HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

September 2009 COTM: Suggestions please!

  • 82
  • Share

Hello all, it's my turn with the proverbial clipboard and whistle for the next few months, thanks to MMRuth and all who helped with the transition:)

To start things off, it is suggestion time for September's COTM selection. We'll gather ideas here until SATURDAY AUGUST 15, then hold a runoff vote if necessary.

Feel free to make suggestions even if you have not previously participated in Cookbook of the Month, as we're always excited to welcome new cooks to our community! For more information on what the heck COTM stands for and how to participate, plus a list of past books we've covered, check out our archive at:

http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

HOW TO POST:

In order to make it easier for participants to scan others’ suggestions and for me to tabulate the results, please 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 Oakjoan” may well get lost and your choice might not get counted. The more often a particular title is mentioned, the greater the chance it will be among the finalists.

Thanks for participating!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. To get the juices flowing, I'll remind you of a handful of popular suggestions from the past few months.

    Bon Appetit Y'all

    Jaime Oliver

    a NOLA book, most menioned were Prudhomme, Emeril's Delmonico, Cresecent City Cooking, and Real Cajun

    Madhur Jaffrey or another Indian book

    I wonder what the suggestion process will be like post-Ottolenghi...

    1. I love "VEGAN BRUNCH: HOMESTYLE RECIPES WORTH WAKING UP FOR -FROM ASPARAGUS OMELETS TO PUMPKIN PANCAKES" BY ISA-CHANDRA MOSCOWITZ. My omnivore husband has devoured everything I have made from this book. Also HOME BAKING: THE ARTFUL MIX OF FLOUR AND TRADITION AROUND THE WORLD" by JEFFERY ALFORD and NAOMI DUGUID which is so rich in scope and has te most interesting collection of recipes.

      1. Because of the recent movie, something by Julia Child would be nice, but I know she was the focus of an earlier COTM.
        However, as near as I can tell there has not been much in the way of baking as COTM, so I suggest BAKING WITH JULIA.

        3 Replies
        1. re: margshep

          If I recall correctly, Julia Child was cookbook author of the month, so, technically, all Julia Child books were covered under that umbrella. But, I missed Julia Child month, alas. I would love to do a more focused look at Julia Child, although, I'd be more interesting in The Way to Cook or Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I guess, than a baking book as I have to get three meals out every day, but I don't need to bake every day. That's just my two cents.

          It would be kind of fun to read My Life in France. Is that book any good and are there any recipes in it?

          (thank you Yamalam!)

          ~TDQ

          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            My Life in France is very good and highly recommended to Juliaphiles but I don't recall recipes being included in it.

            1. re: buttertart

              No recipes, but a number of photos, lots of food description, of course, and fun to read, even if you're not a "Juliaphile" (I'm not, but really enjoyed My Life in France).

        2. While I'd love to do an Indian cookbook and Jaimie or Chef Paul, I'm going to nominate BON APPETIT Y'All by Virginia Willis for the sheer number of fantastic recipes which produced one after another truly delicious meals. Since starting in late March and continuing through August so far I have made more than 32 recipes from this book and have made many more than once! Others here have cooked from the book as well. It's a cinch to prepare an entire meal from the book on a week night, the recipes are that well thought out. Ms. Willis has taken food she grew up eating at her Grandmother's and mother's table and given them a unique French twist referencing her French culinary education. And, from time to time Ms. Willis popped into the threads unannounced to give us her insights, encouragement and tips.

          Paraphrased recipes can be found at these 2 threads:

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/607868
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/616454

          17 Replies
          1. re: Gio

            I'll second BON APPETIT Y'All by Virginia Willis, assuming people are finding it to be more readily available in libraries.

            When it came up earlier, I think it was too new to be in libraries. I'm assuming it's in libraries now? It wasn't in mine before, but it's in mine now... Do others have the same experience?

            ~TDQ

            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              TDQ: Ms Willis has a blog in which she posts recipes from the book from time to time....
              http://virginiawillis.wordpress.com/

              In that link they appear after the J & J review.

              1. re: Gio

                There are quite a few recipes from the book on her website, too. http://virginiawillis.com/recipes.html But, I know there are a lot of people who prefer to cook from the book itself, rather than from online recipes (I know I do!

                )

                ~TDQ

                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  Oh I prefer the book too, TDQ. That's why I *had* to buy the Ottolenghi book after I said I wouldn't. I just thought some folks would like to read the recipes and decide if they like them or not. That's how I decided after reading so many glowing reports here and the online recipes.

                  1. re: Gio

                    Well, color me bad, but I bought both Ottolenghi and BAY'A after I swore I wouldn't (due to already sagging bookshelves...) HA!

                    Would there be any interest in doing a combo BAY'A and "Screen Doors and Sweet Tea: Recipes and Tales from a Southern Cook by Martha Hall Foose"? Here's a link where roxlet describes the differences between the two...

                    "Screen Doors and Sweet Tea" won the James Beard award for American cooking this year. It might be fun to compare and contrast, kind of like Vietnamese month...

                    ~TDQ

                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      where's the link?

                      1. re: DGresh

                        Whoops, sorry: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6173...

                        ~TDQ

                      2. re: The Dairy Queen

                        If you swore you wouldn't buy anymore cookbooks, you should stick to it. Be like me. I swore no more too, so this month only bought 5.
                        It's a start :-)

                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          I love the idea of doing Bon Appetit, Y'all & Screen Doors and Sweet Tea. I bought Screen Doors a couple of months ago and have had great success with the recipes I've tried.

                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                    Yamalam, I think I would like to officially change my "second" to a nomination for a COMBINATION SOUTHERN MONTH with

                    BON APPETIT Y'ALL by Virginia Willis *PLUS*
                    SCREEN DOORS AND SWEET TEA: RECIPES AND TALES FROM A SOUTHERN COOK by Martha Hall Foose

                    ~TDQ

                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      Me, too, Yamalam. COMBINATION SOUTHERN MONTH with

                      BON APPETIT Y'ALL by Virginia Willis *AND*
                      SCREEN DOORS AND SWEET TEA: RECIPES AND TALES FROM A SOUTHERN COOK by Martha Hall Foose.

                      Maybe Ms. Willis will join us again, and maybe Ms. Foose as well!?

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        After continuing to read this thread it kind of seems like I need to put in my vote for the combo southern month with:
                        BON APPETIT Y'ALL by Virginia Willis *PLUS*
                        SCREEN DOORS AND SWEET TEA: RECIPES AND TALES FROM A SOUTHERN COOK by Martha Hall Foose
                        I assumed there would be a voting thread but I'm not sure anymore. :)

                    2. re: Gio

                      I'm amending my original nomination to read.....

                      COMBINATION SOUTHERN MONTH with:
                      BON APPETIT Y'ALL by Virginia Willis *and*
                      SCREEN DOORS AND SWEET TEA: RECIPES AND TALES FROM A SOUTHERN COOK by Martha Hall Foose

                      1. re: Gio

                        Yay! I'm so glad you like this idea. I would be doubly glad to do a "Southern month" while CSA vegetables are still in summerish mode... But, of course, we have to wait until the nominations process closes and the voting is done!

                        Don't count your biscuits until they're baked!

                        ~TDQ

                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          I don't know if this is allowed, but since no one is interested in a baking book this month I would like to change my vote to a strong second choice. SOUTHERN MONTH Y'ALL :-)

                          1. re: margshep

                            Hips - Hips - Hurray... Y'All.

                        2. re: Gio

                          I'm going to be away for half of September (in the South of America - yay!) so SOUTHERN MONTH would be a good introduction! I've already got BON APPETIT Y'ALL as well.

                      2. wistfully, I feel like sticking with Ottolenghi for a while longer.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: jen kalb

                          I was thinking that too ....

                          1. re: MMRuth

                            I would love that too

                        2. Hmm, maybe we should add another month of Ottolenghi to the voting options? Please chime in and share what you think, all.

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: yamalam

                            As much as I am enjoying Ottolenghi, I don't think we ought to extend it to a second month. There are a lot of US-based COTM participants who haven't been able to purchase Ottolenghi and it's not available in libraries. And while everyone has been super-generous (Caitlin and MMRuth and others) in providing links and paraphrasing recipes, it's not the same as cooking from a physical book you can hold in your hand, and it seems a little unfair to those who don't have the book or who aren't interested in the book to let this book slide to a second month. We didn't do that with other popular COTMs like Dunlop or Vietnamese. Instead, we moved on to a new month and people who still wanted to cook from and post about the previous months book were encouraged to do so for as long as they want, as the threads are out there forever.

                            Sometimes your vote for COTM wins, sometimes it loses, but there's comfort in knowing whatever happens, a new book will be coming up in 30 days if your book didn't win, or if your book did win and it turns out you don't like it, or, if you love it but grow weary of it.

                            ~TDQ

                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              Ditto to TDQ's comments and observations. I just received my cookbook from the library and am planning one dish for tonight. The conversions, even with the handy link, is giving me a slight headache though. Too much math in this much humidity.

                              But thanks to all who put in the links and recipes.

                              1. re: beetlebug

                                I feel your pain on the conversions. And I've got a 3+ lb turkey breast in the oven right now (he calls for about 2 lbs) and I'm sweating trying to figure out just how much longer to cook it ...

                                1. re: LulusMom

                                  this is sweating weather for sure (here in NY). I would use a meat thermometer /test based on color of the juices for this - but here is some info. http://www.recipetips.com/kitchen-tip.... Seat meat hunks are variable in size general principles are more useful than specific recipes sometimes.

                                  1. re: jen kalb

                                    Thanks Jen. I had just come to the computer to look for something like that!

                                  2. re: LulusMom

                                    I've been eyeing that turkey breast recipe (the one with cumin, right?). The heat and humidity is preventing me from turning on the oven - I suspect that the oven has to be on a high heat to start and I can't bear the thought of that in my unair conditioned apartment. However, the multiple conversions are also causing me to hesitate in committing to that recipe.

                                    Maybe after you figure it out, you can post the amounts and temperatures? ;0)

                              2. re: yamalam

                                I loved what we did last Dec/Jan when we picked two favorites and redid them. Maybe we could do that again this coming winter, and that would give Ottolenghi fans more chance to cook from it.

                                1. re: LulusMom

                                  I liked that "select a couple of former COTMs to cook from for December & January" that we did in Dec 07/Jan 08, too! We're all so busy that time of year, it's nice to be able to re-visit the familiar when you're under so much time pressure.

                                  ~TDQ

                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                    The December/January revisit might be a really good way to get through the Holidays without thinking how bad you were for not adhering to the COTM format. I kinda like that idea. But.... bringing us back to September..... ????

                              3. BLUE EGGS AND YELLOW TOMATOES by Jeanne Kelley -- simple recipes with big flavors, this would be a perfect book for September, when fresh produce is still abundant. (This is NOT a vegetarian cookbook, but it does showcase the bounty of summer.)

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: pikawicca

                                  Ohh, that sounds very appealing! Have you cooked from this book (or author) before and, if so, can you rattle off a couple of recipes you've particularly enjoyed?

                                  ~TDQ

                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                    Radicchio, Red Onion, and Gorgonzola Pizza
                                    BakedZiti and Cauliflower with Cheese
                                    Updated Chicken Piccata
                                    Spiced Lamb with Mint, Date, and Apple-Pear Relish (killer)

                                    1. re: pikawicca

                                      Oooh, those do sound good! Thank you! EDIT: I just went and did a little reading on Amazon and this book does sound lovely. I wish you could look at it on Amazon, but, oh well!

                                      I second, BLUE EGGS AND YELLOW TOMATOES by Jeanne Kelley

                                      ~TDQ

                                2. I always like exploring a country's cuisine, so I'll suggest Mexican:

                                  Diana Kennedy's ESSENTIAL CUISINES OF MEXICO (which is a compilation of her first three books CUISINES OF MEXICO, TORTILLA BOOK, and MEXICAN REGIONAL COOKING).

                                  or Thai:

                                  THAI FOOD by David Thompson

                                  or CRACKING THE COCONUT: CLASS THAI HOME COOKING by Su-mei Yu

                                  I also have THAILAND: THE BEAUTIFUL cookbook which I've never cooked from, or don't remember if I did, but the recipes and photos look gorgeous.

                                  13 Replies
                                  1. re: Rubee

                                    I'll second ESSENTIAL CUISINES OF MEXICO by Diana Kennedy

                                    ~TDQ

                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                      I'll third it. Just bought it a couple of weeks ago and am reading it and making notes.
                                      She really knows her stuff.

                                      1. re: bayoucook

                                        I would love to do: ESSENTIAL CUISINES OF MEXICO by Diana Kennedy

                                        Diane Kennedy was featured on Lynn Rossetto Casper's radio show: Splendid Tabel. She was on the sweetest thing on the show, talking about authentic Mexican. Although most of you already know it, but she is an American living in Mexico from last 50 some years and has taught herself Mexican cuisine. I have never cooked anything from her book, but would love to hear what others have cooked.

                                        The other book I would like to recommend is: Paul Prudhomme's LOUISIANA KITCHEN

                                        1. re: cpw

                                          Another vote for ESSENTIAL CUISINES OF MEXICO. by Diana Kennedy, I have been really wanting to try my hand at authentic mole....

                                    2. re: Rubee

                                      I would "second" David Thompson's book as it is the best of the best, the only best, on Thai cooking, but --- it is a little out of reach for most people, including myself, ingredients and technique wise. So here's one you don't hear much about:

                                      Wild, Wild East, by Bobby Chin, his take on Americanized Vietnamese cooking. This is a totally thilling book from cover to cover. I've made several recipes from this and they were fantastic.

                                      Any book by Jaffrey, or the best book of all, Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Yamuna Devi, would be a good choice.

                                      1. re: pitterpatter

                                        Oh no, pitterpatter, "it is the best of the best, the only best... it is a little out of reach for most people... ingredients and technique wise", reads just like a cooking dare to me! Just throw down the gauntlet, why don't you! HAHAHA! To me, this is EXACTLY the kind of book we should tackle as a group so we can work through the challenges together. Can you describe some of the challenges, perhaps, of this book?

                                        (P.S., your other recommendations sound interesting, too, although, just a friendly reminder that they need to be in all caps to officially count as a nomination, depending on how strict our fearless leader Yamalam is...)

                                        ~TDQ

                                      2. re: Rubee

                                        I second Rubee's choices ESSENTIAL CUISINES of MEXICO. I only have the original books but figure they'll do. In any case, it looks as if Bon App Y'All will win so this is pretty moot.

                                        1. re: oakjoan

                                          I will support ESSENTIAL CUISINES also.
                                          the southern books havent showed up in my northern library yet, alas.

                                          1. re: jen kalb

                                            I'd like to do Mexican cuisine at some point as well. I'm going to buy this book when I'm in the States next month.

                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                              gg; Diana Kennedy is one of our national treasures even though she's spent much of her time in Mexico for years. Her books not only have authentic recipes from all over Mexico, they contain information about the culture. Notes saying when a certain dish is usually eaten, how it's modified in different areas, etc. are also an integral part of her books.

                                              1. re: oakjoan

                                                Actually, she's one of OUR national treasures, strictly speaking. She's a Brit!

                                          2. re: oakjoan

                                            You never know until the dust settles after the voting!

                                            ~TDQ

                                            1. re: oakjoan

                                              I'm also interested in cooking from ESSENTIAL CUISINES OF MEXICO.

                                          3. I've been thinking it's about time to have another baking COTM, alongside a regular cookbook perhaps? BAKING WITH JULIA is indeed a delight and would be fun. But my absolute favorite, THE FANNIE FARMER BAKING BOOK by Marion Cunningham, has been out for 25 years this year and has not been surpassed for clarity and completeness by any other I've seen since - I'm going through it again and have picked out several new things to try (among others, the recipes for Helen Gustafson's shortbread and the madeleines are already in heavy rotation at ours). The illustrations and written instructions are extremely clear. The style is very warm and homey. My mother (who was a great baker but seldom bought cookbooks) HAD to have a copy of the book when she looked through mine. Her copy is now in pride of place on my shelf.
                                            Other possibilities: NICK MALGIERI's whole oeuvre, all excellent (Perfect Light Desserts being my least favorite, I'm not buttertart for nothing). THE ART AND SOUL OF BAKING from Sur la Table is another one I was very taken with but haven't made anything from it.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: buttertart

                                              The Art and Soul of Baking was a Dessert Cookbook of the Month in Jan-Feb of this year, before that project ceased due to lack of enthusiasm/participation.

                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                Maybe could be revived around the holidays, as a sideshow to the main event? I'm sorry, I had forgotten about the Art and Soul of Baking and didn't notice it when I had a quick look at the former books. There seem to ba a lot of passionate bakers on Home Cooking.

                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                  The holidays are probably the best time for baking selections, for obvious reasons. I think a lot of us do love to bake, but it's not always something we're prepared/able/ought to do on a week-in/week-out basis, unlike savory cooking.

                                                2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                  I was one of the people who really tried to commit to DCOTM and I tell you, every single month I was passionately insistent that this was the month I was really going to find to make something from the book. It's amazing how seldom I was able to do so, in spite of the wonderful books that were chosen and the enthusiasm of the administrator (oakjoan).

                                                  I wish I had more time, on a regular basis, to do more baking!

                                                  ~TDQ

                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                    I know, I do more lurking than participating. During the Elizabeth David month, I broke down and made something of hers but then realized it was from one of the books not covered. Gaaah! But I bake every week, usually bread and at least one something sweet, so am always excited about baking books.

                                              2. Tough one. Some of these ideas really grab me and some leave me totally cold. I'm going to go with BON APPETIT Y'ALL, although the Diana Kennedy does appeal.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                  JEAN ANDERSON COOKS (I think this was brought up in last month's suggestion box, but I could be wrong). It got a lot of votes so I went and bought it. My first choice would be to stay with OTTOLENGHI a little longer. I have a lot more recipes I want to try.

                                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                                    well. those of us who want to keep on can do so.. thats my intention!

                                                2. I will switch my vote to SCREEN DOORS AND SWEET TEA.

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                                    my understanding was that this is a suggestion thread not a voting thread, though the last month or two it seems to be morphing that way. I think (not that I know how to accomplish this) that more varied suggestions would be great rather than people turning it into a defacto voting thread. Just my two cents; I haven't suggested or voted.

                                                    1. re: DGresh

                                                      I'm concerned that since so many posters are going Mexican, that will become the de facto winner. In fact, Yamalan states that if necessary, we'll have a "runoff." That certainly seems to say that this has become a voting thread, unfortunately.

                                                      1. re: pikawicca

                                                        I had assumed that there would be another thread for official voting.

                                                        I know last month, it was very clear that Ottolenghi was the favorite. I don't think that is at all the case this month. There have been too many suggestions to declare an outright winner, so I think a voting thread should take place.

                                                        1. re: moh

                                                          I always thought that this "preliminary" thread was the Nomination/Suggestion thread and then we would vote for one of the several which were mentioned the most. That's the way I'm treating it anyway.

                                                          FWIW: I have and have mentioned the Jean Anderson book. I always have it at my elbow when I can't make up my mind what to cook. As for the Kennedy book... I'd love to cook from that as well. But I'm going to hold out for the Southern books cuz that's what's appealing to me right now and the season is upon us. (Have Loved the Ottolenghi so far, though...)

                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                            Well, it started out as a nomination thread, but lately it's become a voting thread.

                                                  2. The grill season is slowly departing. Let's get out of the kitchen and onto the grill!! MEDITERRANEAN GRILLING - Diane Kochilas

                                                    1. I'm wondering if we are going to have to Vote after all these nominations are counted.

                                                      10 Replies
                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                        I think there is enough variability in responses to warrant a real vote. I would be disappointed if this really was the final vote, as only a small minority of votes would count towards the result. I think there should be a run-off vote between the top 2-3 choices.

                                                        Any word from our fearless leader?

                                                        1. re: moh

                                                          Yes, I agree there should be a vote...always, unless there's a clear winner as there was with Ottolenghi.

                                                          1. re: moh

                                                            Not your fearless leader - but, a quick thought from Kennebunkport way:

                                                            I think we should vote. I think I'm the one who may have done the first "no need to vote because it's so obvious" but, in retrospect, that may have been a mistake. I'm getting the sense that because we've done that a couple of times now, the dynamic of the suggestion thread is changing a bit, because posters (understandably) think that there might not be a voting thread. So, I think we should go back to always voting between at least the top two, regardless of how "obvious" the outcome may seem, but not to do the run-off thing that happened occasionally in the past because then the process dragged on a bit long, IMO.

                                                            1. re: MMRuth

                                                              I agree.

                                                              1. re: pikawicca

                                                                I had been thinking of omitting the voting thread since we got al ate start this month, but let's do a quickie vote. Here's the thread:

                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/645073

                                                              2. re: MMRuth

                                                                Well, I've seconded several nominations because I don't see the harm in nominating (or seconding) more than one book, but voting for more than one is a different story! So, I'm glad Yamalam decided to proceed with a vote!

                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                  I think I do like the idea of the nomination thread being an open discussion forum, plus I've seen a few people on the voting thread already who didn't speak up in on the nomination thread, probably because they were waiting on the vote, so I think for my tenure, I'll stick with a separate suggestion thread and voting thread.

                                                                  1. re: yamalam

                                                                    Great call, yamalam. Personally, I think consistency, and predictability, is important in this process. Otherwise, people don't know what the heck to expect from you. They anticipate certain things from you, and behave accordingly. For instance, as you have observed, there might be some people who only like to "vote", not nominate, or vice versa and if you suddenly decide to cut out a step (even for a good reason), there are people who may end up feeling their voices aren't heard. Carry on!

                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                      I think it's fair enough to cancel the vote if there's overwhelming support for one book, eg Ottolenghi or Elizabeth David.

                                                                      1. re: greedygirl

                                                                        If there's no other book in the nomination process that gets no more than 2 nominations, I think you're probably right, gg, but barring that, I think the process should be predictable when possible. Of course, sometimes, unpredictable things happen and the COTM coordinator has to respond accordingly! Anyway, yamalam's doing great, as did the organizers before her. Thanks to them all!

                                                                        ~TDQ