Cookbook for college kids [Moved from Food Media and News]
- MSK Dec 17, 2007 04:25 PM
Anyone have a good recommendation for a good, back to basics cookbook for new apartment/house dwellers (just out of the dorm)?
It needs to be simple:
not so many steps
not require obscure or hard to get ingedients
not require a lot of prep time
cover all the basics
Must have with illustrations or pictures for those without the experience to picture what the ingredients will amount to
There's a series of cookbooks called "365...", as in "365 Ways To Cook Chicken", "365 Easy Italian Recipes", etc. that has several different books in the series. I had several of them in college and really enjoyed using them - most of the recipes are pretty basic and written in easy language. Alas, there are no photos, but I wouldn't let that scare you off - the directions really are easy to follow.
Here's the link to one I found on Amazon, just so you can see what I'm talking about:
Ditto this -- even better if you can find a compact/paperback version. My mom gave me one 15 years ago that is held together by a rubberband, but it was great because it had all the basics and was portable. It went with me to college, to a year abroad, to multiple apartments and weekends away at somebody's cottage.
While Bittman's book is great for a first time cook, I would caution against giving it to a college student who has little to no interest in cooking and is only doing it for practicality's sake. This stems from the fact that, from a purely visual standpoint, the book (at least that yellow hardback one that I know of) looks and feels like a textbook - actually, I think it may be thicker than any of my bio books ever were.
And yes, I know that this is a strange piece of advice.
My very first cookbook in college was 'Cookbook for College Kids' by Sheila McDougall and I would recommend it to someone starting out. It has a lot of good basic information and the ingredients required are easy to find. It taught me how to make a roux, homemade salad dressings, pancakes from scratch, simple baked goods, etc. Not everything is illustrated but there are some photos. I did an on-line search and see that you can get it at Target for $11.
I have no idea if it's still in print, but Mitchell Davis' "Cook Something" would fit the bill. It's written in a very chatty style, has great basic recipes and guides a novice cook through setting up a basic kitchen, ingredients, etc. I bought this one right out of college and used it for years. I also love Marion Cunningham's "Learning to Cook" and still use it regularly - it has the best basic recipes and tells you exactly how to make them even if you've never cooked before.