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Jan 6, 2009 07:04 AM

February 2009 Cookbook of the Month: Your Suggestions Needed [Ends 1/13]

Happy New Year!

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.

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 January 12th, 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.


Also, this is the sixth month that I've been doing this, so, while I've very much enjoyed it, it's time for us to rotate to another COTM organizer. If you are interested in doing this, please email me at the address in my profile. It's really not much work - the most time consuming part really is setting up the threads, and, once you've figured out how to organize them, which is usually pretty straightforward, it doesn't take more than 30 minutes, I'd say. One thing I would note is that, so far, the organizer never makes suggestions or votes for a book. I've been comfortable with that (and, as a lawyer, somehow just thought that recusing is the best course!), but others have suggested to me that they think that is sort of a silly rule. So, if you have any thoughts on that, please mention them as well.

And, as always, thanks for participating.

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  1. 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

    December '08/January '09 - Revisiting Sunday Suppers at Lucques and The Zuni Cookbook.

    15 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      A NEW WAY TO COOK, Sally Schneider

      Techniques as well as recipes for healthy but delicious food such as Chickpea Stew with Saffron and Winter Squash, Fat Beans with Mole, Oven-Steamed Whole Fish with Chinese Flavors, Thai Seafood Salad with Lemongrass Dressing, and Salmon Cured with Grappa.

      Have cooked from it a little, with delicious results, but it is so vast that having COTM buds to assist would be a great way to really dive in. There have already been a few threads about this book with raves, and here's her website link too:

      1. re: MMRuth

        PORK & SONS, Stephane Reynaud. I haven't cooked from it yet - just got it as a gift for Christmas.
        A PLATTER OF FIGS, David Tanis. Haven't cooked from it either, but have seen great reviews about it on this site.

        1. re: MMRuth

          Well, I just ordered a nice used copy from Amazon, so I will vote for "A New Way to Cook" as well. (But it was this thread that convinced me to order it)

          1. re: MMRuth

            Ill vote for A NEW WAY TO COOK. In general, Id be more interested in doing some older books, books on a cuisine (The Splendid Table, for example) than these new attempts to put a personal stamp on cooking (how new can it be) Its in my library and enuf people have enthusiasm to justify a trial.

            1. re: jen kalb

              I would join you in a vote for The Splendid Table some day. I use it often for reference but have practically never cooked from. It would be fun to give it a spin.

              1. re: JoanN

                Strangely enough, Lynne Rossetto Kasper does not seem to get much notice on these boards. I think that is undeserved.

                1. re: yayadave

                  I subscribe to her e-mail recipes but have yet to make anything. They are an interesting read, though. Pahleeez don't make me buy another cookbook.....

                  1. re: Gio

                    I find it hard to believe that one person's head can hold such encyclopedic knowledge as her's.

                    Did you get any of the Tournabenes' books? I've been looking at them and not opened PPP yet. Did you get that one?

                    I keep meaning to mention "Italian Slow and Savory" by Joyce Goldstein. Nah, you don't need that one, too.

                    1. re: yayadave

                      Ive had the first of the Tournabene cookbooks for a couple of years and just started cooking out of it - excellent. Maybe we can discuss Kasper's books for a COTM for Feb ..

                      1. re: jen kalb

                        We can lobby for Kasper's books.... I wouldn't mind doing some of her recipes, though they seem quite involved. But, I wonder if some folks might not like another Italian month so soon after Mario. Just a thought.

                        1. re: jen kalb

                          I have a funny story about that. Or maybe sad. LRK has been here at our library a couple of times for fund raising. And there were a couple of receptions. I thought about buying her books but decided that I have too many cookbooks and won't be buying any more. So I got a copy and had it autographed for the guy next door. But none for me. And, of course, it was all a lie. I'm still getting cookbooks that I don't need, but still none by RLK. I've just checked them out of the library. I've noticed that some of the things I do don't make sense. I'll have to talk to the head fund-raiser and see if Lynne is coming back.

                        2. re: yayadave

                          Did not get the Tournabenes books. But did get the Da Silvano and like it very much after a quick scan. I can see myself cooking a bunch of his recipes. Some sound like my own family's recipes. He's so enthusiastic and the recipes are the epitome of good Italian cooking. Simple, fresh ingredients and seemingly very tasty.

                          1. re: yayadave

                            We've really enjoyed the slow roasted tomatoes from one of LRK's books. We buy tomatoes from the farmers market in bulk in the fall, slow roast them using her method, freeze them and then feast all winter.

                            I used to wonder about her encyclopedic knowledge on the radio show too until I called in with a question once. My question was used on one of the shows. You call and leave a message, a producer calls back to ask you more about it and then a time is scheduled to talk to Lynn when your question and her answer is taped. So even though it sounds like she is searching her memory banks on the spot for an answer and she sounds very extemporaneous, she and her staff have had time to research the whole thing.

                            1. re: karykat

                              Slow roasted tomatoes sound pretty good right now!

                              Interesting about how the radio show works... Thanks for sharing that.


                      2. re: JoanN

                        I will throw in another vote for THE SPLENDID TABLE. I have had the book a couple of years, but I don't think I have ever used a recipe from it. I would like to get to know it better.

                  2. I, too, felt uneasy voting during my term as coordinator. But all coordinators have also been avid participants and I don’t think someone should feel they have to give up one role in order to temporarily serve in the other capacity. I believe that in the early days of COTM there was a sense that a vote, particularly if it was early in the voting thread, would tend to sway other voters. It might be interesting, now that COTM has matured, to test this premise.

                    As far as the coordinator making suggestions, that has been done on occasion in the past—especially in the earliest days. The coordinator might suggest a category and then list a number of examples, note that people in November had requested a certain kind of book for the following May, or might remind us of a couple of titles that had in the recent past lost by only a vote or two. I see nothing wrong with that. Regular posters have made it clear that they do like the discussions engendered by the suggestion threads, but as long as the coordinator’s recommendations contribute to rather than hamper that discussion, I would think they’d be welcome.

                    Despite our being very polite, those of us who are active in COTM aren’t a bunch of shrinking violets. I think the new coordinator should do as s/he thinks best and the community well let him/her know if it isn’t working.

                    1. What? Six months have gone by? That was the fastest six months of my life, then. You've done a super job MM. As have all the COTM coordinators. However, since I feel as though I've gained 100 lbs. I'm ready to go lean. Very, Very lean this time around. So I'm nominating:

                      A NEW WAY TO COOK, Sally Schneider.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Gio

                        I agree with Stewpot, er... Gio!
                        A NEW WAY TO COOK, Sally Schneider
                        I've not cooked from it, but having somewhat settled into our first home, I'm ready to start cooking again. And the conspiracy has begun! ;-)

                        1. re: Katie Nell

                          Very funny, KN. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.....

                      2. I like that suggestion.

                        A NEW WAY TO COOK, Sally Schneider

                        Thanks for all your hard work MMRuth, and congratulations on your new home Katie Nell!

                        1. BALTHAZAR COOKBOOK.

                          Thank you MMRuth!