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Oct 19, 2008 04:24 AM

November COTM 2008: THE ART OF SIMPLE FOOD by Alice Waters

The winner is THE ART OF SIMPLE FOOD by Alice Waters.

I'll try to start finding some on-line recipes.


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  1. Yea! I voted for South American, but am thrilled to cook from this book, which I already own (and starting cooking from)

    Call me compulsive, but I immediately searched to amass a collection of recipes online (I omitted recipes labeled "adapted from"), which are below. I read that this is her last book. IMHO all 'hounds should own this book along w/ CP Vegetables. But cook and judge for yourself.

    All reviews are appropriately glowing, even more than all things Alice, except one that this is not Sunday Suppers at Lucques or Zuni Cafe, in that the recipes are not to the exacting standards of Chez Panisse. But still they are in Alice's religious dogma of How We All Should Eat. And cook, as in easily, locally and by season.

    Carrot Soup
    Roast Pork Loin
    (a good read, too


    Poached Pears
    Green Beans with Toasted Almonds and Lemon
    Winter Roasted Tomatoes
    Braised Celery
    Chocolate Cake

    Chicken Legs Braised with Tomatoes, Onions & Garlic
    Poached Egg with Curly Endive Salad
    Brussels Sprouts Gratin

    Leeks vinaigrette

    Marinated beet salad

    Turnip and Turnip Greens Soup

    Lentil Salad

    Braised Duck Legs with Leeks and Green Olives

    Onion Custard Pie
    Cheese and Pasta Gratin (macaroni and cheese by another name

    Alice Waters’ Four essential sauces:
    Salsa Verde
    Herb Butter

    Cauliflower Salad with Olives and Capers
    Chocolate Truffles

    Beef stew with black olives

    Chard Gratin

    Ginger Snaps


    Sauteed Cauliflower
    Red Rice Pilaf

    4 Replies
    1. re: NYchowcook

      Gosh, that is wonderful, thank you! I actually own the book and have barely opened it, let only cooked from it.

      1. re: MMRuth

        I own it as well, and am excited to cook along with all of you this month. I think it has a fitting theme given the state of the world these days. To paraphrase the opening pages - Eat locally, sustainably, seasonally, garden, conserve, cook simply, with loved ones, and treasure it all-

        1. re: MMRuth

          Ok so I'm one of those folks who didn't vote or suggest a book because I don't know how much time I'll have to devote to either COTM or DCOTM... but I LOVE reading the threads. I own The Art of Simple Food too but haven't used it much yet. I'm excited to read everyone's experiences :)

        2. re: NYchowcook

          Great list! Thank you.
          I ordered my book from the library and hope it comes soon.

        3. Mmm I'll have to see if my library has it! EDIT: just checked online. Yes, they do. Great!

          1 Reply
          1. re: TheSnowpea

            I don't have it but my library does!

          2. I just found out that it's actually published here on 30th October! The recipes sound wonderful so I've placed a pre-order, so I should get the book in the first week of November. Hurrah!

            2 Replies
            1. re: greedygirl

              Fantastic greedygirl! Woohoo!

              We just make a bunch of her chicken stock over the weekend and canned it, so, we're going to definitely dive into some of the soups!


              1. re: greedygirl

                Just got an e-mail saying the book is delayed and wouldn't even be despatched until 20 November. So I've cancelled my order. Back to the drawing board.... GRRRRR!

              2. Count me as another who owns the book but hasn't cooked from it (it was a gift). I gave it a quick look last week, but will have to look again to see what sounds interesting.

                1. Just ordered it from my Library. I have to look at this book before deciding if I really need another cookbook. It's good that we can always find on-line recipes, though.

                  Thanks for everything you do, MM!!

                  21 Replies
                  1. re: Gio

                    Just got back from the library with a copy of The Art of Simple Food in my sweaty little palm.

                    I love our Oakland Public Library, and, if that fails, I love our Berkeley Public Library!

                    1. re: oakjoan

                      I'll nip into my library this weekend, and hope that locals aren't reading this thread! LMAO!

                      1. re: TheSnowpea

                        Can you get a jump on the week-end and order/reserve it on-line?

                        1. re: yayadave

                          Are you going to cook with us this month YAYA, or are you going to live vicariously yet again? Just wonderin'.

                          1. re: Gio

                            Oh, boy, my face is red!! I looked at that book when they had stacks of them at Costco and decided I didn't really need it.* So now every one is speaking highly of it. I may have to change my mind. Of course, there's still the Cookie book .. errr, ahhh ... the Dessert Cookbook of the Month to be decided. Jeeeze, you caught me lurkin'.

                            * There's probably a lot of us around here who don't need another cook book!!

                            1. re: yayadave

                              That's OK.... I guess you're content to be the Cookie Monster.
                              As one who does not need another cookbook... I can't resist the opportunity to savor more delicious food.

                              1. re: Gio

                                I don't know. I sorta had my finger on the trigger for "Fish Without a Doubt." It's already on my wish list at Amazon. Remember, more cookbooks mean more shelves.

                                1. re: yayadave

                                  More shelves... I hear you. I now have to build yet another bookcase in the kitchen to accommodate the incursion of more cookbooks I thought I'd never need. BTW: I Love Fish Without a Doubt. Thanks for recommending it.

                                2. re: Gio

                                  Wow! The DCOTM final voting doesn't even have one cookie book. I guess that's out. No cookies.

                                  1. re: yayadave

                                    I don't know if it's any consolation, but there a gingersnap cookie recipe I can't wait to try in AoSF--it's one of the online recipes provided above, too!

                                    I am kind of curious about Lawson's Domestic Goddess (really, how can you beat that title?) but the reviews on Amazon were very mixed, saying they didn't do a very good job converting the proportions to standard from metric in the U.S. version and that the proportions are all out of whack and that it's hard to know which version you're buying when you buy it in the U.S. So, I'm afraid I'm sitting DCOTM out if it wins for sure...


                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                      can you please post this on the DCOTM runoff thread? Yes, I'm biased and voted for the other choice, but I think others should know of this criticism before voting in the next day.

                                      1. re: NYchowcook

                                        You may post it--Joan doesn't welcome comments in her threads so I don't really go there.


                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                          TDQ: I don't know where you got the idea that I don't welcome comments on "my" threads. I certainly didn't mean to say anything of the kind. I have asked that folks post their choices separated from their writings if they have set out several paragraphs which make it hard to see the book for which they're voting.

                                          What could be more important than info about a book that looks as if it will be the next DCOTM? Especially info about errata.

                                          Please do post this info on the DCOTM thread.

                                          I feel terrible that you think I don't want opinions on the DCOTM voting thread and will try to post something there to make up for any misunderstanding.

                                      2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                        Other cookie recipes in AoSF:

                                        oatmeal currant cookies
                                        chocolate crackle cookies
                                        butter cookies
                                        cat's-tongue cookies
                                        anise-almond biscotti

                                        also, not cookies, but would be nice, I think, as a food gift or on a holiday treats platter,

                                        chocolate truffles
                                        candied citrus peel
                                        candied nuts


                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                          I have to say, I've heard that criticism, but I've made a number of things from that cookbook, and have never had an issue. I think that maybe some of those problems were with the first edition of Domestic Goddess in the US, and that any of those issues may have been corrected with subsequent editions. I also think that it's pretty easy to find a lot of recipes from it online with comments, so people can check recipes in advance to see if there is any issue.

                                          1. re: JasmineG

                                            I think the problem is that people have to be super careful about which edition they are getting --the crappily converted first edition or the subsequent editions. People on Amazon were complaining that they thought they were getting one but instead got the other so, just make sure you know which edition you want and that you're getting that edition if you're buying it used or online.


                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                              Going to have to check which edition I have. Thanks for the heads up.

                                    2. re: yayadave

                                      "There are many of us on here who don't need another cookbook"

                                      Amen to that. Just can't help myself though!

                                    3. re: Gio

                                      OK, I just requested it from the library for another, more extended look. I noticed that the network shows 10 copies. Some are "available," some are "checked out," and two are "missing." Some Chowhounds, no doubt.

                                      1. re: yayadave

                                        Here today. The bean and butternut squash soup looks like a starting point.

                                        1. re: yayadave

                                          My copy from the Library was just delivered. Gotta do more reading and assessing.... I dunno where this will lead me. It may be a month during which I revisit some of the past COTMs.