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COTM MARCH - PROVISIONAL RESULTS ARE IN FOR VOTING - BUT SOME QUERIES

oakjoan Feb 22, 2008 12:25 PM

The votes are in. Here are the provisional results. Several posts mentioned, e.g., “Jamie Oliver” without clarifying that this was a vote. I decided that those were NOT votes (see below).

DUNLOP 11 votes (6 voters just wrote “Dunlop” stating they didn’t care which book or without specifying which book). The votes for a specific book are: Land of Plenty - 2 votes, Revolutionary Chinese - 3 votes

BATALI - 8 votes. I had mentioned “Molto Italiano” and several responses mentioned this book. Others just said “Batali” or “Molto Mario”. Since I’d mentioned Molto Italiano, I’m assuming the “Batali” votes were for that book.

SUPERNATURAL COOKING - 7 votes

FLEXITARIAN - 7 votes

JAMIE OLIVER - 5 votes (If someone wants to check this out, please do. Oliver is mentioned in several responses without any reference to voting that I could see).

No other book/author got more than 4 votes.

I’m holding off on posting a run-off message until I get any info on the questions I set forth above.

  1. DanaB Feb 23, 2008 07:08 PM

    Lol! Oakjoan, see what you get when you ask us questions? I say, you are the moderator for this period of time, and you need to make the executive decision. There are plenty of fans for all four of the top books, so I think we need to just vote now on the book of the month and stop taking suggestions. Whether you want to frame it with all four up for the vote, or do Batali v. Dunlop for this month and Supernatural Foods v. Flexitarian Table for next month, is in your hands. We trust you :-)

    Oh, and in future months, to keep your sanity and piece of mind, I'd suggest NOT doing a follow up query after the nominations are in ;-)

    Good luck and thanks again!!

    2 Replies
    1. re: DanaB
      pitu Feb 23, 2008 08:08 PM

      Because that's the 2nd Dunlop:Batali, Flexitarian:Swanson matchup mentioned, I'd like to suggest that whatever books are not chosen this month could still be on the list next month -- for instance if we vote for Dunlop, next month could be a vote between Batali, the vegetarians, whatever else is nominated ETC

      I trust that oakjoan is enjoying this process and not overstretching the democracy/sanity balance for herself...
      : )

      1. re: pitu
        oakjoan Feb 23, 2008 11:39 PM

        Now I know why I've been dreaming of living in a tiny kingdom where I am the absolute ruler of everything and everyone!!

        What I think is that too many books DO tend to make this too difused. Whoever posted about the fun it is to read abot several people cooking the same recipe is correct. That IS a big part of the fun.

        However, I'm seriously thinking of making both Dunlop books (Land of Plenty and Revolutionary Chinese) the COTM next month. They are recipes from the same part of the world, actually the same country. With two books, we'll get the benefit of more on-line recipes. I have found quite a number. There are also some videos.

        I've tried several Dunlop recipes while I had her books out of the library a year or so ago. The Lamb Polo (a wonderful pilaf) was a huge hit and I've made it many times since. I also remember a great to fu recipe.

        Anyway, that's my take. I think the Dunlop books have won. If you see things differently, please let me know.

        Also let me know your opinions on having both books as COTM.

        PS to MMruth: My copy of Hopkinson's Roast Chicken came yesterday and you're right. It's fascinating, charming and I can't wait to cook from it.

    2. m
      morebubbles Feb 23, 2008 02:05 PM

      I would add to my votes JAMIE OLIVER, all books & recipes.

      1. pitu Feb 23, 2008 12:34 PM

        THX OAKJOAN
        Count me as a vote for the individual author/multibook approach, if for no other reason than the available online recipes could be from different sources. AND the unlikely chance of repeat authors with so many to chose from.

        I'd be delighted with BATALI or DUNLOP

        I'm also into lighter cooking at the end of winter, so the veg books work for me - I need the inspiration.
        and if it was Peter BERLEY/Flexitarian, I'd have to participate with his earlier "Modern Vegetarian Kitchen" There appear to be a limited number of recipes of his online. His site is not quite as generous as babbonyc combined with fn for Batalito...

        and I'm still into Heidi SWANSON of course. Her 101cookbooks.com is a real gem.

        1. k
          Karen_Schaffer Feb 23, 2008 08:54 AM

          I think I'd count 6 votes for Jamie Oliver, not 5, but it's a judgment call. Besides, it still puts him below the others, so it doesn't matter. (Maybe next time!)

          There are so many great cookbooks out there that I'd love to see COTM choose an author and let us cook out of any of their books rather than specifying a particular book, especially for authors like Dunlop and Batali that specialize in particular regions. If we choose just Molto Italiano, would we ever choose another Batali book? Seems unlikely when there are so many others out there. Ditto Land of Plenty vs Revolutionary Chinese.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Karen_Schaffer
            beetlebug Feb 23, 2008 02:14 PM

            Personally, I prefer a single cookbook for the month. One of my favorite parts of COTM is when numerous CHs post about the same recipe and literally cook it together. When the focus is on a single author, there isn't the same kind of communal cooking. Lastly, it seems like a broad COTM leads to LESS participation than a more focused view.

            1. re: beetlebug
              NYchowcook Feb 23, 2008 03:02 PM

              I'm with beetlebug. One cookbook. We used to discuss what specific recipes we would cook together in advance, which hasn't happened so much lately. The point of the COTM is that we cook together, I thought.

          2. Rubee Feb 22, 2008 09:27 PM

            Okay, I'm narrowing my suggestions down to:

            LAND OF PLENTY - DUNLOP

            or

            MOLTO MARIO - BATALI

            (and Ana Sortun's Spice for a month later this year)

            Thanks OakJoan for dealing with us crazy Homecooking CHs!

            8 Replies
            1. re: Rubee
              oakjoan Feb 22, 2008 10:53 PM

              Yes, I am amazing, don't you think? And you are all a bunch of ill-mannered LOUTS, I tell you, LOUTS! Sad to say that Joan N and Carb Lover have forced me into this job. I can't tell you the number of times they've spray painted my car, posted anonymous messages to the Chowhound authorities, etc.

              So now I'm managing the COTM and are they satisfied? HAH!

              Oops, was I out long?

              I love this site and the people who post on it!!!

              Best, Oakjoan

              1. re: oakjoan
                Carb Lover Feb 22, 2008 11:08 PM

                You crack me up, oakjoan! I hope that spray paint wasn't too hard to clean up. Good thing you agreed to do it, otherwise we would have had to move to the next level of harrassment (holding your cookbooks hostage or something).

                It looks like you have clear top 2 choices w/ Dunlop and Batali. You could have a vote between just those 2 or include a 3rd and/or 4th. The beauty of being coordinator is that you get to decide!! Me--I'd go crazy and wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night... :-)

                With full appreciation,
                Carb Lover

                1. re: Carb Lover
                  The Dairy Queen Feb 23, 2008 01:46 AM

                  Dunlop is a clear favorite, yes, but but Batalli is only 1 point ahead of the #s 3 & 4 (Supernatural Cooking or Flex Table) which have 7 points each.

                  I wonder if #3 & 4 are splitting the votes from people like me who are looking for lighter kinds of meals (I'm still sticking firm to my New Year's Resolutions --gosh, we're not even out of the first quarter, too soon to abandon them--and it's Lent: double whammy!).

                  I think four books are too many for a run-off vote, though. Maybe, hold a vote between #1, #2 and flip a coin (or oakjoan, just decide) for whether #3 or #4 should be in the run-off? Then, just have a 3 cookbook run-off, Dunlop, Batalli, and the winner from the #3 vs. #4 coin toss?

                  (And, yes, I agree, oakjoan is a sweetie for taking this on...)

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                    beetlebug Feb 23, 2008 05:32 AM

                    Maybe, this month have it be Dunlop v. Batali

                    and next month, it will be Supernatural Cooking v. Flexitarian Table?

                    Thanks, oakjoan, from beetlebug, an ill mannered lout.

                    1. re: beetlebug
                      DanaB Feb 23, 2008 06:41 AM

                      I think this is a great suggestion. Supernatural Cooking v. Flexitarian Table would be great for April, when we start getting some spring vegetables in at the Farmer's Market.

                      But whatever oakjoan decides works for me. Thanks for all your hard work, oakjoan!

                      1. re: DanaB
                        The Dairy Queen Feb 23, 2008 06:45 AM

                        I like this idea, too, Supernatural Cooking vs. Flexitarian Table for April, if that's something oakjoan wants to do. I'm kind of getting excited now about the Dunlop books after doing some research on them. I think they are the kind of books I would be a little timid to try on my own, but might find more approachable if others were trying it too.

                        ~TDQ

                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                          MMRuth Feb 23, 2008 08:16 AM

                          Me too!

              2. re: Rubee
                Megiac Feb 23, 2008 04:06 PM

                If we do Mario Batali, maybe participants can cook from either Molto Mario or Molto Italiano? I already have Molto Italiano and am not inclined to go out and buy another, similar book from him, when there are so many other cookbooks on my to buy list.

              3. Gio Feb 22, 2008 03:50 PM

                Well - I guess I'm passing this month but I'll follow along to see what people have cooked as I have in past months. This is really a very interesting way for me to learn what's going on in kitchens in other parts of the country. I marvel at the level of expertize revealed in these monthly cookbook threads and I am constantly inspired by those who attempt and indeed succeed in creating epicurean home meals.

                14 Replies
                1. re: Gio
                  The Dairy Queen Feb 22, 2008 03:58 PM

                  Gio, do none of these work for you? The voting has not yet even begun and I think the cookbooks you suggested are still in the running --I think Joan just needs to know which specific Batalli book you're interested in!

                  I personally have a somewhat restrictive diet right now (and, in summer, I have a boatload of produce from my CSA to use up so I have to be heavily vegetable focused during the summer months), but I think I can make almost all of the potential cookbooks work for me this month, with the possible exception of the Dunlop books, which I am simply not that familiar with.

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                    Gio Feb 22, 2008 04:02 PM

                    Oh - maybe I spoke to soon. OK - I'll wait. Thank you for the poke in the ribs TDQ. I needed that. BTW: I'm not familiar with the Dunlop books also. But I do like Mexican.

                    1. re: Gio
                      beetlebug Feb 22, 2008 04:19 PM

                      Dunlop's books are chinese cuisine - LOP is sichuan and the other one is Hunan.

                      1. re: beetlebug
                        Gio Feb 22, 2008 04:26 PM

                        Oh gosh.... I was thinking Diana Kennedy. What a dufus....I always confuse the two. I guess I should quit now. Thanks.

                        1. re: Gio
                          Megiac Feb 23, 2008 04:03 PM

                          I love Diana Kennedy, and was thinking that she would be a great choice for May, with Cinco de Mayo and everything. I need to cook something besides her enchilada recipes.

                    2. re: The Dairy Queen
                      oakjoan Feb 22, 2008 04:58 PM

                      Not to push Fuchsia's books (I just love that first name), but I first saw her online at the BBC website. I think one can still get her video cooking segments there. There are a number of recipes online....probably for most of the cookbooks we choose here, so one needn't buy every book or even get it out of the library.

                      1. re: oakjoan
                        MMRuth Feb 22, 2008 06:20 PM

                        And, FWIW, I'd be happy to dig up a bunch of online links as I have for past COTM books.

                        1. re: oakjoan
                          The Dairy Queen Feb 23, 2008 02:34 AM

                          I've been poking around online for some of Dunlop's recipes (sadly, you can't "preview" her books on Amazon) and I think I can get several of the ones I've seen fit my currently restricted diet, which is great. (And they look good, too, in addition to the fact that Fuschia is indeed a really lovely name.)

                          But, two questions, 1) there are sure a lot of ingredients in her recipes I'm unfamiliar with--I'm worried I might get bogged down in where to buy these ingredients and/or how to use them--does that become an issue in these COTM threads? 2) some of her recipes I saw on the BBC website used metric measurements, rather than "standard" measurements. Do you know if her cookbooks also use metric?

                          Sorry for the dumb questions, I've never done COTM before...

                          Thank you!

                          ~TDQ

                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                            MMRuth Feb 23, 2008 03:50 AM

                            The Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook that I have is not metric. Also, in terms of using metric recipes - I've not found it as much of a pain as I thought I would. My liquid measuring cups have both cups and ml marked on them, and I just use a scale (which is very handy to have anyway, if you don't) for everything else.

                            In terms of ingredients - I've not looked through myself yet and fortunately can readily find things in NYC - but I was very surprised that in Eastern North Carolina I found an amazing Asian food store - so there might be one in your area as well, that you just aren't aware of yet. To me, that's been part of the fun of some COTM books - scouting out new ingredients and learning how to use them.

                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                              Gio Feb 23, 2008 03:52 AM

                              There are many metric conversion tables on line. Here's just one:
                              http://www.onlineconversion.com/volum...

                              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                beetlebug Feb 23, 2008 05:45 AM

                                I hope you love COTM as much as I do. I've explored cuisines and techniques that I normally don't gravitate towards.

                                As for the ingredients in Dunlop's books, there may be an initial period of buying various sauces (such as chinese black vinegar, chinese black beans, sichuan peppercorns) and other sundries. However, the cost of these sauces are relatively inexpensive or can be substituted with other ingredients. For example, I bought a bottle of chinese black vinegar for $1.09 (it's a big bottle too) but have never bought shaoxing wine (I sub sherry instead).

                                Granted, I live in the NE where there are a lot of Asian stores. But, I suspect MSP has a few Asian stores for you to shop in given the growth Asian American population in the area.

                                Lastly, as for how to choose and use the ingredients, in Dunlop's LOP, she has an extensive section before and after the recipes about which brands to buy or how to look for certain ingredients. In that book, the same ingredients appear in recipe after recipe.

                                Here is a thread from last year about LOP.

                                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/373035

                                1. re: beetlebug
                                  The Dairy Queen Feb 23, 2008 07:13 AM

                                  Okay, now I'm really excited about the Dunlop books. beetlebug, thank you for the link to your thread. One of the things I've missed most while I've been on my diet are my favorite Szechuan restaurants, particularly their dan dan noodles, ma po tofu, and fried green beans. I was so excited to see the green bean and ma po tofu dishes in your link. Maybe the way to fit these kinds of foods into my diet (right now the way to fit them into my diet is...not having them at all because I know they are way too oily at my favorite restaurants) is to cook them myself so I can control the fat and sugar content. I researched some Chinese cookbooks when I first went on my diet, but so many of the recipes called for sugar, so I kind of gave up, deciding these foods would just have to stay off-limits for the short-term because I did not want to go down the artificial sweetner road. Dunlop's recipes (at least the ones I've found online) really do not seem to call for a lot of sugar.

                                  Also, I don't know why the sudden panic that I wouldn't be able to find the ingredients--I know of at least three terrific Asian groceries within about a ten minute drive of my home or office. I love the idea that Dunlop has a section on ingredients --it is helpful to know what you're looking for--and I assume that multiple recipes draw on some of the "special" ingredients, which is one advantage of cooking from the same cookbook all month.

                                  Finally, thank you for the reassurance about the metric conversions. I do have a food scale, if it comes to that.

                                  Am going to go reserve both Dunlop cookbooks (as well as Batalli's, in case it wins) at my library right now.

                                  Thank you everyone. I am not a very confident cook (on the other hand, I am a very confident eater! Ha!) My New Year's Resolution was two-fold: not only to eat healthier and lose weight in 2008, but to become a more confident cook and expand my repertoire of healthy recipes I can draw on. I think any of this month's COTM candidates will fit nicely into my resolutions.

                                  EDIT: and, oh, wouldn't be fun if we can figure out how to get those videos on the BBC site to work!

                                  ~TDQ

                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                    MMRuth Feb 23, 2008 08:01 AM

                                    Excellent! I just logged on to post for you that I was at Whole Foods this morning and noted that they also have loads of Asian ingredients, and so the one in St. Paul is likely too as well. Of course, I'm sure Asian markets are cheaper.

                                    1. re: MMRuth
                                      The Dairy Queen Feb 23, 2008 08:58 AM

                                      Thanks for the tip! It's good to have another shopping option!

                                      ~TDQ

                        2. Candy Feb 22, 2008 02:04 PM

                          I have REVOLUTIONARY COOKING and LAND OF PLENTY. I'd be happy with either. I'll Still be cooking out of Saha and Pure Desert.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Candy
                            onefineleo Feb 22, 2008 02:10 PM

                            I think it would be great to compare and contrast the two cuisines, so I vote for REVOLUTIONARY COOKING and LAND OF PLENTY. Wonderful idea, Jen Kalb.

                            1. re: Candy
                              pikawicca Feb 25, 2008 03:49 AM

                              What have you made out of Saha that you like? Do NOT make the weird vine leaves with mushrooms and pistachios -- they went out!

                            2. beetlebug Feb 22, 2008 01:43 PM

                              Here's another complication. My

                              DUNLOP vote goes to LAND OF PLENTY.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: beetlebug
                                jen kalb Feb 22, 2008 01:55 PM

                                maybe if we do Dunlop we could include both books. That would simplify, since its unlikely we will have another Dunlop month anytime soon.

                                1. re: jen kalb
                                  MMRuth Feb 22, 2008 02:03 PM

                                  I'd certainly be up for that.

                                  1. re: MMRuth
                                    j
                                    jsaimd Feb 22, 2008 02:12 PM

                                    I would vote for that too. For those of us that use only library books, having an option would be useful but it doesn't seem so broad as say all of Julia Child was, so we would be more likely to overlap recipes.

                                2. re: beetlebug
                                  DanaB Feb 22, 2008 02:21 PM

                                  Edited to say, it looks like I'll have more luck with REVOLUTIONARY CHINESE, as my library has more copies, but am interested in either of the Fuchsia Dunlop books, and would be up for doing both in one month.

                                3. MMRuth Feb 22, 2008 12:27 PM

                                  Ay Joan - we do make your life complicated don't we. My DUNLOP vote is for REVOLUTIONARY CHINESE (HUNAN), in case I was unclear!

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