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Aug 1, 2007 02:33 PM

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

    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!