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December 2008 Cookbook of the Month: Your Suggestions Needed [Ends 11/14]

MMRuth Nov 10, 2008 08:34 AM

Just realized I needed to put this up! Sorry for the delay.

Once again it's time for your suggestions for COTM! When you recommend a book, please try to mention if you've cooked from it or not, why you recommend it, etc. , I don't mind lots of chatter on books - in fact, I think it is good and helpful - but please use all CAPS for your actual suggestion. One thought that I'll throw out there - since December is a busy month for people usually, this might be a good month to go back and cook from previous books as was discussed in an earlier month's suggestion thread.

PLEASE NOTE: In order to make it easier for participants to scan others’ suggestions and for me to tabulate the results, I’d appreciate it if you would make your recommendations in the following format:

TITLE (in all caps), Author: Description of the book or reason you are recommending it (optional but preferred)

If you want to second or third a title that someone else has already mentioned, please repeat the title, typing it in capital letters. Just saying “I agree with Stewpot” may well get lost and your choice might not get counted. And the more often a particular title is mentioned, the greater the chance it will be among the finalists.

I'll leave this thread up until November 14th, and plan to do what I did last time, which is not to have a run-off vote, unless two books are hopelessly tied. My thought is to keep the voting period itself limited, so that posters will have more time to get the books. I’m looking forward to seeing your suggestions.

And, as always, thanks for participating.

P.S. I'm going to repeat my comment from last month:

"I want to make one observation, as posters think about their suggestions for November. It seems to me - and I've gone back and reviewed many of the COTM threads - that the most successful months have been those where we've ended up using books that some posters have used a lot and love, rather than those when we've tried a book that may sound interesting, but that posters who've made the initial recommendations for them haven't actually used (which I know I've done - no finger pointing here!). This isn't meant to impede posters from making recommendations, but just food for thought, so to speak. "

  1. MMRuth Nov 14, 2008 01:11 PM

    Just a reminder that I'll be doing the voting thread tomorrow morning, so, if you haven't made suggestions and want to, or want to change your suggestion, or want to check your suggestion to see if it's in all caps or that I'll figure out what it is, this is time!

    Thanks - have a great weekend.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MMRuth
      MMRuth Nov 15, 2008 12:25 PM

      Hi - sorry I've not put up the voting thread yet - I'm in the middle of a cooking marathon and need to head back to the kitchen. Will do it tomorrow morning!


    2. roxlet Nov 14, 2008 07:39 AM

      I know that this is a food COTM, but despite that, I would think that this would be an excellent time to feature a holiday baking book, and damn the rules! I always pull out an old Mimi Sheraton book, VISIONS OF SUGARPLUMS, and this year I plan to make great use of Carol Walters GREAT COOKIES book. With the hustle and bustle of the holiday seasons, regular meals often get left behind, but the one kind of cooking that everyone seems to do is baking. Just an idea. Don't yell at me....

      4 Replies
      1. re: roxlet
        Gio Nov 14, 2008 08:46 AM

        Hi roxlet.

        The COTMs of the last two December were books about baking:

        Dec '06 - Dorie Greenspan, Baking from My Home to Yours
        Dec.'07 – Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook AND Martha Stewart’s Hors d’Oeuvres Handbook

        Now we have a dedicated thread COTM solely for Desserts/baking: So those of us who would rather cook apps, entrees etc. are choosing to go in that direction.

        BTW: I wouldn't dream of yelling at you....I hate yelling.

        1. re: Gio
          MMRuth Nov 14, 2008 08:52 AM

          No yelling from here either! Here's the link to the current dessert COTM:


        2. re: roxlet
          oakjoan Nov 14, 2008 08:54 PM

          Roxlet: Our Dessert Cookbook of the Month this month and next is Nigella Lawson's How To Be A Domestic Goddess. There are lots of good holidayesque cakes, cupcakes, cookies, pies, etc., as well as a separate chapter for Kids and one for Christmas. C'mon over.

          1. re: oakjoan
            roxlet Nov 15, 2008 01:34 PM

            Yes, thanks. I've been cooking from it. Somehow I missed the holiday books the other times... must've been too busy cooking!

        3. Gio Nov 13, 2008 08:53 AM

          Although I did nominate a book up thread, I now would like to revise my choice to::


          1. k
            Karen_Schaffer Nov 13, 2008 08:28 AM

            I'll join the chorus is saying I like the idea of REVISITING PAST COTM BOOKS for DEC/JAN. I agree that a December book will likely get short shrift and that voting in the middle of December could be crazy making. Also, since I only started participating this past year, I'd love the incentive to go back and read the old threads, then try out the books myself.

            1. n
              newfoodie Nov 13, 2008 08:18 AM

              Let me put in a vote for PREVIOUS COTM. Maybe I'll get my act together enough to stop lurking and actually do some posting!

              1. NYCkaren Nov 13, 2008 06:12 AM

                In that case I would vote for REVISITING COTM, and I would prefer THE ART OF BRAISING and ESSENTIALS OF CLASSIC ITALIAN COOKING since I already have them and I wasn't hanging out at chowhound when they were COTM. And they both have lots of recipes I would want to make in the winter. (I have "Forever Summer" too but that would only be a good Dec.-Jan. choice in the Southern Hemisphere.)

                1. MMRuth Nov 13, 2008 02:49 AM

                  I was out most of yesterday, and see there was lots of discussion about doing the 'previous COTMs' as an option. A couple of thoughts:

                  1. I like the idea of doing December/January for this. It also gives more time to get books from the library, possibly add them to holiday gift lists, etc.

                  2. I'm fine with limiting the number of books we do. I'm not sure logistically how we'll do set up the threads/use old threads, but I figure I'll worry about that and ask for more feedback after we vote. Though, if you have any more suggestions about that, please feel free to post them.

                  3. I'd suggest that we cull the list from the first year of books (lots of great ones there), and then maybe do this again next year from the second year of books.

                  4. In terms of culling, my thought, if 'previous COTM' is one of the options in the voting thread, and wins, is that we have a very quick selection period for the actual books. My suggestion is that posters would post their top three books, and I would give 3 points for someone's first choice, 2 for the second, and 1 for the thirds, and then tally them up and announce the two books (I'd also be ok w/ doing three - but there seems to be some in favour of each number).

                  So, let me know what you think of this plan. Thanks!

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: MMRuth
                    Gio Nov 13, 2008 04:07 AM

                    Just a little clarification, please, MM...
                    The first "year" was 2006, but there were only 4 months of COTMs. The first full year was 2007. Which year are you thinkng of, and would you include those 4 months of 2006 plus 2007?

                    1. re: Gio
                      MMRuth Nov 13, 2008 04:14 AM

                      I meant the first twelve months of books - thanks for clarifying:

                      Sept - Marcella Hazan, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

                      Oct - Molly Stevens, All About Braising

                      Nov - Rick Bayless, One Plate at a Time

                      Dec - Dorie Greenspan, Baking from My Home to Yours


                      Jan - Judy Rodgers, Zuni Cafe Cookbook

                      Feb - Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid, Hot Sour Salty Sweet

                      March - Leite's Culinaria

                      April - Claudia Roden, Arabesque

                      May - Suzanne Goin, Sunday Suppers at Lucques

                      June - Edna Lewis, Country Cooking

                      July - Nigella Lawson, Forever Summer

                      August - Chris Schlesinger & John Willoughby

                      1. re: MMRuth
                        Gio Nov 13, 2008 04:16 AM

                        Oh that's great! Many super options there. Thank you MM!!

                        1. re: MMRuth
                          Katie Nell Nov 13, 2008 05:03 AM

                          Just my opinion, but I think we should just go ahead and include all of 2007... that way, next year, will just be all of 2008.

                          1. re: MMRuth
                            moh Nov 13, 2008 07:13 AM

                            As some one entering that rush-up-to-Christmas craziness, I also approve of the 2 month plan. Dec. is always nutso, and January turns into the "time to chill and cocoon at home with lots of cooking" month.

                            REVISIT PREVIOUS COTM:

                            CHOICE 1: EDNA LEWIS (an excuse to make lots of fried chicken again...)

                            CHOICE 2: LEITE'S CULINERIA (Portuguese food is very satisying!)

                            CHOICE 3: JUDY RODGERS, ZUNI CAFE COOKBOOK (just because everyone keeps raving about the recipes)

                        2. re: MMRuth
                          The Dairy Queen Nov 13, 2008 04:17 AM

                          Sounds like a great plan to me! Thanks, as always,


                          1. re: MMRuth
                            LulusMom Nov 13, 2008 04:55 AM

                            Sounds great to me too!

                            1. re: LulusMom
                              cpw Nov 13, 2008 06:02 AM

                              Contrary to what everybody else is suggesting, I would prefer to include only the first 12 months and excluse the last 3 months for revisiting prior months. The reason is that those last 3 months have been really solid books (Julia Child, Martha Stewart and Silver Palate) and they will just take over the voting (or maybe it is not such a bad idea, because I would love to do these books). The second point in favor of dividing in 12 months is, there have been 25 months total COTMs so far, so 12 is a fair number.

                              1. re: cpw
                                JoanN Nov 13, 2008 06:19 AM

                                If I understand correctly, cpw, what you are recommending is exactly what MMRuth has proposed.

                                1. re: JoanN
                                  MMRuth Nov 13, 2008 08:03 AM

                                  Yes, that is my suggestion - thanks!

                                  1. re: JoanN
                                    cpw Nov 13, 2008 10:30 AM

                                    yes, you are right.

                              2. re: MMRuth
                                MMRuth Nov 13, 2008 08:02 AM

                                A small favour - please wait to post your list of three until we're sure it's the choice. I know it looks like it is, but this thread will get awfully cluttered and make it harder for me to discern what should go in the voting thread. Plus, if we later have everyone's lists of three books in another thread, it will be a lot easier for me to tabulate.


                              3. greedygirl Nov 12, 2008 01:32 PM

                                Coming late to this thread as our broadband at home is broken and blimey, it's confusing!

                                Anyway, I also like the idea of COTM REVISITED - especially interested in Arabesque, Lucques and Hazan.

                                I'm also not averse to doing BAREFOOT IN PARIS as I was given it as a present and have barely opened it.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: greedygirl
                                  oakjoan Nov 12, 2008 02:46 PM

                                  COTM REVISITED - LUQUES, WOLFERT and LEITE'S CULINARIA

                                2. jen kalb Nov 12, 2008 10:28 AM

                                  I vote for OLD COTM and suggest LUQUES, ZUNI or WOLFERT
                                  A WAY TO COOK would also be good.

                                  1. yamalam Nov 12, 2008 09:42 AM

                                    REVISIT OLD COTM - Were there some past COTMs that had more online recipes than others? Batali was my first month, but it seemed like almost ALL his recipes were online in some form or another. For those of us who don't own all the past COTM and don't want to blow our Christmas $$/library book allowance on 3 books, it would be great if we could trend towards CB's with lots of recipes that we can find online, and treat it as a sampler month to figure out which cookbooks to ask Santa for.

                                    Did some quick Googling and it looks like Bayless, Goin and Wolfert do have a lot of online recipes, so my official vote is

                                    REVISIT OLD COTM, to include BAYLESS, GOIN and WOLFERT

                                    And to plant a future seed...can we start the A New Way to Cook train going again in 09 sometime? I love it:)

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: yamalam
                                      The Dairy Queen Nov 12, 2008 10:03 AM

                                      If we're going to make the next COTM a two monther, Dec/Jan, then I would LOVE to do A New Way to Cook for Feb. Just in time for NY's resolutions and such! I like Sally Schneider's emphasis on making foods healthy without satisfying flavor. It's not "diet-y" at all. And for people who are finding Alice Waters too simple this month, I think they'll find Schneider sufficiently interesting. I only wish the book had color photos to draw you in more...


                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                        Katie Nell Nov 12, 2008 10:42 AM

                                        I would like to do A New Way to Cook in Feb. too... I reserved it at the libray and then forgot to pick it up, so back to the main library it went. :-(

                                        1. re: Katie Nell
                                          Gio Nov 12, 2008 03:47 PM

                                          OK I'll go this way too since ANWTC is on my shelves.

                                          But as for Dec. & Jan. I'll change my nomination to:
                                          Tanto Tanto Affeto, MMR!

                                    2. j
                                      jpc8015 Nov 12, 2008 03:28 AM

                                      THE BREAD BIBLE by Rose Levy Beranbaum. This book will tell you everything you have ever needed to know about making various kinds of bread at home. Everything from basic country white bread to challah to pizza dough is represented. The recipes are in an easy to read format and the book gives you options as far as what method will be used; by hand, food precessor, stand mixer etc.

                                      Before I bought this book I had never tried baking bread from scratch but now I am able to bake things that are better than a lot of bakeries I have been to.

                                      This book is great for people on a budget, most ingredients are already present in the pantry of anyone who does a fair amount of cooking; AP flour, yeast, salt, water.

                                      1. j
                                        Jane917 Nov 11, 2008 01:25 PM

                                        BAREFOOT CONTESSA AT HOME

                                        1. Rubee Nov 11, 2008 11:57 AM

                                          BAREFOOT CONTESSA COOKBOOKS (her first one is the one I use the most, but I have Paris, Parties, Family, and At Home also). I like her recipes especially for entertaining since there are a lot of do-ahead or served room-temp recipes.


                                          PREVIOUS COTM

                                          I'd also love to do Aquavit one of these days, but a non-holiday/entertaining month where I can really focus on it.

                                          1. g
                                            gardencub Nov 11, 2008 10:42 AM

                                            Barefoot in Paris, The Barefoot Contessa Parties and The Barefoot Contessa cookbooks should be in the running.

                                            12 Replies
                                            1. re: gardencub
                                              oakjoan Nov 11, 2008 12:08 PM

                                              I do like CL's suggestion of Marcus Samuelsson's Scand. c'book. There's even one copy at my local library as well as several copies of his African cookbook. Didn't cap yet because I haven't totally made up my mind. I'm also leaning toward the South American book.

                                              Re: Revisiting prior COTMs seems to be very unwieldy to me, even if we stuck with the threads that already exist somewhere. It would mean scads of separate posts. It's intriguing, but seems too difficult. Maybe somebody could come up with a plan to organize it.

                                              1. re: oakjoan
                                                beetlebug Nov 11, 2008 12:47 PM

                                                I really like the idea of re-visiting a COTM. However, my preference would be that there be a consensus as to which month. This way, we can still all cook together. Maybe, COTM is the front runner, then we can have a vote on which previous month to focus on. Or more specifically, it can be a book from the six months - year of COTM.

                                                1. re: beetlebug
                                                  MMRuth Nov 11, 2008 12:49 PM

                                                  Yes - my thought was that we'd somehow cull the list in a 'run-off' when we do it - maybe posters can list their top six books, and I'd use a spread sheet to calculate!

                                                  1. re: MMRuth
                                                    The Dairy Queen Nov 11, 2008 01:11 PM

                                                    Holy moly this sounds like a lot of work for you, but I would love this approach as it would still enable us to have that experience of cooking in community.

                                                    I wouldn't suppose we could pick the top two or three winners?


                                                    1. re: MMRuth
                                                      The Dairy Queen Nov 11, 2008 01:13 PM

                                                      P.S. Excel is my life. (Sad life, I know). If you need help with (or just want me to do) the Excel spreadsheet, let me know.


                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                        MMRuth Nov 11, 2008 01:16 PM

                                                        Thanks - not to worry - excel was a big part of one of my previous lives! I thought six over the two year span would be workable, but maybe that's too much. Hopefully others will chime in.

                                                        1. re: MMRuth
                                                          The Dairy Queen Nov 11, 2008 01:20 PM

                                                          Six wouldn't be bad, unless one of the six is Casas or Julia Child. HAHAHAHA!


                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                            oakjoan Nov 11, 2008 02:21 PM

                                                            Yikes! Casas! Multi-Casas! Julia Child I could see doing if Mastering The Art of French Cooking was the choice.

                                                            1. re: oakjoan
                                                              The Dairy Queen Nov 12, 2008 02:49 AM

                                                              Yes, you see my point! ;) "Casas", with four books, was a little scattered, I thought.

                                                              On the other hand, I so badly want to revisit Cocina de Mama (which I do not own)--lots of wonderful stews and comfort food-type recipes in there, as I recall. Perfect for chilly winters.


                                                          2. re: MMRuth
                                                            Katie Nell Nov 11, 2008 02:49 PM

                                                            I think top 3 would be good... overlapping would be more likely with 3, I think.

                                                            1. re: Katie Nell
                                                              Gio Nov 12, 2008 04:39 AM

                                                              Reading through all the thoughts about revisiting past COTMs, 3 books seems less unwieldy. We each choose our top three then have a run-off vote.

                                                              Psychologically, past books are like old friends, whereas choosing a new book would mean we'd have to start from square one, so to speak.

                                                        2. re: MMRuth
                                                          oakjoan Nov 11, 2008 02:20 PM

                                                          How about grouping together several COTMs that are similar, i.e., Asian, Mediterranean, etc?

                                                  2. c
                                                    Chimayo Joe Nov 11, 2008 10:41 AM

                                                    PLEASE TO THE TABLE by Anya von Bremzen

                                                    THE SOUTH AMERICAN TABLE by Maria Baez Kijac

                                                    14 Replies
                                                    1. re: Chimayo Joe
                                                      MMRuth Nov 11, 2008 10:44 AM

                                                      Just wanted to note that Please to the Table is a Russian book, so might fit into Pikawicca's thought of doing something Eastern European (though I realize they aren't quite the same).


                                                      1. re: MMRuth
                                                        jen kalb Nov 11, 2008 01:20 PM

                                                        I like the idea of Please to the Table but Im not going to vote for it right now, because I think it will be wasted on a holiday month when many of us wont have time to cook from it.

                                                        Maybe we all could just take a break from designating any particular book and and revisit/add to the the existing COTM threads - is that what is being proposed as as an alternative? If so, I would vote for that, not a particular book but any of the priors that tickles our fancies.

                                                        1. re: jen kalb
                                                          MMRuth Nov 11, 2008 01:25 PM

                                                          Yes, the idea of revisiting COTMs is one alternative - though some have suggested that opening it up all of them might be less fun, and that we might want to cull the list a bit. Someone else has suggested to me, off the boards, that they love the idea of revisiting past COTMs, but don't want to do it in December, when many posters' schedules are so full. Just throwing that idea out there as well. Another very vague thought that I had is that we don't have a specific COTM, but various threads that encompass categories of food, and we just post about what we cook in December, paraphrasing the recipes in some way.

                                                          1. re: MMRuth
                                                            JoanN Nov 11, 2008 01:55 PM

                                                            I love the idea of revisiting past COTMs and think it would be great fun if we each listed a few of our favorites and chose among the most popular. But I’d prefer to see it limited to no more than two, or at the most three, titles. I think more than that would be unwieldy and make it very difficult to follow along—especially threads to which we haven’t contributed during the revisit--given the way My Chow postings are prioritized.

                                                            I agree that December might not be the best time to be doing this. Assuming that high on the lists would be Zuni; Lucques; Braising; Hot, Sour (which I missed); Slow Med—most of these contain recipes that require planning and some serious time in the kitchen. I think it would be much more fun to be cooking from these books when most of us will be shut in for a while and happy to putter about in our kitchens—like January, February, or even March—rather than during the holiday season when many of us are running around to parties of one sort or another and preparing foods and meals that are often prescribed.

                                                            1. re: JoanN
                                                              MMRuth Nov 11, 2008 02:12 PM

                                                              BTW - the 'My Chow' thing is much better now ....

                                                              1. re: MMRuth
                                                                JoanN Nov 11, 2008 02:28 PM

                                                                Indeed, but only for those threads to which you've contributed recently. I'm always surprised, even though it seems I comb hotposts with unhealthy frequency, when I go back to pages 5, 6, and 7 and find posts to comparatively recent COTM threads that I'd contributed to with new updates that I'd somehow missed. I'm just afraid that trying to keep up with six or seven different threads for each of six different books would be a nightmare.

                                                                1. re: JoanN
                                                                  oakjoan Nov 11, 2008 02:37 PM

                                                                  What if we had a rule that one could only attach new posts for this COTM to the END of the responses?

                                                                  1. re: oakjoan
                                                                    JoanN Nov 11, 2008 03:21 PM

                                                                    I don't think the issue is so much where in the thread the post is located as it is whether or not what you want to see is easy to locate. For example, you recently posted a comment regarding eggplants on a Dunlop thread. I only found it because I was clicking methodically through My Recent Posts pages. Your post was on my page 14. Dunlop wasn't all that long ago. You have to be pretty dedicated to scroll through 14 pages of posts to see if there's anything new. And that's a recent book. Imagine if it were Hazan!?!! The mind boggles!

                                                                    1. re: JoanN
                                                                      LulusMom Nov 11, 2008 03:55 PM

                                                                      Agreed. What if there were posts called December CoTM: blah, blah and blah (whatever the cookbooks chosen were). That way they'd be new posts, and could have links in the new post to the old, original threads.

                                                                      I do think limiting the number of old favorites is a good idea. Maybe the main point here is to keep in mind that no one is going to have as much time for cooking in December.

                                                                      1. re: JoanN
                                                                        oakjoan Nov 11, 2008 04:04 PM

                                                                        Oh, I guess I was wrong about how the new stuff would be laid out...I figured all the comments, recipes, etc. would just be added on to the end of the main categories in each thread. I never thought of folks commenting on things deep inside the thread. I wasn't even thinking people would mention anything old in the thread, just try recipes they hadn't before, etc.

                                                                        The threads pop up to the front of the line each time somebody posts, so they probably wouldn't be lost 300 pages deep into the Home Cooking board in any case.

                                                                        Maybe it'd be a good idea if we chose only a few former COTMs rather than having it be every book we've ever done.

                                                                        1. re: oakjoan
                                                                          LulusMom Nov 12, 2008 03:32 AM

                                                                          I think chosing just a few is probably the best idea. And if it works out, we can do it again in a year or whatever.

                                                                        2. re: JoanN
                                                                          pitu Nov 15, 2008 12:00 PM

                                                                          dang! I thought new posts on old threads bumped them to the top of My Posts.

                                                                          I love old COTM threads because the one month schedule doesn't fit my eating and cooking habits, but still lets me enjoy the collaboration.
                                                                          yet I am utterly confused by the proposal here, so I will just watch for what happens next
                                                                          : )

                                                                2. re: MMRuth
                                                                  oakjoan Nov 11, 2008 02:18 PM

                                                                  MMR: I think this is a very good idea! The recipes could be paraphrased or there could be a link or book and page number.

                                                            2. re: Chimayo Joe
                                                              NYCkaren Nov 11, 2008 12:05 PM

                                                              I don't have "Please to the Table" but my mother does, and I've enjoyed leafing through her copy. I could definitely go along with it as a choice if people think it's available in their libraries.

                                                            3. Carb Lover Nov 11, 2008 08:13 AM

                                                              My suggestions:

                                                              AQUAVIT by Marcus Samuelsson
                                                              Modern Swedish food. I've eaten at his restaurant many years ago and would like to try gravlax and other dishes in his book. It's been a while since I looked at the book, but seems like there would be some holiday-friendly recipes.

                                                              SOUP, STEWS AND ONE-POT MEALS by Tom Valenti
                                                              This book was suggested by someone many months ago and has been on my radar ever since. I'd be all for this type of cooking during Dec.

                                                              BAREFOOT CONTESSA (either Parties or The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook pub. 1999) by Ina Garten
                                                              My library has Back to Basics (which I just requested) but the title strikes me as too similar to this month's cookbook theme.

                                                              Thanks, MMRuth!

                                                              15 Replies
                                                              1. re: Carb Lover
                                                                LulusMom Nov 11, 2008 08:42 AM

                                                                I have to say, I'd love to dive into all those books you've listed Carb Lover. Especially Soup, Stews and One-Pot Meals in the cold months. But I want to be able to have the time to really cook a lot, and I just worry that December means so much other cooking or going out to parties, etc. (you'd think I lead an amazing social life, from what I'm typing here!) that we wouldn't get that much chance to do so.

                                                                1. re: LulusMom
                                                                  Carb Lover Nov 12, 2008 04:30 AM

                                                                  I know what you mean, LM. It seems like there's a general concern that whatever gets chosen will be shortchanged given the time of year.

                                                                  Another possibility that I'll throw out there is having the next selection be for both Dec. and Jan. That way we won't have to deal w/ suggestions and voting again during the middle of Dec. when things are hectic. Just a thought...

                                                                  I do want to say that I'm up for PRIOR COTM'S too. I especially want to revisit Sunday Suppers and Arabesque. I don't know how to narrow it down from there since there are many others that are worthy.

                                                                  1. re: Carb Lover
                                                                    LulusMom Nov 12, 2008 04:48 AM

                                                                    Not a bad idea, the making this one for Dec. and Jan. I really just don't want a new book to get short changed, and I think it would in Dec.

                                                                    1. re: LulusMom
                                                                      jen kalb Nov 12, 2008 05:35 AM

                                                                      I agree with the two month plan

                                                                      1. re: jen kalb
                                                                        The Dairy Queen Nov 12, 2008 05:50 AM

                                                                        I like the two-month, plan, especially combined with prior COTM.


                                                                    2. re: Carb Lover
                                                                      JoanN Nov 12, 2008 05:36 AM

                                                                      I agree. Good idea, Carb Lover, to consider having the December selection run for two months--especially if it's visiting past COTMs and even more so if it's more than one book. In fact, I think it's such a good idea, and now that COTM is more than two years old and we've had so many outstanding selections, I wouldn't mind if revisiting past selections became a Dec/Jan tradition. In the past, we'd aim for a baking book for the holidays, but now the Dessert COTM seems to fulfill that need.

                                                                      1. re: JoanN
                                                                        cpw Nov 12, 2008 05:54 AM

                                                                        I would like to vote for PRIOR COTM'S. Since I am new to COTM, I have missed so many great selections and would really like to visit Hazan and Rick Bayless from 2006.
                                                                        I really like the idea of having a Dec/Jan COTM. This will take the pressure off the ones who get more involved in the holiday season.

                                                                        1. re: cpw
                                                                          The Dairy Queen Nov 12, 2008 06:05 AM

                                                                          So, I'd like to make my official vote PRIOR COTM (2 MAX) FOR DEC+JAN


                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                            JoanN Nov 12, 2008 06:34 AM

                                                                            Me, too. But I'm going to vote for 2 max, which--whatever is chosen--I think will be easier to deal with. So . . .

                                                                            PRIOR COTM (2 MAX) FOR DEC + JAN

                                                                            1. re: JoanN
                                                                              The Dairy Queen Nov 12, 2008 07:01 AM

                                                                              I can amend my vote to 2 max... :)

                                                                              EDIT [Done]


                                                                            2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                              The Dairy Queen Nov 12, 2008 11:58 PM

                                                                              MMR, if we are voting for prior COTM, do you want us to specify which specific books we want to revisit, or do you want to do that in some kind of voting/run-off thread?


                                                                    3. re: Carb Lover
                                                                      Katie Nell Nov 11, 2008 08:51 AM

                                                                      Well, if her new show, Back to Basics, is any indication of the book, I would not consider it all that basic! I hardly consider Chicken Bouillabaisse w/ Saffron Mayonnaise- with a total of 1 1/2 t. saffron for the whole recipe- to be basic! Maybe I just can't get past the cost of saffron to consider that a basic recipe, but it seemed fairly complicated to me.

                                                                      Anyway, I would love to do either:
                                                                      SOUPS, STEWS, AND ONE POT MEALS
                                                                      THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA COOKBOOK

                                                                      And just for the record, I would not mind re-visiting former COTM either... not sure how to officially vote for that. I'll just put...
                                                                      RE-VISIT FORMER COTM

                                                                      1. re: Katie Nell
                                                                        Carb Lover Nov 12, 2008 04:32 AM

                                                                        I didn't know that Back to Basics was based on a TV show. On what network does it air?

                                                                        1. re: Carb Lover
                                                                          Katie Nell Nov 12, 2008 04:49 AM

                                                                          Food Network... it's just sort of a reincarnation of Barefoot Contessa... it's called Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics.

                                                                          1. re: Katie Nell
                                                                            Carb Lover Nov 12, 2008 05:00 AM

                                                                            Thanks, I'll have to check out when it airs.

                                                                    4. NYCkaren Nov 11, 2008 07:21 AM

                                                                      Picawicca's idea sounds good, if anyone has a particular Eastern European cookbook in mind. Is there a really great one out there? Russian? Georgian? Something that might be in libraries? Otherwise, I could go along with the new Ina Garten book. I don't really like her on-air persona but her recipes usually look good. Alternatively, does anyone else have "Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons: Enchanting Dishes from the Middle East, Mediterranean and North Africa" by Diana Henry?

                                                                      1. LulusMom Nov 11, 2008 07:08 AM

                                                                        I'm all for the idea of doing PREVIOUS BOOKS during December. I know that things get crazy around here, and there isn't that much time for cooking. but it would be fun to have a chance to look at some of the older threads and check out the books I missed.

                                                                        1. Gio Nov 11, 2008 05:39 AM

                                                                          JULIA AND JACQUES COOKING AT HOME

                                                                          I've had this book since publication in 1999. It's a book written by two friends who respect each other and the food they cook. It's not so much a book of recipes as it is a book of suggestions. Yes, the recipes are there but for each dish J & J have their own methods and techniques.

                                                                          There are classic French dishes and some "down home" comfort food. The he said - she said format is both fun to read and intriguing in it's individual description of each dish. They do not always agree on everything. I've made a few dishes from the book - one is a sensational eggplant and zucchini gratin for which I used Jacques' recipe. I think there are many recipes which would be perfect for the upcoming holidays...and beyond.

                                                                          The photographs are memorable: there's one of just their hands.... Julia's hand resting on the table and Jacques' hand covering hers. It's so evocative. I love this book!

                                                                          1. c
                                                                            CeeBee Nov 11, 2008 04:00 AM

                                                                            I'd like to nominate Ina Garten's BAREFOOT CONTESSA'S BACK TO BASICS. I know it's a new book, so maybe we could also include one or two of her other books. The book seems to have some great recipes that would work well in the weeks leading up to the big holiday rush. And to be honest, I can't believe we haven't done any of her books yet.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: CeeBee
                                                                              ginnyhw Nov 11, 2008 07:24 AM

                                                                              I'm surprised too that CH has never done a Barefoot cookbook because I have been steered by this board to her recipes so many times. I think her style is perfect for the Decebmer holiday parties and so I'm nominating BAREFOOT CONTESSA PARTIES (as it is available in my library- Back to Basics wasn't on their list.)

                                                                            2. pikawicca Nov 10, 2008 01:17 PM

                                                                              We haven't done an Eastern European book. Now that hearty eating season has begun, I'd be up for Polish, Hungarian, etc.

                                                                              1. MMRuth Nov 10, 2008 10:05 AM

                                                                                A list of past COTM:


                                                                                Sept - Marcella Hazan, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

                                                                                Oct - Molly Stevens, All About Braising

                                                                                Nov - Rick Bayless, One Plate at a Time

                                                                                Dec - Dorie Greenspan, Baking from My Home to Yours


                                                                                Jan - Judy Rodgers, Zuni Cafe Cookbook

                                                                                Feb - Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid, Hot Sour Salty Sweet

                                                                                March - Leite's Culinaria

                                                                                April - Claudia Roden, Arabesque

                                                                                May - Suzanne Goin, Sunday Suppers at Lucques

                                                                                June - Edna Lewis, Country Cooking

                                                                                July - Nigella Lawson, Forever Summer

                                                                                August - Chris Schlesinger & John Willoughby

                                                                                Sept – Patricia Wells, Vegetable Harvest

                                                                                Oct – Julia Child

                                                                                Nov – Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins, The Silver Palate Cookbook

                                                                                Dec. – Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook AND Martha Stewart’s Hors d’Oeuvres Handbook


                                                                                Jan – Paula Wolfert, The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen

                                                                                Feb – Frank Stitt’s Southern Table

                                                                                Mar - Fuchsia Dunlop, Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook and Land of Plenty

                                                                                Apr – Simon Hopkinson, Roast Chicken and Other Stories

                                                                                May – Peter Berley, The Flexitarian Table

                                                                                June - Penelope Casas

                                                                                July – Deborah Madison, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

                                                                                Aug. - Diane Kochilas, The Glorious Foods of Greece

                                                                                September - Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table by Mai Pham and Into the Vietnamese Kitchen by Andrea Nguyen

                                                                                October - Mario Batali: Babbo, Molto Italiano & Simple Italian Cooking

                                                                                November - Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                  The Dairy Queen Nov 11, 2008 12:32 AM

                                                                                  Hmmmm...not a lot of suggestions so far, though pikawicca's sounds intriguing to me. I would love to explore some former COTM's (I would love an excuse to buy "All About Braising!" ) particularly those from 2006 and 2007, before I started participating. I worry a little about losing the cohesive feeling of cooking in community if we're all scattered over 2 1/2 years worth of books. Maybe I'm over-thinking it (as usual).


                                                                                  1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                    DanaB Nov 12, 2008 07:52 PM

                                                                                    I'm going to go for the COTM-Revisited, and love the idea of doing it for two months. I haven't had much time to cook these past couple of months (I'm back in school), but should in December and definitely in January when I'm on break. My nominations for authors are DUNLOP, GOIN, RODEN and RODGERS

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