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May 2009 COTM Winner: CRADLE OF FLAVOR

I am pleased to announce the winner for our May 2009 Cookbook of the Month here at chowhound:

CRADLE OF FLAVOR: HOME COOKING FROM THE SPICE ISLANDS OF INDONESIA, SINGAPORE, AND MALAYSIA by James Oseland

I am going to pick up my copy at the library this afternoon. I would like to thank all who added to this spirited discussion by suggesting and pondering books and offering personal experiences and impressions regarding the nominated books. As usual, I'll be eager to see what books emerge as a possible COTM for June!

So, I look forward to cooking from CRADLE OF FLAVOR and engaging in discussion about the recipes with fellow COTM-ers. Also, I would like to offer a warm welcome to any new participants to COTM. Jump right in and start cooking with us!

*foxy*

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  1. Yay! Just got an e-mail to say my copy's been despatched. Should have it by Wednesday. I'm excited (and I'm going to start quizzing my Malay-Chinese friend from Singapore for handy hints asap - the lucky girl).

    1. Oddly, my city's library system doesn't have a copy and I live in tight urban quarters so I am loath to buy any more books unless they are truly superstars. Any sources for online recipes? I would like to play along!

      9 Replies
      1. re: tcamp

        I'm sure somone will have more Oseland recipes but for starters here's the recipe page from his web site:
        http://jamesoseland.com/cooking

          1. re: tcamp

            tcamp, do you have the ability to do an interlibrary loan? It might take a couple of days longer, but there's still time. And,yes, see this post from the May first round "voting" thread that JoanN has linked below for numerous recipe links: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6107...

            ~TDQ

            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              Thanks for the suggestions. No copies in my city but apparently I can get reciprocal borrowing priviledges in the much bigger neighboring county and they have 10 copies. Who knew?

              1. re: tcamp

                I know! Isn't that neat?! I just recently learned that (through JoanN I think).

                ~TDQ

                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  Ain't libraries cool? My city's system has a "suggest a title" feature online, where you enter the ISBN, publisher etc and request the book to be purchased. I also use the comments section to link to several positive reviews, to facilitate the librarians' purchasing decisions. When the book arrives into their system, I'm notified and have first dibs on checking it out for two weeks.

                  In the 5 years I've been doing it, over 90% have been purchased. It's great. My floor joists, already creaking under the load of my bookcases, have thanked me.

                  1. re: FoodFuser

                    For the past year or so, when I find a book I want to read is not in the vast library system I have access to - which includes colleges and Jr. Colleges..... I buy the darn book, read it then donate it to my local library.
                    Works for me cuz my library shelves cannot accommodate another anything.

                    1. re: FoodFuser

                      This is a really nice feature, hope the Brooklyn NY PL picks up on it. They do order most of the books I have a yen for but there have been some they've missed (Baking for All Occasions by Flo Braker for example, not available last time I checked).

                  2. re: tcamp

                    Wow, I am totally impressed with Fairfax County's librarians. I ordered a card online on Tuesday, got an email response that evening, and received my card in the mail Thursday. Just placed a hold on a copy of Cradle of Flavor to be routed to the nearest branch and plan to dispatch spouse who works out that way to pick it up. In less than a week. For free. Wow.

              2. I've reserved a copy at the library. And this time I will try not to splatter food on it.

                1. Hi all,

                  I'm joining you this month for the first time. My used copy of the book shipped from just one state away (ID to WA) on Monday, so I'm hoping it will be here tomorrow. I live in Spokane, WA and was ready to either order ingredients on the web or gather a few other reasons and make a weekend trip to Seattle. But I went to an odd little store called, of all things, the Oriental Market, and got everything on my long list except fresh tumeric, even the elusive daun salam.

                  Michaela

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: mr99203

                    Yep, some fun new ingredients for me. My local asian/korean/hispanic market has the fresh tumeric but no sign of the daun salam. I was at a highly thrilling government procurement meeting today and asked a friend, who is indian american, and he told me that his wife has lots of it in the pantry and that he'd bring me some later this week. Must be a sign!

                    1. re: tcamp

                      mr99203 and others

                      Welcome to COTM! I'd say that a great part of participating in the discussion is shopping for and posting about unusual ingredients. Some of the best posts have described hunting for this or that "strange" ingredient. This was particularly evident when the 2 Fuchsia Dunlop books (Land of Plenty and Revolutionary Chinese) were featured as COTM a while ago.

                      These posts were often hilarious, almost always interesting and always helpful. Many contained photographs of the sought-after ingredient. They are also helpful references months later when one cannot quite remember whether it was the preserved vegetables or pickled vegetables in a dish.

                    2. re: mr99203

                      Welcome Michaela! I'm glad you're joining in! This should be a fun month, and, in a strange way, the search for ingredients is part of the fun. It's certainly (at least for me) part of the learning!

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: mr99203

                        Yes! Welcome, Michaela, and congratulations on finding the daun salam. I agree with Dairy Queen -- this hunt for ingredients is fun. Tonight I ate more of the first recipe I made from Cradle, and I have to say that it is just divine and totally worth the time/energy I devoted to the ingredient quest!

                        1. re: foxy fairy

                          Yes, over the past couple of years, the hunt for ingredients has been one of the most interesting subjects of discussion. It grew to a fever pitch when we did Fuchsia Dunlop's two Chinese cookbooks: Land of Plenty and Revolutionary

                          We not only got great descriptions, funny stories, and useful information, but photographs of the various ingredients to help in the search. I love COTM and Chowhound, and, especially the contributors to the threads. Hip! Hip! Huzzah!

                          1. re: oakjoan

                            oakjoan, if you're cooking from this book in May, I will relate that the Bowl sometimes has fresh turmeric; don't know about fresh galangal, but there is a Thai market on University (Tuk Tuk, I think) that's probably a good bet.

                        2. re: mr99203

                          Another source for Asian ingredients in Spokane is the Bay Market on East Sprague

                          -----
                          Best Asian Market - Bay Market
                          2022 E Sprague Ave, Spokane, WA

                        3. Check out the dandy new COTM archive/portal the CHOW folks have given us: http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                            That is really helpful. But where will it be? A sticky in home cooking?

                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                              Wow! That really is great. I can finally delete my desktop shortcut for "COTMs from Inception" and stop scrambling to update it every month. But I echo LLM. Doesn't seem to be a sticky on Home Cooking. No Favorites button. Will bookmarking be our only option? I'd love to have one-click access to it directly from the boards.

                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                I Love that! Thank you Chowhound. And, Thank you Caitlin for posting the link.
                                I bookmarked the page plus added a shortcut on the desktop. A sticky would be super, though.

                                1. re: Gio

                                  I wonder if the COTM organizer can just post the link in the COTM thread, since, in the past, it was the COTM organizer who posted the "rules of participation" and links to past COTM's. Perhaps, if foxy fairy agrees, she can even ask the mods to edit her OP above to include the link so we can all find it easily? That way, we don't have to add another, separate, sticky to the top of the forum (which, I think will be appreciated by non-COTM participants.)

                                  ~TDQ

                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                    Noted, Dairy Queen. I will try to get to this tomorrow :)

                                    *foxy*