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APRIL COOKBOOK of the Month - Run-Off Voting

Okay, so I've tallied as best I could given that there was LOTS of chatting going on about this book or that. Here are the tallies.

Vote for ONE and I'll count the votes and announce the COTM for April on Wednesday, March 26th.

I have set out for voting only the top vote getters. Lots of books got 2 or 3 votes and I'll mention them, but they obviously aren't going to win unless many folks have a change of heart. Here are the votes in order:

BABBO and MOLTO ITALIANO: 16 votes

FLEXITARIAN: 12 votes

ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES: 7 votes

BISTRO COOKING (P. Wells): 4 votes

THINK LIKE A CHEF: 4

Several times I was unclear whether a poster was voting for a certain book or just mentioning it. Some mentioned books (mainly Deborah Madison and other Veg. cookbooks that they said would be best in summer months when produce was plentiful).

These got no more than 3 votes:

SEDUCTIONS OF RICE, SWEET MYRTLE AND BITTER HONEY, DELICIOSO, AT HOME IN PROVENCE, MORO COOKBOOK, CASA MORO, YAMUNA'S TABLE, PLEASURES OF VIETNAMESE TABLE, A NEW WAY TO COOK, BISTRO COOKING AT HOME, BALTHAZAR, THINK LIKE A CHEF.

So vote and make it snappy! I want to post the final on Wednesday.

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  1. Out of those - FLEXITARIAN TABLE

    EDIT: I just found out I am losing my copy from the library (too many requests to renew another month), and I don't love the book enough to buy it, so cancel that vote. I will just let the cards fall where they may and then see if I can do the cookbook.

    11 Replies
    1. re: jsaimd

      Okay, jsaimd. I won't count your Flex vote.

      1. re: jsaimd

        This voting thing is REALLY WEIRD! Batali and Flex got quite a lot of votes more than the next books- I mean "a lot" in terms of our small community. Now, all of a sudden, Roast Chicken and Think Like a Chef have the most votes. Batali has 2 and Flex only 1.

        What gives? Did all those who voted for those books go on vacation to Bermuda yesterday? Was there a scathing article about Batali and Flex in The National Enquirer?

        1. re: oakjoan

          I thought it was odd, too! Maybe it is about availability. Once you put out this thread with the final list to choose from, I checked to see which ones I could actually get. Maybe people can't access the ones they originally picked? Either that, or they realized a different book had more recipes that appealed to them for this time of year? I was going to vote against the one I ended voting for, except that I went and checked, and it did have stuff for me to make in it for our current season.

          1. re: saltwater

            I thought Batali was much more popular too, but in reading through the suggestion thread, a lot of people mentioned Batali listed with other book suggestions. I even jumped the gun and made Risotto al Barolo from "Molto Italiano" last night (soooo good BTW), and bought Sardinian couscous to make the saffron fregola with clams. Oh well. Ha - my husband was so excited we might be doing Italian after all the Sichuan cooking.

            I'm torn because I'm REALLY trying to limit my obsessive cookbook-buying, and so I'm voting for what I already own. Hmmm, but I also have "Think Like a Chef", and "Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table"...or should I just convince myself to buy "Roast Chicken"....and "Sweet Myrtle and Bitter Honey" sounds great ...but then I've always wanted to do a "Moro" book too. ; )

            Looking forward to seeing where this vote goes.

            1. re: Rubee

              Rubee - I'm trying to limit my obsessive cookbook buying too - but it's not really working at the moment! And I don't think taking part in COTM is going to help!

              *looks at Amazon wishlist again*

              1. re: Rubee

                Rubee - that recipe sounds similar to one in Sweet Myrtle (which makes sense since it's Sardinian):

                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/46013... - there's a photo in the first post

                1. re: MMRuth

                  Darn it MMRuth. All that link did is make me want to buy the book now ; ) Those pictures look fantastic.

                2. re: Rubee

                  Eeek! I almost missed this thread altogether. When I'm busy I don't check in every day, or I only check the threads I'm already active on.
                  Maybe you could leave a close-out notice and trail of breadcrumbs from the suggestions/negotiations thread to the actual voting.

                  I count only 7 votes for Batali in the negotiations thread (love that, TDQ), from many of us who mention other books as well. I think the 16 votes must be from multiple mentions or something, as we discussed which Batali books.
                  I just returned Roast Chicken to the library, but wouldn't mind seeing it as com. And one of these days, I'd love the hive to descend on Batali. Now, I'm just confused. And excited that more than one other person wants Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table.
                  er......
                  BATALI : MOLTO ITALIANO + BABBO

                  1. re: Rubee

                    This message appears several messages below the one to which I'm responding.

                    Re: Rubie's post on March 25th . I ONLY counted capitalized votes and ignored discussions or mentions of books. If people capitalized 2 books, I counted both since I didn't want to be sending clarification messages to those folks.

                    It may be that folks voted on a whim and now haven't come back to vote in the run-off.

                3. re: oakjoan

                  These last two months (I don't know if this is always the case...), the "nomination" thread has seemed more like a "negotiation" thread to me...I was one of the early supporters of Flex Table in the nomination thread, but, by the end of the thread, it seemed like there were a lot of people who found the book uninspiring. I think part of what made the Dunlop books so fun is that we had a high level of participation and I would hope for a similar level of participation this month. Roast Chicken emerged late in the nomination process and one thing that I learned in the nomination thread is that our UK 'hounds and North America 'hounds don't have access to all the same cookbooks. I like that Roast Chicken is more inclusive since it's available more widely.

                  As for Mario, it was never my very first choice, but so many people seemed interested in it last month AND this month, that I was happy to go for it, too if it was many people's first choice.

                  Also, to address something you said above in your OP oakjoan, I might have been one of the votes that was discussing Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone in the nomination thread, but only in lowercase so not to be counted as a vote. I really, really want to do that book, but not until July, ideally, or June at the earliest. The ground has been frozen in the Upper Midwest since November and will stay so until mid to late April. Our vegetables look tired and pathetic (or are shipped green from afar) until about June, when we get about four weeks of baby greens. In July, we have a vegetable explosion and I'm so overflowing with veggies from my CSA that I am actually stressed out at the prospect of not knowing how to use it all! Anyway, my apologies if my lower case discussion of that cookbook made it difficult for you to count the votes.

                  Finally, I too have a cookbook addiction. I really want to buy Roast Chicken, but, do I need it? For me, "need" means, will I cook from it after COTM comes and goes? Bad/good news: I had a mishap with my Dunlop library books (bad), so they are mine now, too (good). http://www.chowhound.com/topics/49628...

                  Sorry for the long post.

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    Actually, just had a quick browse through Amazon and a some of the American books do seem to be available here, albeit with just one copy, and quite pricy. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to get them in the library though. :-)

                    On the other hand, you can get Roast Chicken on t'internet here for £3. A bargain even at the current exchange rate!

              2. My vote is for ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES. I'm not sure I'll be able to get hold of the American ones in the library - or at a reasonable price over here in Blighty. And I've been meaning to cook more from this book anyway....

                1. THINK LIKE A CHEF I've already ordered it from the library based on comments I read in the previous thread.

                  1. ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES gets my vote (what a surprise - grin). Thanks oakjoan - sorry for all the chat!!

                    1. My vote goes to SWEET MYRTLE & BITTER HONEY. It just looks so interesting and we haven't done a Mediterranean book -- and Sardinia no less. It's like Italian w/ a lively new twist! Who's ever cooked that cuisine?? It seems perfect for COTM.

                      Mario, so old already, and we've done Italian; I can do Italian in my sleep. Won't object if Ruth's Roast Chicken wins. Why not Flexitarian for me? I *do* want it to be COTM, but it's by season and in the northeast April is barely Spring and winter vegetables are so old.
                      Chat we did!! and it was fun!

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: NYchowcook

                        ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES.

                        Note to NYchowcook.... It was a tossup for me between Sweet Myrtle and Roast Chicken. I've already added RC&OS to my cookbook library and am going to get the SSM&BH this week... we can do our own mini-cotm as MMR does. LOL

                        1. re: Gio

                          "we can do our own mini-cotm as MMR does"

                          Just to clarify - this refers to a little joke I made on another thread about when I start a thread about a cookbook I've been cooking from and post about the recipes I've tried - I referred to it as "my mini COTM" in reply to Gio's query about whether or not a book had been a COTM. It's not meant to take away from COTM in any way.

                          1. re: MMRuth

                            Oh goodness... I didn't mean to take anything away from COTM!!! Which ever book wins for April that's the book I'll cook from. We cook from the Main book extensively, but like to break it up, so to speak, during the month with other recipes.....

                            Sorry for the interruption oakjoan!!!

                            1. re: Gio

                              I know you didn't - just wanted to clarify for others ;-).

                            2. re: MMRuth

                              I try to do that too, MMRuth, but I think of it as my personal COTM.

                              I'm really torn as to which book to vote for. I think I would be happy with any of them. My library doesn't have Think Like a Chef and Roast Chicken is checked out. I have the others on hold. I actually don't think Flex Table is that vegetable intensive--I think more of the creativity is around the starch and the protein-- and, frankly, would rather do Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone than Flex Table in mid summer, say, July, once the CSAs and Farmers Markets start hopping in the Upper Midwest. (The frozen ground doesn't even thaw here until mid-April, which means June is the earliest we see anything local and fresh and, even then, it's mostly baby greens. July is when we start to get some real variety...) So, if we're going to do Flex Table, I'd rather do it now, just to get it out of the way, then do a truly-vegetable focused cookbook in mid-summer.

                              Anyway, I will come back and vote later today once I agonize over my choices.

                              ~TDQ

                          2. re: NYchowcook

                            NYChowcook:

                            Actually, we've done a Mediterranean book in the past couple of months: Slow Mediterranean by Paula Wolfert. Just to put the record straight.

                          3. BISTRO COOKING
                            OR
                            PLEASURES OF THE VIETNAMESE TABLE (I really prefer this for a hot weather month, the food is more suited to hot weather)

                            1. ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES

                              I'd still love to do a bistro book at some point and am curious about "Think Like a Chef." I just took a look and there's only one copy of TLaC in the whole NYC library system and I'm number 12 on the waiting list. Maybe we could plug it in for November--which is about when I ought to be able to get my hands on it. That is, if I'm lucky and they don't lose it first. LOL.

                              1. THINK LIKE A CHEF, please.

                                Note to oakjoan: You have TLaC listed w/ 4 votes as well as under the "no more than 3 votes" category.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Carb Lover

                                  CL:

                                  What's your point? ;+)

                                  Sorry. I did this late last night.

                                  1. re: Carb Lover

                                    Carb Lover: I didn't notice til now, but I also have it in the run-off list.

                                  2. THINK LIKE A CHEF gets my vote this time.

                                    1. SWEET MYRTLE AND BITTER HONEY
                                      Thank you!

                                      1. PLEASURES OF THE VIETNAMESE TABLE
                                        or
                                        THINK LIKE A CHEF
                                        please

                                        1. BATALI - MOLTO ITALIANO and THE BABBO COOKBOOOK

                                          1. BATALI - MOLTO ITALIANO and THE BABBO COOKBOOOK

                                            1. FLEXITARIAN, though I am interested in the Vietnamese book, but can't get my claws on it at this moment.

                                              1. ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES

                                                (Thanks again, oakjoan, and yes, I like your plan to start the voting earlier in future months.)

                                                ~TDQ

                                                1. ROAST CHICKEN, please! I bought it last month on a whim, so will be excited to try it out.

                                                  1. FLEXITARIAN

                                                    (And if we get a second vote, since I see some people are listing two, then BISTRO COOKING.)

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                                      Btw, I applaud the idea of making the decision early enough that people have time to track down copies. But with having just 2 days for voting and not knowing in advance when voting would start, there might be folks who don't even know it's going on. I just happened to check tonight, for instance. Maybe that's what's happened to all the Batali and Flex supporters.

                                                        1. This is making me grumpy. I guess I should have just left out the names of the books with 3 or fewer votes, but I wanted to keep things out in the open so folks could see how the voting went in general.

                                                          A run-off is not another go round of ALL the same books (or almost all in this case) in the original post. The candidates with few votes get bumped and the choice becomes one of the remaining books. So, I meant to have the voting include ONLY the books at the top of the message. The "3 votes or fewer" category was for informational purposes only.

                                                          The voting so far, taking out SWEET MYRTLE (3 or fewer votes in orig post), is as follows:

                                                          BATALI = 4

                                                          FLEX = 4

                                                          ROAST CHICK = 5

                                                          THINK LIKE A YOU KNOW WHAT = 4

                                                          I'M GOING TO GIVE THE VOTING UNTIL THURSDAY NIGHT, since I really think that 13 votes shouldn't determine a cookbook of the month.....unless we get no more votes and then ROAST CHICKEN will win.

                                                          9 Replies
                                                          1. re: oakjoan

                                                            Thank you for all of your hard work, oakjoan. I hope your grumpiness passes soon!

                                                            ~TDQ

                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                              Oh, it will...after a few bottles of whiskey!

                                                              1. re: oakjoan

                                                                Sorry, I misunderstood!
                                                                BATALI, please.

                                                                1. re: rabaja

                                                                  No problem. I didn't explain enough! Thanks.

                                                            2. re: oakjoan

                                                              Okay, okay. (I'm one of those miscreants who didn't follow your directions -- though not intentionally :)

                                                              I'll vote for ROAST CHICKEN.
                                                              I like Flexitarian but since I'm in between seasons and the book is by the seasons, I want to pass for April. Maybe May??
                                                              I just don't want to cook w/ Mario. Been there, done that.

                                                              Please consider Sweet Myrtle and Bitter Honey for another month.
                                                              You're the best oakjoan!

                                                              1. re: NYchowcook

                                                                ROAST CHICKEN, please. And thank you.

                                                              2. re: oakjoan

                                                                oakjoan - If I were nearby, I'd drop by a bottle of your favorite whisky for you, promise!

                                                                I think there was one vote for Bistro Cooking above (Candy?), which I think brings us up to a total of 18 votes, plus the ones below your post that I'm replying to.

                                                                Ducking for cover now (well, actually, for once - my fault, not his - husband making dinner so will go check things out, with mouth firmly closed other than for wine sipping!). Hope I've not been too much of a PITA in all this!!

                                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                                  MMR: At first I thought you were saying you hoped you weren't too much of a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals....then I saw it was an I, not an E.

                                                                  You could NEVER be a PITA as far as I'm concerned.

                                                                  Most of the trouble here was caused by my confusing post.

                                                                  PS: I just made the Yueyang Hot-Dry Noodles and Peppers with Black Beans and Garlic for the third....or is it fourth time. Those salted chiles certainly make it sing.

                                                                  My husband keeps saying "I could eat this every night!" I don't know if I'd go that far, but they sure are great.

                                                                  1. re: oakjoan

                                                                    oakjoan, you're doing a great job. It's so hard to anticipate the multiple ways one's writing could be interpreted in situations like this. Plus, lots of people read and post on the fly (as I often do) and don't always pick up on details and nuances and such.

                                                                    Anyway, I'm very eager to learn the results of the voting. I received notification from my library that my Batali and Roast chicken books are in. I'll pick them up tonight and, as soon as we know the results, I will start choosing some recipes. Yay!

                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                              3. FLEXITARIAN TABLE (with a second place vote going to BISTRO COOKING).

                                                                6 Replies
                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                  Oh dear. I've just picked up my copy of Roast Chicken from the library. I'm more than halfway through the book and have only found 1-2 recipes that will be able to fit into my current diet regimen. Perhaps there are more recipes in the second half of the book that will fit into my program, but, I'm not counting it. The recipes sound heavenly, but I might have to participate vicariously through the rest of you this month, as I'm not sure how possible to adapt these recipes. I still plan to read the book, though, as I can still enjoy his dry humor. I don't know if it's possible --or fair at this late stage--to undo my vote, but if my one vote was somehow the deciding vote in determining the winner, perhaps it should be withdrawn.

                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                    TDQ- I'd be interested in your opinion. Embarrassingly, I am not really familiar with any of these books in the running and I know there are a few participating in the current COTM who are trying to watch their intake. Not that I would ever want to, or even suggest that dietary preferences be part of the equation for a COTM selection, but out of personal curiosity do you feel any of the proposed selections lean toward that dietary bent?

                                                                    1. re: Food4Thought

                                                                      Well, I did encouragingly just find a couple more recipes (in the peppers, salmon, and scallops section of Roast Chicken...) so, maybe the second half of the book is friendlier than the first half. So, maybe there will be a couple more I could make and have fit within my diet...

                                                                      My copy of Bistro Cooking (P. Wells) hasn't arrived yet and they don't have Think Like a Chef in my library, so, I can't speak to those two at all.

                                                                      When I thought there was a chance Molto Italiano was going to be the COTM last month, I had selected several of those recipes that I thought could be easily adapted. I haven't had a chance to look at Babbo yet, but, I'm guessing it will be similar, though, that's just a guess.

                                                                      I think Flexitarian Table could be be a good choice if you're trying to shift towards more legumes, tofu, and whole grains. There's still a few duck and lamb recipes in there and he calls for butter, too, so it's certainly not a diet book by any means.

                                                                      I'll bet none of those have the same wit that the Hopkinson book features...

                                                                      Those are just my superficial impressions.

                                                                      I hope that helps.

                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                          I was re-reading my copy of Roast Chicken today, and was thinking that it wouldn't be great for those of us who are on diets. Did you see the cod with lentils recipe, TDQ?

                                                                          I have Bistro Cooking, and it's a classically French book so not exactly light on the old butter and cream. Probably not quite so rich as Hopkinson though.

                                                                  2. After some more research and the fact that Top Chef is a guilty pleasure, I'd cast my vote for THINK LIKE A YOU KNOW WHAT.

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Food4Thought

                                                                      You know I really love all you guys, but the discussions on this runoff voting thread are making me a little nuts. I search for, e.g., "Batali" or "Flex" and a great number of the mentions come up in discussion and are not votes. So I have to scroll down carefully to check for ALL CAPS. I think we should start to limit discussion in the runoff message, and keep it concentrated on voting for ONE book.

                                                                      1. re: oakjoan

                                                                        Sorry oakjoan. Speaking for myself, I'm just excited for the outcome and keep checking back whenever there are new posts to see what other folks are thinking . This will be my last post in this thread. Good luck with counting your votes and whatever COTM you all end up doing--lots of wonderful possibilities there, and those are just the ones I've had a chance to look at!

                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                    2. OKAY...HEEEEEEEEEEERE'S THE Cookbook of the Month for April:

                                                                      ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES with 8 votes.

                                                                      Runners-up were Flexitarian with 6, and Batali and Think with 5.

                                                                      Ladeeeeeeez and Gentlemen start your blenders!

                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                      1. re: oakjoan

                                                                        OMGoodness. I just got my copy delivered from Jessica's. But does anyone think the printing is reeeeeely, reeeeeely small. Or do I just need new glasses?

                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                          I don't need reading glasses (yet) but yes, it is a little small. And of course, the instructions are in the format that I tend to associate with English cookbooks - paragraph form.

                                                                          1. re: MMRuth

                                                                            I think the size is inviting. Sort of like a novel by a favorite author that you buy in trade paperback size or somehow get in a readers copy.

                                                                            1. re: saltwater

                                                                              Well I just finished plowing through the book, and I must say he really does use quite a bit of butter and cream. But I did find some chapters I can work with. Eggplant, of course, chicken, leeks....I'm definitely going to make the calves liver, and try to get DH to eat the kidneys. We'll see how far I get with that. Nice that he included an Elizabeth David recipe, too!

                                                                              I put tabs on the pages I want to re-read....I love the complicated sauces described simply, and he does like Ricky Stein, as he calls him. A man after my own heart, is Mr. Hopkinson. One or two Dunlop recipes, then I'll start in on SH.

                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                Gio:

                                                                                I love Ricky Stein, too. Hadn't thought of him in a long time. Watched his show on public TV about 10 years ago - from his restaurant in Padstow (or however you spell it). Inspiring. Never got his cookbook (or perhaps books), but will look around for them now.

                                                                                1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                  He's got a ton of books now, but I'd go for the first one, Taste of the Sea, if you can find it.

                                                                                  1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                    I like Rick(y) Stein's Complete Seafood. I don't take it out of the bookshelf often, but it's a handy reference and sometimes inspiring recipes.

                                                                        2. Chowfolks:

                                                                          Well, we have a winner: April COTM is Roast Chicken and Other Stories by Hopkinson. If there are any of his recipes available on line, I'm sure one of our netrecipe hounds will find them and post accordingly.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: oakjoan

                                                                            He used to write a food column for a national newspaper (The Independent), so there's bound to be a ton of recipes online.

                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                              http://www.independent.co.uk/news/peo...
                                                                              That's a link to his bio....a really intersting career and life story of Mr. Hopkinson.