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OCTOBER 2008 COTM: Voting (Ends Today - 9/19)

As always, lots of great suggestions, and below are the two options that got the most suggestions. Voting ends 9/19 (Friday) so that posters will have plenty of time to get the book(s) and I'll tally up first thing Saturday morning and post the winner. Please use all caps when posting your vote.


• CRADLE OF FLAVOR: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore by James Oseland.


• MARIO BATALI: Molto Italiano, Babbo & Simple Italian Food

Link to suggestions thread, in case anyone wants to look at it:




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  1. MARIO BATALI. Thanks MMRuth.

    1. MARIO BATALI. Grazie tanto, MM!

      1. MARIO BATALI.

        Thank you for organizing! I reserved all of the books at the library -- in case! :)

        1. MARIO BATALI

          Thanks so much! Can't wait to participate again!


          1. MARIO BATALI
            Thank you!

            1. CRADLE OF FLAVOR (Hey! At least I'm consistent! And rest assured . . . I'lllll be back!)

              10 Replies
              1. re: JoanN

                I've already put that book on my wish list in Jessica's cookies ... so you'll have company.

                1. re: JoanN

                  Throwing in a vote for CRADLE OF FLAVOR so JoanN has some company. In the meantime, I'll start choosing some recipes out of the Mario books--I have recommitted to my Weight Watchers core plan, so, I'll need a head start in finding recipes.

                  Thank you MMRuth.


                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    CRADLE OF FLAVOR - it really is a very good cookbook.

                    (But I admit I am looking forward to Batali)

                  2. re: JoanN

                    Aghhhhhhhhhhhhh! Run for your lives! Here comes Joan N. with that danged Cradle of Flavor again!

                    Oh yeah, BATALI MOLTO ITALIANO

                    Yay! Fun to be a voting citizen again!!

                    1. re: oakjoan

                      I think the whole mod. not being allowed to vote thing is really silly ...

                      1. re: LulusMom

                        For what it's worth, in my short experience, the mod's vote would not be outcome determinative.

                        1. re: MMRuth

                          Exactly. Part of my point about why it seems silly not to allow the mod to vote. Seems like it might keep some away from being willing to take his or her turn.

                          1. re: LulusMom

                            Interesting point - I was thinking of it the opposite way, but it's something worth thinking about. Jen Kalb also raised some organizational issues, so maybe I'll start - or anyone else is welcome to, of course, a thread on Site Talk in a couple of days.

                            1. re: MMRuth

                              Gosh, I hope I didn't step on any toes. I just think it seems like this should be as fun for the organizer as it is for everyone else, and not getting to vote seems silly, considering it will be so unlikey to effect the final outcome.

                              1. re: LulusMom

                                Oh no - not at all - don't worry! One idea could be for the mod to vote last, so that it doesn't in anyway influence any one's vote - not that it would, of course!

                  3. MARIO BALTALI. Thanks MMRuth!

                    1. MARIO BATALI.

                      Thanks,MM. I think I should finally have the time to participate this go-round. I've been lurking on the COTM since the beginning!

                        1. MARIO BATALI

                          I have "Molto Italiano" but those who don't own any of his books can easily download recipes from FN and elsewhere.

                            1. MARIO BATALI.

                              JoanN, I've checked Cradle of Flavor out of the library and am totally smitten with the writing (haven't even cooked from it yet), so I definitely want to do it sometime! But just not this month.

                              1. • MARIO BATALI
                                I am on a self imposed cookbook moratorium and I already have these :) along with the new Italian Grill

                                1. MARIO BATALI!

                                  Thanks for including Simple Italian Food. :-)

                                  1. MARIO BATALI: Molto Italiano, Babbo & Simple Italian Food

                                        1. I think MARIO BATALI would be a great first COTM.

                                          One question though, do I need to purchase all three books?

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: newfoodie

                                            Absolutely not! In fact, you don't have to purchase any. There are lots of Batali recipes online, and you could use those. I usually take a book out of the library first and only decide to buy it if I love what I've made and know for sure that I want to add it to my collection.

                                              1. re: newfoodie

                                                For what it's worth, if Batali is the winner (and it looks like it will be) I will probably do some combo of checking books out from the library and finding recipes online. I have plenty of Italian cookbooks and unless I fall in love with the Batali ones, don't really need another right now.


                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                  Me too, DQ. I already requested all of Batali's books at the library, and I'll only buy them if I really feel compelled. I tend to do that in general with COTM and then I splurge on the books that are most transformative for my cooking (like The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen).

                                                  1. re: foxy fairy

                                                    I've actually been buying most of the COTM's (every since I ruined my Dunlop/Chinese library books and had to buy them anyway) if I didn't already have a book from that cuisine, but, I'm probably going to start getting more selective because I'm just accumulating too many books.


                                              2. re: JoanN

                                                And we usually try to post lots of links to recipes available on other sites as well on the thread for the month so you don't even really have to go digging for them unless you want to. The reason for doing three books was that there was a lot of interest in Batali, but not everyone had the same book etc., so I decided to be inclusive!

                                              3. re: newfoodie

                                                I encourage everyone to utlilize their local library! It's such a great way to try out a cookbook before you invest in the purchase. I have so so many cookbooks that I bought and now don't use because they just weren't what I was expecting. In fact, I should donate those to the library booksale, come to think of it!
                                                I've requested all three of the books and it usually only takes a few days for them to arrive at my local branch.

                                              4. CRADLE OF FLAVOR but Im resigned to the People's choice.. As previously noted, this is really best as a warm season book. Would it be possible to do some advance planning rather than having this come down to a monthly popularity contest? I really hated to have to choose between vietnamese and malaysian and I agree we need to mix it up..

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: jen kalb

                                                  I agree, jen. I promise not to nominate it again until what? April? Is April warm enough? I'm making a note in my calendar.

                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                    Nertz, I was thinking January would be just about right for another round of spicy asian food.

                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                      I'd even go for another round of Dunlop. I could cook from those books forever. Can't really think why I love them so much more than any other Chinese cookbooks I've ever had. Maybe because many of the others I've had over the years only had recipes using easily findable ingredients for their time. China Moon was the exception, but that was just toooo finicky for my taste.

                                                      Sorry for blabbing in voting thread. I started out just to say I'd have to take a look at Cradle of Flavor.

                                                      1. re: oakjoan

                                                        Oh yeah, Dunlop was a huge hit here, as is this month.

                                                2. for all you batali lovers, i posted this excellent interview/cooking demo associated with his new italian grilling book. his combination of flavors is innovative and so darn appetizing. interesting wine pairings, too, from the sommelier who conducts the interview, and observes (and drinks with mario) in the cooking demos....


                                                  1. Some day CRADLE OF FLAVOR will be our COTM . . . .And I'm looking forward to it.
                                                    That's my vote, though it looks like not this month.

                                                    3 Batali books?? And his web recipes?! Kinda wacky imho -- oeuvre of the month? But I'm there w/ my fellow hounds' choice. Joan -- maybe we should do a mini Ruth-type posting on CoF to persuade others of its merits -- maybe to warm them up for the April voting?

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: NYchowcook

                                                      To be clear, "technically" all of his recipes on the web are not included - just the ones that are from those three books. I agree that it would be too scattered to include all of his online recipes. People have been posting them so that those who don't want to buy the book can see what is available on line.

                                                      1. re: NYchowcook

                                                        >maybe we should do a mini Ruth-type posting on CoF to persuade others of its merits<

                                                        Actually, I had every intention of doing that. I'd even bought many ingredients specifically to do so. But then, I became so enamored of Nguyen's book--and some of the ingredients I'd bought for CoF were appropriate for ItVK--that I just haven't gotten around to it. I'll be away from my kitchen quite a bit next month; perhaps soon thereafter (especially if there's a COTM choice in an upcoming month that doesn't particularly appeal to me.) :-)

                                                      2. MARIO BATALI
                                                        (as intriguing as COF is, coming off the Viet enthusiasm on the board...)

                                                        1. MARIO BATALI

                                                          Who was last October? i made a great chicken stock from that book and now I can't remember the title.

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: ginnyhw

                                                            Last October was Julia Child. I use her "The Way to Cook" recipe for chicken stock all the time.

                                                            1. re: MMRuth

                                                              I looked at my library history and it was Patricia Wells Vegetable Harvest so it must have been September. I remember we had a heat wave right after I ordered it so I froze the stock and abandoned my big plans for whatever I was planning to make.

                                                              1. re: ginnyhw

                                                                Here's the link to the list of COTMs:


                                                                So was the chicken stock from Wells's book? I wasn't sure from your post. If so, did you like anything else from that book - I found one or two recipes that I liked, but was less than thrilled, sadly, with the rest of them!

                                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                                  My husband loved the chicken stock and I used it in a decent squash soup recipe from the book. I also made a chickpea spread that was pretty good - it used a pesto recipe from the pantry section. I think I liked the pantry section recipes better than the main events. I have a copy of the Way to Cook but I get lazy about making my own chicken stock these days.

                                                                  1. re: ginnyhw

                                                                    The one thing I really loved from that book was the Prune Pear Compote - I think I posted the recipe - great w/ cheese.

                                                            1. Would it be possible to put up the list of all of the COTM books (with the links to their main link page) as a sticky topic? It would be so helpful for tracking down COTM recipes and comments.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                                                I keep a Word document on my desktop with the list and links for exactly that reason. If, for whatever reason, The Chowhound Team prefers not to create such a sticky, having such a document available at a click might be an acceptable workaround.