, looking for a generic crisp topping recipe, which of course it has, and I was reminded once again how great this book is. So many recipes are basic templates, with several variations printed, but that give the reader the freedom to create his own flavor combinations.

                                  1. CP Veg because I have great luck and surprises cooking from it, and I don't do that often enough.

                                    I think people get a lot from these book of the month threads even if they don't cook *that* month - it's a great institutional memory. I don't actually post what I've cooked if it's just repetitive of what someone else has written about . . .

                                    1. I vote for Alice Waters. I'm already familiar with VCFE as I've had it for years, and although it's a great book, I'd rather try something I don't already have.

                                      1. Okay, I'm shy because I'm an inexperienced (and sometimes lazy and/or impatient) cook and have been a bit intimidated by these cookbook threads and all the talented home cooking 'hounds, but I'd love to jump in on this one. But, please don't give my vote a lot of weight, since I'm not a real "regular" in these threads and my participation will probably be more reading along than contributing.

                                        In order of preference
                                        1. Vegetarian Cooking for everyone (because I've already ordered it from the library)
                                        2. Chez Panisse Vegetables
                                        3. Forever Summer

                                        Thank you Katie for organizing this!


                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                          TDQ--No reason to be intimidated! I think the threads are generally very supportive, and it's a great place to get help if you're stuck with a recipe you want to try.

                                        2. I vote for Forever Summer.

                                          1. I'd vote for VCFE since I just got it out of the library and my daughter has recently decided to be a vegetarian, or Chez Panisse Veg since I have it (though admit that I haven't ever actually cooked anything from it, but I'd like to be inspired).

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: DGresh

                                              I'd like to modify my vote above to remove Chez Panisse, as my comment above has been repeated by others; I have flipped though (my copy of) the book numerous times, but things didn't really grab me. I was hoping I was just "wrong" about the book, but maybe not. So put me down for either of the other two.

                                              1. Chez Panisse.

                                                I have VCFE and it is great, so I wouldn't be disappointed with that pick either.

                                                1. one vote for FOREVER SUMMER, by Nigella Lawson

                                                  1. I've not had a chance to look at any of them - and probably won't - so I'll be happy with whichever is chosen.

                                                    1. I've never played along before mostly because I have so many cookbooks and have little interest in picking up a new one with many meat recipes.

                                                      I'll be happy with any of these but I vote for VCFE because I don't own it and I've seen fellow hounds extol it's virtues.

                                                      I've been on the no new cookbook wagon for months now and I confess I want a new cookbook fix.

                                                      I'll play along this time no matter the choice.

                                                      1. I have to side with those who think that none of these is that interesting, but also agree that the fact that a book is old should not disqualify it--although I do believe that a book's being "too new" (i.e., still in the marketing hype stage) should. I think a book should be in it's second year (still on the shelf) before being considered. Most cookbooks do not stand the test of time, even a short time. In any case, it is possible to set up criteria for selecting books, beyond just suggestions.

                                                        I have the Chez Panisse book (although never use it) so would participate in the discussion. I passed on Madison's book when it came out; I do have the Greens book.


                                                        1. I'm open to any of these books, but I know the least about Forever Summer and my library does carry it so that's my choice. Thanks, Katie Nell!

                                                          1. Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is, in my opinion, the one basic cookbook that no house should be without - better than New Basics, or Gourmet, or (for pete's sake) Joy of Cooking. It will tell you how to make the best pancakes, and the best cornbread, etc etc etc., as well as interesting things to do with vegetables. The pages are falling out of our copy, from many years' use.

                                                            1. CVFE, please. Thank you, Katie.

                                                              1. VEGETARIAN COOKING FOR EVERYONE, by Deborah Madison because all I need are the basics and I can take it from there.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: inuksuk

                                                                  after 30+ years I don't need an basics from Alice & co

                                                                  1. re: Candy

                                                                    I think this month just may fill a different niche and that is fine. I also find these books to be very basic, but what I do like is that they are widely owned or available for those of us that just can't buy more cookbooks, VCFE has a lot of variety and doesn't take specialized ingredients, and some of the recipes are very quick. One of the main reasons I haven't done much participation (beyond not owning the cookbook) is the time intensive and heavy nature of some of the books. I am fine with that, because that is what others have been interested, but this month I, and it sounds like others, are excited to have something that works for weeknight meals, for people with health concerns or vegetarians (alhtough plenty of recipes still use plenty of saturated fat). Different month, different niche. I think it is a fantastic idea.

                                                                2. I would be happy with either VC4E or FS. FS would be new to me, so that's of interest. VC4E I have and use a lot already, so I know I could contribute.

                                                                  As to Alice's book, I looked at it years ago and was either underwhelmed or overwhelmed by most of the recipes. There were some that had ingredients I can't find readily here (and this is a metropolitan area) or others seemed, I don't know, not all that. I like to try new things, but not recipes I'd spend hours on the phone tracking down ingredients! I'd rather go for new combinations, that sort of thing.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: amyzan

                                                                    I gave CP Veg a second look after the negative comments on this thread . . .
                                                                    I encourage you to have a second look in light of 2007 ingredient availability.

                                                                    It has a lot of the same kind of French and Italian redone through California we've all been excited about in Zuni and some of the other books. Like unusual salads with citrus and olives and good cheese, braised veg with flavor twists. Anchovy and aioli . . . I'm making the leek tart Saturday!

                                                                    Anyway, I had this one on my shelf for a couple of years before I realized how delicious and usefully comprehensive it is. GREAT if you have a CSA box and need to know what to do with all of that pile of greens or root vegetables.

                                                                  2. Hi! I haven't participated in this thread before, because my husband does 99% of the cooking during the week, and I don't have much time to cook. However, I have VCFE, have not had the chance to use it much, and hope that if it is selected, I will be inspired to try more of the recipes on the weekends. We have a local growers farmers' market that I run to on Weds. afternoons, and would like to be more creative with my finds.
                                                                    Thanks for all your hard work, Katie!!

                                                                    1. Forever summer, Nigella Lawson's books are an excellent read.

                                                                      1. Great choices, Katie Nell! I'd be thrilled with any of them, but I'll vote for Nigella. Thanks for all of your hard work.

                                                                        1. I vote for Nigella. Why? I'd prefer CP, and though I love VCFE, Nigella seems more in keeping with the COTM in that we can delve into a particular cookbook author's style/ouevre, like Suzanne Goin. I just requested it from my library.
                                                                          Thanks Katie Nell!

                                                                          1. Chez Panisse Fruits and Vegetables! (Trying to eat more veggies and July is a great month to do it in!)