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Cookbook of the Month: September through February 2007-2008

Hi, all. I’ll be taking over as organizer for the next six months. First, I’d like to thank Katie Nell for her patience, her good humor, her superb organizational skills, and for ensuring we had a variety of really terrific selections. I know it was a good deal more work than she thought she was signing on for and she did a simply outstanding job. Thanks, Katie! We all appreciate it.

To begin my tenure, I’m asking for suggestions for the next six months. What cookbooks, categories, and authors would you like to see for Cookbook of the Month and during which month would your selection(s) be most appropriate? Now that we have a search function with advanced capabilities, it’s easy to search “Cookbook AND Month” (delete quotes) and find threads containing past recommendations, and I have done that. Those suggestions were excellent and I’m keeping them in mind for the upcoming months. But we have many new participants since those early general discussions; we’ve already cooked from a dozen of those titles; and, of course, new cookbooks are being published all the time.

So what books would you like to be cooking from for the next six months?

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  1. Yeah JoanN and thanks Katie Nell.

    No suggestions here. But, for all those viewers out there, here is a list of our all the mother threads starting with September 2006 (the first month of this project)

    Sept - Marcella Hazan, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

    Oct - Molly Stevens, All About Braising

    Nov - Rick Bayless, One Plate at a Time

    Dec - Dorie Greenspan, Baking from my home to yours

    Jan - Judy Rodgers, Zuni Cafe Cookbook

    Feb - Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid, Hot Sour Salty Sweet

    March - Leite's Culinarie

    April - Claudia Roden, Arabesque

    May - Suzanne Goin, Sunday Suppers at Lucques

    June - Edna Lewis, Country Cooking

    July - Nigella Lawson, Forever Summer

    August - Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby

    September 2007 - Patricia Wells, Vegetable Harvest

    October 2007 - Julia Child "Cookbook Author of the Month"

    November 2007 - Julie Rosso & Sheila Lukins, Silver Palate Cookbook http://www.chowhound.com/topics/456241

    December 2007 - Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook *AND* Martha Stewart’s Hors d’Oeuvres Handbook

    10 Replies
    1. re: beetlebug

      I have a new cookbook coming and, before I have seen it, I'd like to put it out there as a suggestion just for the sake of argument. It's the Culinary Institute of America's Vegetables, which I think is new. I haven't participated in these discussions in the past because I don't have any of the cookbooks featured and wasn't really all that interested in them. But if a book came up that I were interested in, I'd join in.

      1. re: beetlebug

        A classic Julia Childs book. With a younger generation cooking many have skipped over her books.

        A chinese cookbook, always see mentioned Wei-Chuan and Fusha Dunlop-because I can't get good chinese food in sth florida.

        A spanish/tapas cookbook.

        The Silver Spoon (just becasue I need a reason to buy it!)

        For January maybe a healthy eating gourmet type book since it seems to be the "diet" month.

        For Februay: 50 Ways to Feed Your Lover: Top Chefs Share Their Recipes and Secrets for Romance by: Janeen A. Sarlin

        1. re: mbfergie

          We certainly haven't skipped over Julia... JoanN had wanted all along to do Julia during a Fall month, so I'm sure it's coming soon!

          1. re: mbfergie

            Definitely a Julia book, I'd suggest Mastering the Art of French Cooking...but maybe not until October or November. I'm really interested in Patricia Wells' new cookbook, Vegetable Harvest, and that might be a good one for September. Maybe one of Mark Bittman's books, because it seems like a number of us have them.

            1. re: JasmineG

              Also, I'd love to do a Paul Prudhomme book, maybe in February, to coincide with Mardi Gras (if Mardi Gras is in Feb. next year).

              1. re: JasmineG

                yes it is..fat tuesay will be february 5

                1. re: JasmineG

                  Paul Prud'homme's books are wonderful, but how about a Leah Chase book? If you're not familiar with her cooking, she's considered by New Orleaneans to be the Grand Dame of Creole Cooking. And her food is SO delicious.

              2. re: mbfergie

                I'll throw in another vote for Julia. As one of the "younger generation" now cooking, I've yet to dive in to Julia, even though I own both vols of Mastering the Art of French Cooking (thanks Grandma!)

              3. re: beetlebug

                I wholeheartedly second Suzanne Goin's Sunday Suppers at Luques. In fact, that could well be a 6 month cookbook because there are so many amazing recipes in it. Also, for November/December, I recommend Paula Wolfert's Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, since it has wonderful suggestions of things to do with pomegranates.

                My blog:

                1. re: mielemaiale

                  Sadly - we just did Goin's book - and I agree with you - I've been cooking from it since May and love it! That list is actually the ones that we've already done.

              4. Thanks JoanN... I'm looking forward to your stint and know it's definitely in good hands! I'm looking forward to being able to just sit back and enjoy the cookbooks this time around. As always, I request a baking book around December time... maybe a Maida Heatter or The Martha Stewart Baking Handbook.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Katie Nell

                  Maida Heatter's Book of Chocolate Desserts was my first cookbook I ever purchased at age 17. Would love to do that for the Holidays. Just think how happy our friends and family will be with all the goodies we make!

                  1. re: Katie Nell

                    Awww Katie...just when I was getting ready to start participating! However, I'm sure JoanN will be fantastic, as well.

                    I made a solemn vow to myself that I couldn't do this Cookbook thing until I worked my way through all the recipes I'd earmarked in my current library AND my recipe box. We've eaten very well (and put on more than a few pounds) and now I'm ready to join the party! I plan on exploring some of the past choices and look forward to what lies ahead.

                    My newest solemn vow is to conquer my fear of baking. I make a mean chocolate toffee scone and that's the extent of my repertoire. So, I'm all for a baking book.

                    I think someone mentioned a book on Roasting...that sounds fantastic. I just bought a nice new roaster and would love to get some use out of it this Fall.

                    I'd also be interested in a Julia Child book.

                    Or, seafood...have we done seafood?

                    1. re: Mushroom

                      Wait! chocolate toffee scones? wow! Can you share the recipe please?
                      I'd like to see us use Martha's baking book, a Spanish cookbook and maybe we can pick *the recipes of* a Chef, such as Jacques Pepin.
                      (thanks Katie! lol!)

                      1. re: morebubbles

                        Yeah, I would really like to know why I haven't received one of these? After all, I am just two husbands away! ;-)

                        1. re: Katie Nell

                          This is basically the recipe. I add a little vanilla and cut the dough with a cookie cutter (usually a shamrock because that's what my kids request). Try them with clotted cream - it's absolutely divine.


                          Katie - Next time I make a batch I'll send some in with the mister. However, they're one of his favorites so they might not make it all the way to the office!

                  2. Thank you, beetlebug, for the summary. I'd like to second the suggestion of Fuschia Dunlop for Chinese, would be happy to do either of her books, during a fall or winter month. Let everyone see what REAL Chinese food is all about. Mario Batali, The Babbo Cookbook. Julia is OK, as long as it's one of her own, earlier books. I also wouldn't mind doing a pastry book, like Lenotre, Payard, or Roux Brothers, but I know that many people are not as keen.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: janeer

                      You are so right about Fuschia Dunlop!

                    2. Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking"
                      Either the "Silver Palate Cookbook" or "The New Basics Cookbook"
                      Penelope Casas' "Tapas: The Little Dishes of Spain" - or her "La Cocina de Mama: The Great Home Cooking of Spain" or "Delicioso! The Regional Cooking of Spain"
                      Ming Tsai's "Simply Ming: Easy Techniques for East-Meets-West Meals"

                      ETA: I'd be interested in a cookbook highlighting eastern European cooking, particularly for the colder months.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ElsieDee

                        I use Penelope Casas' "Foods & Wines of Spain" and "Tapas" all the time. But I've never seen or used "La Cocina de Mama" nor ""Delicioso", are they worth looking into? Are they substantially different from the other two?

                      2. Thanks to Katie Nell for an excellent job, and thanks to Joan for taking over!

                        I like the idea of doing a foreign cuisine. I really enjoyed the month we did Arabesque.

                        In that vein, I'd second or third the request for a Chinese Cookbook. I have Irene Kuo's The Key to Chinese Cooking, which I'd recommend, but I'd also be happy to do a Fuchsia Dunlop or a Wei Chuan book as well. I'd also be into an Indian, Thai or Japanese cookbook.

                        I see that a French cookbook has aready been requested several times -- Julia Child, Richard Olney or Patricia Wells would be fun.

                        I think it would be really interesting to do recipes from a famed food writer like MFK Fisher or Laurie Colwin. Both of their books have recipes as well as writing.

                        We could do another website -- I like Chocolate & Zucchini -- her cookbook just came out as well.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: DanaB

                          I'm fairly new to this thread, have we ever done Indian cooking? For example "Bengal Lancers Indian Cookbook" and "the Great Curries of India" are books I use all the time, and would love to explore them further, or try some other suggestions.

                          1. re: qianning

                            I've always wanted to really get into one of the Julie Sahni books
                            for Indian food, although realistically I wouldn't do it in the next few months.
                            I think "Classic Indian Cooking" is the classic text, although I understand "Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking" is as good. They are both from the 80s -- does anyone think they are outdated or still just as good, or . . . ?

                            1. re: pitu

                              Good Indian recipes are never out of date, imho!

                        2. I'd love to do an Alice Waters/Chez Panisse survey, much as you guys are doing with Doc and Chris this month. (kudos on that choice, btw-- Let the Flames Begin is one of my all time faves)
                          I have the Chez Panisse Menu book, and have access to CP Fruit and CP Vegetables. Neat, well written recipes, and her whole philosophy is keeping the food chain short--admittedly in vogue these days, but she did it a long time before most.

                          1. Thanks so much for taking on the task of organizing, JoanN. And another round of applause to Katie Nell for all her hard work.

                            On to my recs...

                            Unlike many other posters, I'm a bit lukewarm on doing Chinese food. I just don't have a lot of the ingredients in my pantry already and am reluctant to bulk up on them. I found I didn't cook a lot from HSSS in Feburary for that reason.

                            i would love to do any Julia book, unconcerned with month.

                            I would love to do vegetarian cooking for everyone. I know it was in the running for an earlier month and wasn't the selected book, but I'm still interested. In the same category, if not VCFE, I think it would be nice to do a broad book, not one focused on a particular cuisine. A Mark Bittman, JoC type thing. The sort of cookbook that has something for everyone and might be a chance to explore a 'known' recipe or ingredient in a way you simply hadn't before because of the ruts we all get in.

                            I agree with katie nell, I like doing a baking book in December. It worked out well last December and I would enjoy revisiting that.

                            January would be nice to do as something 'light'--the difficulty is, we all define light differently. Low carb, low cal, low fat, etc. It would be hard to capture everybody's attention with one of those sorts of books. however, I think for many of us, preparing chow-worthy and healthy meals is a challenge and I would welcome a book that helps me add to my repertoire of those sorts of recipes.

                            I would love to an S. Asian/Indian cookbook. I've got an out of print one by Bharti Kirchner that is my go to and would love to try some others. Maybe that would be good for January, as I often think that food is high fiber, high flavor and can easily be low cal.

                            I would love to do either Barbara Kafka's Vegetable book (can't remember title) or the new Patricia Wells book, perhaps in September or October.

                            As a broad statement, I prefer it when we *don't* choose books that are the absolute latest and greatest. I have limited space in my home and limited funds, so only buy cookbooks that I'm pretty confident I'll use. So, I do a lot of rehearsing with books from the library. If the book can't be gotten from my local library (which is pretty well stocked) or is so popular that everybody is requesting it, then I'm not going to be cooking from the book that month. I don't think one person not participating is a reason not to choose a book, but I think there are a lot of us that get the book from the library and it's better that the threads be more 'accessible.' Plus, I think sometimes just waiting a year after a book has been published can give some insights into whether the hype is actually worth something.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Smokey

                              I haven't managed to actually cook from the cookbook of the month while it has been the cookbook of the month yet...but for the past two months I have been taking the book from the library and copying out any recipes that look interesting to make when I have a chance. Now that summer is winding to a close I anticipate actually getting to cook some of those recipes...and so I'd like to second Smokey's statement about the "latest and greatest" books.

                              Speaking for all the library patrons (and I gather we are legion): If we can't get it from the library, we don't even have the option of participating, and so it'd be great to try and avoid the 3 month waiting list books, or even worse, the ones the library doesn't even have yet. Not that this should eliminate certain choices, but just another factor to consider.

                              That being said...I love the idea of a baking book in December since I plan on doing a lot of food gifts this year, Baking w/ Julia would be my preference. And I'd like to add a second to the idea of a New Orleans and/or Cajun and/or Creole cookbook for February.

                            2. Thanks, JoanN, for taking over this project. And a standing ovation to Katie Nell for her tenure!

                              Well, I confess that I've been buying alot of random cookbooks lately and could use some incentive to cook from them. Some suggestions based on what I have as well as topics I'd like to see covered:

                              Cook's Illustrated The Best Recipe (or perhaps a general thread w/ all CI books)

                              Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson of 101cookbooks blog--I know this is pretty new and might be difficult to get at libraries, but this falls under the vegetarian and healthy categories that I want to explore. She also has lots of recipes on her website:

                              Julia Child MtAoFC (both volumes


                              For SE Asian--Into the Vietnamese Kitchen by Andrea Nguyen or Cradle of Flavor by James Oseland

                              For a baking book--Room for Dessert by David Lebovitz or Baking w/ Julia

                              I'd also like to see some topics that are more unusual and not your typical weeknight meal. There might be less participation but the topics would be interesting to read about.

                              One of Marcus Samuellson's books--his new one focuses on modern African recipes while his old one on modern Scandinavian seen at his restaurant, Aquavit

                              The Whole Beast by Fergus Henderson--great for winter months

                              Washoku by Elizabeth Andoh

                              PS. I notice that you're asking for suggestions for six months now, so does that mean you won't be asking before each month like Katie Nell? That would be fine w/ me, but I just wanted clarification. Thanks!

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: Carb Lover

                                Yes, Carb Lover, I am hoping this thread will remain active and open during the six months of my tenure and that Cookbook of the Month contributors will feel free to add to the list throughout that time. Katie, and then I, found that there were so many excellent recommendations on so many separate threads that it was difficult not only for the coordinator to locate and then sort through them, but for contributors to see and to respond to what had already been suggested. Time was also a factor in trying out this procedure. Having both a suggestion and a voting thread each month either reduced the amount of time people had to vote or the amount of time they had to acquire the book. And since many of us rely on our local libraries (I’m *still* number 4 on the list waiting for Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet!), this seemed a way of allowing a somewhat longer voting window yet giving people enough time to reserve and/or acquire the book.

                                1. re: JoanN

                                  I too am a latecomer to the Cookbook of the Month thread, but I look forward to participating more in these discussions in the future.

                                  I would LOVE to do a Julia book, either one of the Mastering the Art of French Cooking volumes or The Way to Cook. I think these would be good choices for cold weather months.

                                  For November/December, I also second (or third) the opinions of previous posters who have requested a baking book. I would like to second Katie Nell's suggestion to tackle Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook. I have checked it out from the library, and although I haven't cooked anything from it yet, I think it really does look wonderful.

                                  For a more "virtuous" choice for January, how about doing Sally Schneider's A New Way to Cook? I own this book and have used it some and would love to explore it further. Everything I have made from this book has been delicious.

                                  It seems like it has been a while since the Cookbook of the Month has done Italian food. Was the last time when you all did Marcella Hazan? MBFergie brought up The Silver Spoon, which would be fun to cook from. Another suggestion: How about one of Lidia Bastianich's books, such as Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen or Lidia's Family Table?

                                  I also love DanaB's idea of cooking from a famous food icon, such as Laurie Colwin or M.F.K. Fisher.

                                  1. re: Cuoca

                                    i second sally schneider's "a new way to cook" for january. delicious recipes, a touch lighter, without substituting the flavors we all love so much. it's a nice perspective and really a new way to cook. the techniques are pretty cool.
                                    a julia book would be nice for november or february...
                                    oh and also...the silver palate could be a nice option for october.

                                    just a thought---why not something like feast by nigella for december....its a nice mix of baking and cooking.

                                  2. re: JoanN

                                    Thanks for the clarification! That makes alot of sense. I also found that having new suggestion threads each month distracted me from focusing on the book at hand.

                                  3. re: Carb Lover

                                    I'm leafing through Heidi Swanson's "Super Natural Cooking" now and it's a page-turner - I'm eager to try each recipe!

                                    1. re: Cynsa

                                      Please report back if you try any of the recipes in Super Natural. I've had it for a while, but I don't think I've tried anything yet. I did love leafing through it though! A good read.

                                  4. I would like an excuse to tackle Julia's MAFC.

                                    For September or October how about Barbara Kafka's Roasting book?

                                    1. I also have been shy about participating in the past but am looking forward to doing so soon.

                                      What about a Seafood Cookbook? I don't have any specific title suggestions but I would love an excuse to try some.

                                      Also, what about The Barefott Contessa cookbooks? They are very popular and would be perfect for the holidays when everyone is entertaining.

                                      1. Cooking From Frank Stitt's Southern Table was discussed quite a bit. Has everyone lost interest in this very fine book?

                                        1. I would like to suggest something a bit different, a book titled "Get Saucy." This is a huge collection of sauces that run the gamut. There are classic sauces, sauces from different ethnic cuisines, rich sauces, light sauces, marinades, pestos, salsas, etc. The meat lovers, vegetarians, low-carbers, low fatters among us would all be accommodated. This book is in paperback, so relatively inexpensive. Also, it's been out for 2 years and should be in most libraries.

                                          1. I'll second a Penelope Casas suggestion.

                                            1. I would love Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook, and Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. I know others have suggested these two books, and I just wanted to concur with those posters.
                                              I also would consider Get Saucy, as I have had it for ages, yet never tried any of the recipes. So, thanks, picawicca, for reminding me about Get Saucy.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: bxgirl

                                                Add me to those who like the idea of Martha's Baking Book around the holidays. I have been shy about participating thus far because my cooking skills are, well, meager. However, I LOVE to bake and LOVE this book and think there is something for everyone in it. I may however be a bit biased because at this time, it s the only cookbok I own, haha. I do intend to start building up my repertorie and library by participating. Looking forward to it!

                                              2. In addition to my other suggestions, I too will vote for Martha's Baking Book.

                                                1. Patricia Wells -- I've been using the Provence book a lot lately, and would love an excuse to either use it more, or to get another one her her books
                                                  Jack Bishop -- The complete Italian Vegetarian cookbook
                                                  or maybe a Paula Wolfert book?

                                                  1. Thanks for taking on a huge job. I am running a few months behind on buying and cooking from the books (working on Sunday Suppers at Lucques now), but love the ideas that come from these projects.

                                                    I love the idea of doing on of the compendium cookbooks (like JoC of HTCE) and baking in December is a great idea.

                                                    Maybe there can be some sort of battle of the celebrity chefs as the options for one month? A choice between the Les Halles Cookbook by Anthony Bourdain, Molto Italiano from Mario Batali, and Flavor by Rocco DiSpirito (since he's on my mind after the last Top Chef) would be very fun.

                                                    If there is going to be a Chinese month, may I suggest that the Shun Lee Cookbook be one of the candidates. I have it and what I've made from it has been great, but I'd love the incentive to spend more time with it.

                                                    I also saw The Ethnic Paris Cookbook in the bookstore the other day. I can't find many reviews of it online, but it's a fascinating subject matter that would be interesting to tackle.

                                                    1. I like the idea of a seafood book, and an asian book, and maybe the vegetarian book as our "austere" choice for January. I would also like to do one of the Barefoot Contessa books, I have most of them and love them, but having an excuse to try new things would be great.

                                                      I'd love to try something that focuses on Spanish or Sicilian food too.

                                                      Thanks to both Katie Nell and Joan N.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                        The problem with having a vegetarian cookbook in January is that many of us have trouble getting good fresh vegetables that don't come from halfway across the country or the planet at that time of year! I know I found myself really frustrated trying to cook from the Rick Bayless book last winter - I got it from the library but never cooked a single thing, partly because in the end the book didn't much speak to me, but in huge part because it was hard to find ingredients.

                                                        I'll add another vote for both Chinese and Indian months, and support the idea of a baking book or a gifts-from-the-kitchen book in November/December.

                                                        Finally, I strongly support the idea that you might steer clear of hot-off-the-press books, at least part of the time. I'm another of the crowd who get these books from the library, and it's frustrating to have the month slip away while still I'm waiting to even look at the book. It was about two months before I got my hands on the Greenspan book, for instance!

                                                        1. re: Allstonian

                                                          Good point about keeping it seasonal and local if possible although New Zealand hounds may take issue with favoring the Northern hemisphere and if we want to do an Indian or Chinese month (I do!) we will have to go global with ingredients.
                                                          Someone mentioned doing a Ming Tsai Cookbook- his fusion recipes are a big favorite with us and I think Ming's Master Recipes would be a good choice.
                                                          My first pick would be Julia's MAFC. Every time I use it I am amazed at how clearly it is written and how good the results are- a classic in process and product!

                                                      2. First an arghhh b/c I typed out a longish reply and accidentally clicked away from it!

                                                        I was on vacation when this thread was posted and just noticed it. A couple of thoughts:

                                                        Julia Child - I taught myself to cook from The Way to Cook, and have both volumes of MAFC, from which I rarely cook. In the intro to TWC, JC says that she's adapted some of the recipes to reflect the introduction of the food processor, and well as other ways she has found to make the recipes easier, w/o losing the integrity of the recipes. My suggestion would be, if we do JC, that we include all three cookbooks - would be interesting to see views on similiar recipes from the different books etc.

                                                        Casas - I've cooked extensively from Delicioso, but would be happy to explore it more, or use another of her books.

                                                        Silver Spoon - I have it, but it is expensive, and I'm guessing not readily found in libraries. Also, the recipes are v. short and assume a lot of experience, meaning that I've not learned much from cooking from them, as I have from Goin's and other books.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                                          Also - a number of people have suggested seafood - I've found some great recipe's from Bob Kinkead's book - he has seafood restaurant in DC called Kinkead's. Don't know how readily available that book is. I also have Rebecca Charles' book - from Pearl Oyster Bar, but haven't used it yet.

                                                          1. re: MMRuth

                                                            I feel the exact same way as you do about Silver Spoon, MMRuth. And I think that that would be really interesting to do about Julia.

                                                          2. I'm not sure what the interest level would be, but I would love to do a food gift (you know: sauces, jams, chutneys, spice mixes, etc.) kind of book around the holidays. I know that sounds vague, but the only ones I can think are Fancy Pantry and Better than Store Bought, which may be difficult for people to get at the library and they don't sell them new anymore. Perhaps there's a newish cookbook that would work better?

                                                            15 Replies
                                                            1. re: Katie Nell

                                                              That sounds fun - I don't have any thing specific in mind, but I like the idea of gifts that go beyond baking.

                                                              1. re: Katie Nell

                                                                I'm really nervous about those canning/preserving (some weird early stories about botulism, I'm guessing) but I want to get over my fears, and would be interested in that kind of book too.

                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                  I'm a little nervous about it too... I wish I had someone to walk me through the process at home!

                                                                  1. re: Katie Nell

                                                                    If you're giving gifts of just one jar per recipient, Tell them to keep it in the fridge and use within a couple of weeks. This should remove all worries.

                                                                    1. re: pikawicca

                                                                      This might not work, or be a logistical nightmare, but what about cooking from one another's favorite holiday gift recipes?

                                                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                                                        I like this idea, but it might be difficult to execute.

                                                                        1. re: pikawicca

                                                                          We could always start a separate thread to do this, apart from the cookbook of the month thing.

                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                            You know - I think there may have been such a thread last year or the year before - i.e., share your favorite holiday gift recipes. I'll dig around.

                                                                              1. re: Katie Nell

                                                                                Hey - Thanks! I'd not gotten around to try to locate them yet.

                                                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                  I'd bookmarked them from last year!

                                                                                  1. re: Katie Nell

                                                                                    Fantastic! Thanks - now I need to try to do something to make myself remember them come December (the string around the finger probably won't last that long ...).

                                                                2. re: Katie Nell

                                                                  I like the general idea of a food gift theme, though I have no thoughts on specific books. I also like the idea of a baking book in November or December. Last year's Dorie Greenspan book got me back into baking (and weight gain, sadly).

                                                                  I'm also be up for a Deborah Madison book. I think VCFE has such a wide breadth that it could work for any time of year. Lots of gratins, bean dishes, egg dishes etc. that would work for cooler months. For a more plentiful month I'd love to do either VCFE or Local Flavors.

                                                                  In general, I enjoy more general books or books on cuisines of a certain area more than I enjoy restaurant-specific books.

                                                                3. I also like the idea of picking one cookbook author in any given month, and cooking recipes from that author from any cookbook that's available. Patricia Wells comes to mind, as does Deborah Madison, Julia Child, Jacques Pepin. It would still allow the COTM to explore a certain author while bypassing some of the gridlock issues w/r/t the library. I don't think it should be an every month thing, but I liked that for Schlesinger and Willoughby this month, and think it might encourage participation for others.

                                                                  1. Braising was a great choice in the past. Perhaps for October we could do Paula Wolfert Southwest France or any or all of her books.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: NYchowcook

                                                                      How about Greek cuisine? I just got The Flavors of Greece by Rosemary Barron and I am very inspired.

                                                                    2. Thanks Katie for all your hard work, and JoanN for taking the reins for the upcoming months!

                                                                      As always, lots of good suggestions already.

                                                                      "Spice" by Anna Sortun. Greek, maybe Kochilas. Penelope Casas for Spanish.

                                                                      Asian - Vietnamese (Mai Pham or Andrea Nguyen), Thai (maybe "Cracking the Coconut" by Su-Mei Yu or David Thompson's "Thai Food"), Dunlop for Chinese, Ming Tsai for fusion.

                                                                      For a slow-cooking book - Paula Wolfert's Slow Med Kitchen.

                                                                      Italian - Lidia Bastianich (I like "Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen"), "Silver Spoon", or a Batali cookbook.

                                                                      French - Julia Child or Pepin.

                                                                      For a baking book for the holidays, I'd really like to do one that includes gift-giving recipes.

                                                                      Other ideas I like on this thread - Barbara Kafka's "Roasting", "Silver Palate", one of Marcus Samuellson's books, Sally Schneider's "A New Way to Cook" after the holidays, one of CSI's "Best Recipe" books, and a Prudhomme book for February.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Rubee

                                                                        I'd love to try Marcus Samuellson's Soul of a New Cuisine. I haven't dived into it. Might be a good choice for March when nothing much is in season (at least in the northeast)

                                                                        Or Chinese -- Kylie Kwong, or Fushcia Dunlop.

                                                                        Indian we definitely should get to.

                                                                      2. Thx for the comprehensive list of prior months, beetlebug!
                                                                        I missed this when it went up in August, but it appears to be still an active question so . . .

                                                                        I'd like to do an Italian every year -- Marcella last year, BATALI this year. Either the Babbo book, and/or Molto Italiano. Bonus: many recipes available online through FN and babbonyc.com

                                                                        And Heidi Swanson of 101cookbooks.com "Super Natural Cooking"
                                                                        (also much of hers is online, and I think lots of us already look at her site. I bought the book in gratitude for all that I've cooked from her online, but it's really good all on its own)

                                                                        Also interested in one of the Fuchsia Dunlop books being done, although I'd be more an observer than participant.

                                                                        I'd love a yearly Vietnamese book.
                                                                        My preference is Mai Pham "Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table"

                                                                        For this year's baking book, I'd like
                                                                        Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour and Traditions from Around the World
                                                                        by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
                                                                        (I got it from recs on this site)

                                                                        and a Chez Panisse/Alice Waters month . . . I'd do a roundup of CP Veg/Fruit AND the Cafe cookbook

                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                        1. re: pitu

                                                                          I'm thrilled that this thread has now found a home at the top of the board. Huzzah!

                                                                          Thanks JoanN and Chowhound Central.

                                                                          1. re: pitu

                                                                            I'm an avid baker, and I can't say enough how much I love baking form Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid's "Home Baking." I have made at least 10 different items and they were all great!

                                                                            1. re: VTtoMAtoCAfoodie

                                                                              Care to make a thread (here or a new thread) on
                                                                              What I Loved and Why from Alford and Duguid's "Home Baking"
                                                                              pretty please?
                                                                              I just got the book.

                                                                          2. Suzanne Goin's "Sunday Supper at Lucques" would be great..as the recipes are arranged by season. It would work for any month.

                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                            1. re: melly

                                                                              We actually did that in May - http://www.chowhound.com/topics/397079 - what a wonderful book - I'm still cooking from it!

                                                                              1. re: MMRuth


                                                                                I love the cookbook too!

                                                                              2. re: melly

                                                                                please keep posting from it as well!
                                                                                : )
                                                                                I love it when the threads have a life past the M in COM

                                                                                1. re: pitu

                                                                                  Me too - and those Lucques threads are wonderful

                                                                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                    Speaking of Sunday Suppers - Last month, I finally got around to making that salmon with corn and bacon recipe that you posted on the Lucques thread. It was every bit as delicious as you said it would be.

                                                                                    Wild Salmon a la Lutèce with Sweet Corn, Green Cabbage, and Bacon, and Brown Butter Vinaigrette

                                                                                    Hmmm. Time to open the book again and check out the fall recipes

                                                                                    1. re: Rubee

                                                                                      yes - I've not cooked many of the fall and winter ones, and that's part of the reason I'm not going to cook along in November - to do those, and to keep on going w/ JC.

                                                                                      My husband *loves* that book, so I can only increase marital harmony by continuing to cook from it! We watched Goin on "Chef's Story" on NPR, during our Vegetable Harvest fiasco, and he kept saying "There's my girl!" - LOL.

                                                                                      1. re: Rubee

                                                                                        omigod rubee, that salmon sounds good and I have some wild frozen . . .
                                                                                        you might have just rerouted my corn chowder for tonight.

                                                                                2. I'm new to this thread but love Cafe Pasqual's cookbook for the winter months (green chili pork stew, homemade chorizo) For the Holiday months I like Giada's family dinners (herb citrus turkey, ciabatta chestnut & pancetta stuffing) I collect cookbooks signed and from each place I visit. But the recipes from these are some of my favorites.

                                                                                  1. I am having trouble finding the link for the cookbook selected for October 2007 as well as what the name of the book selected for November will be. Can someone send me the link? Thanks.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: kennedy

                                                                                      They are both stickied at the top of the Home Cooking board - Julia Child for October, and the result of the November run-off vote, which was The Silver Palette.

                                                                                    2. I'd love to do Happy in the Kitchen by Michel Richard. I looked through the book and there are some fascinating techniques, as well as a nice blend of simpler and more complex recipes.

                                                                                      1. I would like to do the Alford Home Baking book. Have it and would love to try other things from it. The things I have made have been fantastic. Or Pure Dessert from Medrich. It is a new book, but from a trusted author with a track record.

                                                                                        1. I realize I'm a little late replying, but I would also love to do The Silver Spoon. I got it last Christmas but wasn't doing much cooking thanks to 24/7 morning sickness! Now I'd really like to start cooking again. Another suggestion is I am interested learning about Thai or Vietnamese cooking, so a book that covers either of those well, could be fun.

                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: SweetPea914

                                                                                            I just saw that "Hot Sour Salty Sweet" has been covered and added it to my Amazon wishlist!

                                                                                            1. re: SweetPea914

                                                                                              It's wonderful and I love cooking from it. I'm not sure The Silver Spoon would be a good book for COM - the recipes are, shall we say, less than full some in their instructions, and I've found myself drawing more on my own experience when using it, than learning something new.

                                                                                              1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                I just cannot get into it though, so in that way I think it would be good for the COTM.

                                                                                                1. re: Katie Nell

                                                                                                  That might cut either way - grin!

                                                                                                2. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                  After searching the book on the boards, I did see some people were not very enthusiastic about The Silver Spoon. I remember a couple months ago making potato gnocci and feeling like there could have been more info, but they did come out beautifully! I also agree with Katie Nell, Other than a couple recipes I have not gotten too into the book. I think I'm going to look through it some more for inspiration and go to Arthur Ave for some slightly unusual ingredients.

                                                                                            2. Joan, being new here, I've been searching for a thread or post that explains how to participate, but I've just come up with snippets. E.g., do participants agree to try specific recipes? Agree to try a minimum number of recipes? Okay to skip a month? Forgive me if I've missed info that's already posted, but, if so, could someone please direct me?

                                                                                              After reading this thread and the list of previously featured cookbooks:

                                                                                              1. Re Italian...I see you did Hazan, but several members noted the wish to do Italian again. I'm always interested in any of the classic cookbooks or masters within a cuisine. I'd like to recommend Giuliano Bugialli as one of the standard-bearers of Italian cookery. IMO, The Fine Art of Italian Cooking has dishes accessible to a wide range of tastes and proficiencies. Bugialli is so good at breaking down technique. The only thing is, I don't know how available TFAIC is; whether it's been reprinted recently. But some of his more recent regional Italian cookbooks might do. I haven't seen, but am intrigued by the idea of, his Sardinian book (something a little new and different to me).

                                                                                              2. Fanny Farmer/The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook

                                                                                              I'm interested in historical cookbooks, and, certainly, Fanny Farmer was as influential in her day as Julia Child was in hers.

                                                                                              This is another book that has recipes for all levels of cooks, that covers technique well, and most (though not all) of the recipes translate to our modern era.

                                                                                              Plus--special benefit--this is in the public domain and, hence, available to all of us right online at bartleby.com. No back order, no waitlist at the library.

                                                                                              One of the things that I like especially about this and other cookbooks from The Gilded Age and the surrounding eras comprises the sheer variety of finishing sauces, some quite simple, that have been lost in time.

                                                                                              March is National Women's History Month. Maybe that would be appropriate timing.

                                                                                              3. Also seconding others' nominations for:

                                                                                              Lidia B. (anything)
                                                                                              Patricia Wells (anything)
                                                                                              CIA's Vegetables
                                                                                              Chocolate and Zucchini, Clotilde Dusoulier

                                                                                              4. Quite a few recommendations have been for Spanish cuisine. I'm very interested in exploring that. Sorry that I don't know of any specific cookbooks to recommend.

                                                                                              Thank you, Joan.

                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: MaggieRSN

                                                                                                You might find this thread on Site Talk interesting:


                                                                                                But, basically, once the cookbook is chosen for a month, people who want to do so cook from it, and in some cases post on the appropriate COTM thread about the recipes they've chosen to try. I participate some months and don't in others, depending on my schedule and/or the cookbook. I'm still cooking from and posting about Sunday Suppers at Lucques, which I think was in May. This post has links to a lot of the "mother threads" for each month, in case you didn't see it:


                                                                                                This is the thread that started it:


                                                                                                Hope you'll join in!

                                                                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                  Also, all posts from previous COTM are also appreciated and welcomed. To me, it's a reminder of, oh yeah, I wanted to make that dish. It's always exciting seeing an old thread pop up to the top.

                                                                                                  1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                    Agreed - I occasionally sort the HC board by most recent post to see if anything comes up - or do a search for my user name on HC ,which will bring up recent posts on old COTM threads if I've missed them.

                                                                                                    1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                      I'm glad to know that, beetle, because there certainly were cookbooks among that list you've all featured in the last year that appealed to me. Thanks for letting me know.

                                                                                                    2. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                      THX for posting the motherthread, MMRuth!

                                                                                                    3. re: MaggieRSN

                                                                                                      Oh - and if you are interested in Sardinian cooking - I've loved cooking from this book so far ...


                                                                                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                        Thanks so much for this link, Ruth. Hubby's 1st generation Italian. I knew not a thing about Italian cooking. Now, what little I know are Napolitano and Tuscan cuisines. Time to branch out into other regions.

                                                                                                        And TY for the pertinent links re the Club. Lots of good info you've left for me today. Looking forward to reading it.

                                                                                                        1. re: MaggieRSN

                                                                                                          The COM threads are also regularly updated (some more than others) with new folks trying recipes for the first time or old hands continuing to cook from a certain COM long after the month is up. This is one of the best things about this feature on Chowhound Home Cooking.

                                                                                                    4. I'd like to see a Madhur Jaffrey book, and I'd suggest either World Vegetarian or Intro to Indian Cooking.


                                                                                                      1. Anyone else interested in diving into Spanish cuisine, especially tapas? There are some very good books available, notably:

                                                                                                        -- Tapas, by Penelope Casas

                                                                                                        --Tapas & Traditional Spanish Cooking : The Authentic Taste of Spain: 150 un-drenched Classic and Regional Recipes, by Pepita Aris

                                                                                                        --Tapas : a taste of Spain in America by José Andrés

                                                                                                        -- César : recipes from a tapas bar by Said, Olivier (chez panisse alums)

                                                                                                        -- From Tapas to Meze : first courses from the Mediterranean shores of Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, the Middle East, and North Africa /
                                                                                                        by Weir, Joanne (a respected cookbook author)

                                                                                                        -- La cocina de mama : the great home cooking of Spain by Penelope Casas

                                                                                                        -- My kitchen in Spain : 225 authentic regional recipes, by Janet Mendel