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Sep 6, 2008 10:42 AM

What's the right cookbook for me?

I'm new to the cooking world and I want to find a good cookbook to guide me along. The facts; I'm a bachelor, relative newbie, and have a tiny kitchen with minimal space and equipment and I have two jobs so there are time issues as well. Given these details, what would be a good cookbook for me? Also, as I live in Canada, more obscure titles may not be available here. Thanks so much!

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  1. Considering Mark Bittman is a minimalist, I think his book How To Cook Everything would be a good one for you.

    Even though Amazon doesn't have it anymore, you can buy it used or on other websites. It's a pretty popular book.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Miss Needle

      Mark Bittman is a good idea. How to Cook Everything is kind of a comprehensive cookbook with everything. Kind of a reference book.

      You might want to look at the two minimalist cookbooks by Mark Bittman also. They are shorter books, not covering the waterfront but some good ideas for things that are fresh, and don't take a lot of time. I'm sure they are probably out of print also but should be readily available used, I would think.

    2. I wonder if Chapters (bookstore) carries discounted Hermes House (HH) cookbooks. These are well illustrated cookbooks from a UK publisher.

      You may have to try several books to find something that fits your learning style and food likes. Bittman's cook everything is not illustrated but quite comprehensive. Joy of Cooking is another general purpose book, with a limited number of line drawings. For many pictures help, but I'd stay away from ones that print a recipe on one page, and pretty photo of the finished dish on the next. For learning, step by step pictures are better, as well as illustrated discussions of the ingredients.

      2 Replies
      1. re: paulj

        Chapters definitely DID carry discounted HH cookbooks. I'm sitting here looking through Valerie Ferguson's "Vegetarian: 500 Sensational blah blah..." that I got for $14.99 on clearance. This particular book has great photos (at least 3/4 of the recipes have color photos) but it's kind of... traditional... and it's in UK English (you probably can't go to Safeway in Saskatoon and expect the produce guy to know what a "swede" is!).

      2. My first, back in my batchelor days when I was trying to entice young ladies over to dine, was The Joy of Cooking. It just has so much in it - recipes, techniques, utensils, health issues

        1. Simply Vegan and Lorna Sass' Short-Cut Vegetarian have quick, easy, healthy recipes. If you have a pressure cooker or can get one, Lorna Sass' Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure.

          1. A good place for random cookbooks in Canada is Winners. If you have one nearby you should go and browse their cookbook section to find one that actually meshes with your cooking style. I have one called Pantry Raid by Dana McCauley that you might like, as its general premise is that you can make most of the recipes with stuff you would always have on hand. I think it's a Canadian book, but don't quote me on it.