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HEY! TIME FOR JULY COOKBOOK OF THE MONTH SUGGESTIONS!

I'm trying to start a bit earlier this month so that the voting doesn't take place a week before the the next month starts. Actually, it's already too late to have this happen.

Let's please have even the suggestions in CAPS this time to make it easier for me to make up the voting thread. If your suggestion is NOT in CAPS, I'll still count it if I see it, but only in the suggestion phase.

I think that the July book should reflect the bountiful produce available this time of year. It's perfectly okay to re-suggest a book that has been part of the voting thread for another month.

I'll leave this up until Saturday morning, i.e., June, 14th, and post the voting thread that same day. It'll be up until June 19th. The runoff will be June 19th to June 24th. Well, it turns out that we AGAIN won't have the COTM until the last week in June. Sorry, sorry, sorry. It's hard to start thinking about the next book when we're all just starting out with the current one.

I'm open to suggestions....maybe have the COTM be for 2 months?

I'm also open to anybody else wanting to take over the duties of running the COTM. That's NOT to say that I'm weary of it. Just the opposite. It's not that much work, but anybody who wants a crack at it should let me know...let us all know for that matter.

TO NEWBIES:

I have been thinking that there needs to be an introductory paragraph or two each month so that people who come across this for the first time understand what the set-up is. So here goes.

The cookbook of each month is chosen in a two-part election (1st round and runoff), then the book with the most votes (duh, eh?) becomes the COTM for the next month.

Anyone can join in with comments, descriptions, stories, pitfalls, etc. No need to join anything, just get the book (most of our COTMs have been available in many libraries) and start cooking and posting. We also post links to recipes online in case you don't want to or can't get the COTM. This makes it easy to cook along.

You may substitute ingredients because you're following a diet or because you forgot to buy, e.g., cloud ear mushrooms, or just because you want to see what happens when you add cement instead of corn starch to a pudding recipe.

The folks on this thread are quite charming and funny and smart. We all enjoy discussing the recipes and locating unusual ingredients.

What are you wating for? Start by suggesting a favorite or untried cookbook or by commenting on one discussed in the suggestion thread.

Don't be scared! We've all had, shall we say, less than perfect experiences cooking from the various books.

Welcome!

Best, Oakjoan (Joan Mocine)

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    1. re: Chimayo Joe

      My CSA is finally here! Summer is finally here! YAY! How about

      VEGETARIAN COOKING FOR EVERYONE, D. Madison

      EDIT: P.S. oakjoan, I think you're doing a terrific job and we're in the groove now. Unless someone else is very excited to step up or you have gotten your fill of being the organizer, I encourage you to continue. Personally, I like the idea of switching books every month, just in case the cookbook doesn't work for someone for some reason. And since we can continue to post to the threads even after the month has ended, we can continue to cook from the book and share with the community if we want to. I do like when you try to start the selection process early, as you are doing now--we know you're doing your best, and it's working fine.

      The only change I might suggest, and I'm a relative newcomer so maybe this idea has been explored and abandoned, is have the suggestions and voting threads be say, for the next two or three months. Everyone votes for their top two or three choices and as long as the top two (or three) vote getters aren't too similar, then have the number 1 vote getter be next months (ie., July in our scenario) and the number 2 vote getter be the COTM for (ie., for August). I think this would require some judgment on your part, oakjoan, in case the two vote getters were a similar cuisine or something (say, "Italian" and "More Italian" were the winners), you might have to choose a book that didn't get as many votes in order to ensure some variety. Or you might have to rearrange the order so that, even if it were the #1 vote getter, the book called "500 ways to roast a turkey" falls in November or the book called "Great recipes for Christmas and Hanukkah" falls in December. Just a thought. Thank you again.

      ~TDQ

      1. re: Chimayo Joe

        Chimayo_Joe, I actually have that book and have seldom used it. Have you cooked from it much? A quick glance suggests I might prefer to do this book in the fall or winter, but that's because I'm drawn towards the braising and oven cooking recipes.

        1. re: Karen_Schaffer

          I used to cook from it quite a bit, but over the past several years I've been on a spicy binge of various Asian(east and west) and Mexican cooking, and thought it would be a nice time for me to revisit the Loomis book. I think you're right though; it's not as summery as I was remembering, so I withdraw my suggestion of the French Farmhouse Cookbook.

      2. For those who may be new to Cookbook of the Month, here's a list, with links to master threads, of all selections since inception:

        **2006**

        Sept - Marcella Hazan, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/325712

        Oct - Molly Stevens, All About Braising
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/330177

        Nov - Rick Bayless, One Plate at a Time
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/339027

        Dec - Dorie Greenspan, Baking from My Home to Yours
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/347476

        **2007**

        Jan - Judy Rodgers, Zuni Cafe Cookbook
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/355995

        Feb - Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid, Hot Sour Salty Sweet
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/366679

        March - Leite's Culinaria
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/376081

        April - Claudia Roden, Arabesque
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/387069

        May - Suzanne Goin, Sunday Suppers at Lucques
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/397079

        June - Edna Lewis, Country Cooking
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/406983

        July - Nigella Lawson, Forever Summer
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/416938

        August - Chris Schlesinger & John Willoughby
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/427007

        Sept – Patricia Wells, Vegetable Harvest
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/437177

        Oct – Julia Child
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/446374

        Nov – Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins, The Silver Palate Cookbook
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/456241

        Dec. – Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook AND Martha Stewart’s Hors d’Oeuvres Handbook
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/465358

        **2008**

        Jan – Paula Wolfert, The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/474978

        Feb – Frank Stitt’s Southern Table
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/485291

        Mar - Fuchsia Dunlop, Revolutionary Cinese Cookbook and Land of Plenty
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/494660

        Apr – Simon Hopkinson, Roast Chicken and Other Stories
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/505153

        May – Peter Berley, The Flexitarian Table
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/514822

        June - -Penelope Casas
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/524513

        4 Replies
        1. re: JoanN

          TO NEWBIES:

          I have been thinking that there needs to be an introductory paragraph or two each month so that people who come across this for the first time understand what the set-up is. So here goes.

          The cookbook of each month is chosen in a two-part election (1st round and runoff), then the book with the most votes (duh, eh?) becomes the COTM for the next month.

          Anyone can join in with comments, descriptions, stories, pitfalls, etc. No need to join anything, just get the book (most of our COTMs have been available in many libraries) and start cooking and posting. We also post links to recipes online in case you don't want to or can't get the COTM. This makes it easy to cook along.

          You may substitute ingredients because you're following a diet or because you forgot to buy, e.g., cloud ear mushrooms, or just because you want to see what happens when you add cement instead of corn starch to a pudding recipe.

          The folks on this thread are quite charming and funny and smart. We all enjoy discussing the recipes and locating unusual ingredients.

          What are you wating for? Start by suggesting a favorite or untried cookbook or by commenting on one discussed in the suggestion thread.

          Don't be scared! We've all had, shall we say, less than perfect experiences cooking from the various books.

          Welcome!

          Oakjoan, COTM Moderator and Mistress of All She Surveys (yeah, right)

          1. re: oakjoan

            Oakjoan - you make a number of great points, and the more the merrier. Happy to have you continue to do this, but if you get tired of it/fed up/tired of being Mistress of All She Surveys/She Who Must Be Obeyed a la Mortimer, I'd be willing to do a couple of months, or whatever is required.

            Signed, one who aspires to be quite charming and funny and smart (and who just got her computer back after a six day crash).

            1. re: oakjoan

              And I thought you were The Queen.....

              1. re: Gio

                Of course I am, my dear. It's just that, as Queen, I can be anything else I want to be. I merely have to wave my scepter! Where is that danged scepter anyway?

          2. Surely it's time for VEGETARIAN COOKING FOR EVERYONE, D. Madison, either for July or August. I would be open to the idea of including ANY DEBORAH MADISON COOKBOOKS, partly to force myself to branch out from VCFE.

            Has anyone else cooked from THE GLORIOUS FOODS OF GREECE by Diane Kochilas? It's full of lots of intriguing recipes. She has several other books on Greek cooking out too, so it might be fun to do ANY DIANE KOCHILAS COOKBOOKS.

            http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?...

            1 Reply
            1. re: Karen_Schaffer

              I would add my vote for VEGETARIAN COOKING FOR EVERYONE it is my go to book for soups, seasonal vegetable cooking.

            2. I've been reading the Summer cookbook lists at the James Beard, NPR, and NYT sites and several books popped out at me. In no particular order:

              SCREEN DOORS & SWEET TEA, by MARTHA HALL FOOSE

              SIMPLY ORGANIC: A COOKBOOK FOR SUSTAINABLE, SEASONAL, AND LOCAL INGREDIENTS, by JESSE ZIFF COOL

              MEDITERRANEAN FRESH, by JOYCE GOLDSTEIN

              I wouldn't mind a DEBORAH MADISON book, however. I've had The Savory Way (1990) since it's publication and love it!

              1. I'd vote for ANY DEBORAH MADISON BOOK since I have several.

                1. Another vote for VEGETARIAN COOKING FOR EVERYONE. I know we all wanted to wait until there was plenty of fresh produce for this one. Now seems the ideal time.

                  1. I will jump on THE VEGETARIAN COOKING FOR EVERYONE bandwagon. This book has been suggested by many posters, but always a bridesmaid, never a bride. It's time to do this one, folks!

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: pikawicca

                      I'll look up the book on Amazon etc., but can you tell us more about it? I was so disappointed by Well's Vegetarian Harvest or whatever it was called.

                      1. re: MMRuth

                        Hi MMRuth, I hope pitu (and others familiar with the book) will chime in, but, Deborah Madison was the founding chef at Greens in San Francisco. The thing I love about VCFE is that I can pick any fresh vegetable up from any market anywhere and know that there will be at least some recipe or discussion about it in VCFE. It's very comprehensive and ingredient-focused, with over 1000 recipes. Some of her recipes, such as for homemade tortillas, are staples around our house. To be honest I haven't cooked from this book as much as I've used it for a reference about handling the vegetables (I bought this book after my CSA season ended last year--shutting the barn door after the horse, really), but now that CSA season is upon me, I definitely plan to dig into this book more (even if it isn't chosen as COTM!)

                        I have a couple other of her books "This can't be tofu" which is a fun little book, as well as "The Greens Cookbook." She has written so many, but I think VCFE is the most comprehensive. It definitely discusses vegetables, but also pastas and grains and soy, etc.

                        I, too, was disappointed by Well's Vegetable Harvest--I ended up giving it away.

                        ~TDQ

                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          MM:

                          Deborah Madison has been around for a long time and has written several wonderful cookbooks, such as The Savory Way and the Green's Cookbook. She used to have a restaurant in Santa Fe and I still remember our dinner there at least 10 years ago.

                          Her Veg Cooking for Everyone is a great book. I actually like Madhur Jaffrey's World Veg Cooking a little bit better, but Madison's is right up there.

                          Although I don't know anything about Wells' Veg. Harvest, I've heard some pretty negative comments here. I didn't participate in that month's cooking, but I can vouch for Madison's books. Amazing.

                        2. re: MMRuth

                          MM check out Alibris and Jessica's Biscuit (e.cookbooks.com) too. Their prices are much less than Amazon I've found ...although the books are used. I've bought several now and have no complaint after spending top $$$ at Barnes & Noble for years.

                          http://www.alibris.com/
                          http://www.ecookbooks.com/

                          Glad you're back BTW!

                          1. re: Gio

                            It's not necessarily true, in my experience, that Alibris and ecookbooks are always less than Amazon if you compare used to used. Was just the other day, for instance, pricing two different cookbooks. Alibris had the best price on one, but Amazon had the best price on the other--more than $5 less than ecookbooks. So if you're a pennypincher as I am, you really do need to check all three sites to find the best bargain.

                            And I'm totally with you on the "used" issue. I can barely tell the difference, and they're going to look used pretty damn quickly anyway.

                            1. re: JoanN

                              Come to think of it I also have bought used books from Amazon....I forgot. You're right.... it's always a good idea to compare each site... ya never know......

                              1. re: Gio

                                I just made something in Breakfast Lunch Tea from the Rose Bakery and, after reading the above posts about used books, started to laugh about the shape my originally new copy of the book is in now. Splatters all over, pages folded down, pieces of torn envelope sticking out of it to flag a recipe.

                                In my kitchen at least, books start looking used almost immediately.

                          2. re: MMRuth

                            I have it, but have not cooked much from it. However, there have been so many enthusiastic boosters of this book that I will happily jump in. People seem to love it.

                            1. re: MMRuth

                              I didn't cook from Vegetarian Harvest, so I can't compare to that. But VCFE is quite a large book, almost encyclopedic, with lots of recipes to choose from. There's a large central section that goes through vegetables alphabetically and has about 6-12 recipes for each. It's the first book I turn to when I'm looking for vegetable ideas. Friends of mine refer to her as St. Deborah.

                              You can use it both to make sides (vegetables, salads, soups, etc.) or mains, and I use it more for veggie sides than anything else. I don't think I've ever made a recipe I've been disappointed with. There's a roasted beet salad with garlic-anise vinaigrette that's one of our all-time favorites.

                              I'd say it's mainly of the Alice Waters school of cooking -- appreciating good, true flavors of foods and enhancing them appropriately. Definitely not hippy-dippy vegetarian cooking.

                              Hope this helps!

                              1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                Thanks all for your thoughts. I actually have her tofu book, but I can't remember if I've cooked from it or not!!

                                1. re: MMRuth

                                  I bought the book without looking at it (still haven't ... been waiting for it to hit CotM ; )), but I have been to Greens and was very impressed. Definitely not hippy-dippy at all, really interesting and well presented and delicious food. I'm hoping the book will be similar. I didn't buy the Patricia Wells book (I already have two of hers and had read that for a veg. book it used a lot of meat) so I can't really compare the two.

                          3. My husband wasn't thrilled with Flexitarian, so instead of Vegetarian, I'll vote for KOCHILAS for Greek (I've only cooked from one of her books, Meze, but everything I've made from it has been great).

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Rubee

                              I would be interested in doing a Greek cookbook as well, so will second the recommendation for KOCHILAS. I checked her out on Amazon and it looks like she's got a number of different books to choose from.

                              I also like Rosemary Barron's FLAVORS OF GREECE, which is a really good cookbook, and so will nominate it.

                              I will also put in a vote for Alice Water's THE ART OF SIMPLE FOOD, which I think would be good to do in summer months, as she emphasizes food you can find at farmer's markets.

                              1. re: DanaB

                                I would love to do CHEZ PANISSE VEGETABLES/ART OF SIMPLE FOOD ALICE WATERS COMBO. My concern about doing AoSF alone is that it's so new that the folks who rely on getting their books from the library might not be able to have access to it.

                                P.S. I'm open to a lot of things, though, so Greek sounds fun, too!

                                ~TDQ

                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  Actually, I just looked up AofSF on Amazon.com--it was released in October 2007. It's not that new.

                                  ~TDQ

                            2. ITALIAN GRILL by Mario Batali

                              1. STEVE RAICHLENS BARBECUE BIBLE. It is the epitome of summertime cooking, with a plethora of uses for organic and sustainable vegetables and meat/poultry/fish products, (or not), and we are saving energy by cooking outside! Included are indoor grilling recipes.

                                Yoroshiku,
                                Andy

                                1. As the consensus seems to be that July is vegetable month, I'm throwing THE CAFÉ PARADISO COOKBOOK by Denis Cotter into the mix. He's an Irish chef, who runs an acclaimed vegetarian restaurant, and does incredibly creative things with vegetables. I got a free copy of another of his books last year, but friends rave about the original. It's got great reviews on Amazon as well.

                                  http://www.amazon.com/Cafe-Paradiso-C...

                                  1. My life would not be as full w/o Deborah Madison's VEGETARIAN COOKING FOR EVERYONE. It's a handy reference, and is comprehensive -- made applesauce from it last night. It covers the field but is not as inspiring as say Marcella who covers the field of Italian. I would prefer a vegetable cookbook be on for August, when summer's bounty is upon us in upstate NY.

                                    However, for COTM (for August) I would chime in with Alice Waters' VEGETABLES or her newest: ART OF SIMPLE FOOD.

                                    For July, I will pitch for CHRIS SCHLESINGER's LET THE FLAMES BEGIN, THRILL OF THE GRILL or LICENSE TO GRILL. He's the chef of East Coast Grill in Cambridge, Mass. Every recipe I've tried is a winner -- packed w/ flavor (e.g., "exotic-flavored chicken thighs w/ tomato-mint salad", "grilled shrimp w/ garlic-tabasco butter", "cumin-crusted chicken breasts with orange-chipotle barbecue sauce", "southeastern asian-style tomato relish w/ ginger, basil & mint"). July is a great month to grill. City dwellers could, uh, broil (?) Or make relishes!!

                                    Did you say "charming"?? Surely you must mean others, who counter my harumphedness, Queen Joan.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: NYchowcook

                                      Fyi, Schlesinger and Willoughby were cookbook authors of the month in August of '07.

                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/52791...

                                      ETA: No reason not to go back and add to those threads. I really enjoy it when people do that.

                                      1. re: JoanN

                                        Oops (sheepish grin) and I cooked from them then too. Senior moment, I spose.
                                        I will grill in July, and yes, I'll add to the old thread. Staying w/ grilling, I would endorse Cheryl & Bill Jamison: BORN TO GRILL, THE BIG BOOK OF OUTDOOR COOKING & ENTERTAINING, THE BORDER COOKBOOK, or SUBLIME SMOKE.

                                        Since we're just throwing out ideas here, I would also put forward for consideration Clifford Wright's SOME LIKE IT HOT; Spicy Favorites from the World's Hot Zones (e.g., grilled skirt steak w/ tomatillo sauce, pork w/ chipotle chile cream sauce, squid & chile salad)

                                    2. Several people have suggested grilling books. But since I live in Manhattan and can't attempt outdoor cooking, I'd have to skip a month. I'm sure other apartment-dwellers here and in some other places would too.

                                      7 Replies
                                      1. re: NYCkaren

                                        Karen, that's a terrific point, thank you for bringing that up. I was just about to pop in and suggest a book I bought by accident (long story having to do with the hazards of online shopping while not paying attention), but that turned out to be very interesting and appealing (at least, based on my flipping through it, though, I wish it were in color...) and that's Bobby Flay's "Grilling for Life: 75 healthier ideas for big flavor from the fire"...but nevermind. I think COTM is so much more fun when more, rather than fewer, people join in.

                                        Actually, this is one reason why I like the vegetarian cooking for everyone option--I intend to do a lot of grilling once it gets too hot to cook indoors, but need a ton of vegetable recipes to use up my CSA produce. So veg cooking for everyone is good for omnivores who want to just use the vegetables as sides to whatever they are doing on the grill or for vegetarians who are looking for recipes for mains...

                                        ~TDQ

                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                          I have just checked the Oakland Library to find the availability of all the suggested books. Every one is there except for the Cafe Paradiso Cookbook.

                                          1. re: oakjoan

                                            I have the opposite! Loindon Libraries don't really stock American cookery books, although there are a few copies of the Chez Panisse cookbooks knocking around. It's also hard to find cheap copies, as Amazon tends to be the only option.

                                            However, I popped into my local second-hand bookshop yesterday and right at the top of a pile of books was a copy of Deborah Madison's The Greens Cookbook! It's an American hardback edition, in very good condition, and only £7. What a result. Serendipity, I suppose...

                                            I've flicked through it and lots of the recipes look good, if time-consuming. That's not that surprising as gourmet vegetarian food often takes more preparation, ime. To me it also seems very "New American", in a similar, vegetarian vein to Suzanne Goin. It's not really a style of cooking that we see here in London. Which is not necessarily a bad thing!

                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                              I've bought books here in Los Angeles from Amazon.co.uk, so I'm sure you can buy books from Amazon.com (the American version) if you want to spend the money on shipping.

                                              I'm surprised your library doesn't have a broader selection of cookbooks. We did Simon Hopkinson's book for April, and my library here in Los Angeles had his book. You should talk to your local branch about carrying a more diverse selection!

                                              1. re: DanaB

                                                That could be because the Hopkinson book is a U.S. edition of the U.K. That said, I know of one COTM poster who has a great relationship w/ her local library and is able to convince them to buy cookbooks that she identifies (curiously, often COTM ones!).

                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                  That probably does make a difference. Most of the American books I have are straight imports - no conversions or "translation" into British (proper) English. ;-)

                                                2. re: DanaB

                                                  I've looked into buying from Amazon.com but once you've factored in the shipping costs, it's usually about the same price as Amazon.co.uk (which I suppose is deliberate). And given the delivery time difference, it's just not worth it. Same goes for used book websites.

                                                  Libraries in the UK are pretty cash-starved, on the whole. I can get them to order books from other boroughs, though, which I've just done for the Chez Panisse Cookbook. The reality is that a lot of the chefs I've discovered through COTM are not that well known over here (I'd never heard of Mark Bittman before Chowhound came into my life) so it's not surprising that their books aren't stocked.

                                        2. I'l chime in with
                                          VEGETARIAN COOKING FOR EVERYONE, D. Madison

                                          but will also plug for a book my CSA used to sell at the start of the delivery season

                                          THE VICTORY GARDEN COOKBOOK by Marian Morash

                                          It is wonderful for the bounty of CSA cooking and as it's been around for a while (1982) perhaps folks have it already.

                                          1. I'm so bad - I just realized I have Deborah Madison's "Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating From America's Farmers' Markets" (2002). So if Vegetarian wins, I'd like to add that to the mix. I've cooked a few recipes from it when I first bought it, and remember that I liked them, but can't remember specifics. Hmmm (sigh) not a good sign about my memory.

                                            1. I suggest ITALIAN GRILL by Mario Batali. Billed as the quintessential introduction to tasty, smoky, simple Italian food on the grill.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: jackie de

                                                How adaptable do you think the recipes are to indoor grilling? Thanks.

                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                  The Boston Globe printed two recipes from his book (there are on my too make list). I think they can be adaptable with a cast iron skillet.

                                                  BUT, it's a brand new book and may be difficult for library users to use for the month.

                                                  http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/...

                                                  http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/...

                                              2. Hi everyone! I'm a newbie and former lurker. :) I think this is a fun and great idea and would like to participate! Because oakjoan mentioned suggesting a Cookbook for the time of year, I am going to suggest Delia Smith's Summer Collection. It's an older cookbook which I don't own but I do remember taking it out from the library years back and liking what I saw. If it isn't available at the library, Delia also has a website and there are about 485 recipes related to Summer Collection. Just thought I would throw it in here! Looking forward to participating!

                                                http://www.amazon.com/Delias-Summer-C...

                                                http://www.deliaonline.com

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: always_eating

                                                  This is a great book which I've cooked from a lot in the past but has been abandoned for newer, more exciting tomes! I should revisit. Thanks for suggesting it.

                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                    Is the runoff thread up yet? I always have a hard time finding it. Any chance you could put a link for it at the end of the first round, so it is easily accessible? Just a thought...

                                                    1. re: kennedy

                                                      It is stickied at the top of the board.

                                                      1. re: kennedy

                                                        It's always among the first couple of messages on the Home Cooking Board and stays put until a book is chosen. It is then released into the general stream. It's replaced by a general (Insert current month) COTM thread which sticks all month.