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November/December 2009 COTM: Voting Thread *VOTE BY OCT 15*

yamalam Oct 11, 2009 11:16 AM

This month we had a few nominations for Jose Andres and Diana Kennedy, but the overwhelming feeling seems to be for revisiting a past COTM selection. Last year I think we all enjoyed having two books spread over two months during the holiday season, so let's hear your votes for top two past COTM books.

Here are the books that were most discussed in the nomination thread, but if you'd like, check out the COTM archive (http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...), and any book between September 06 and August 08 would be eligible.

*All About Braising, by Molly Stevens
*The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen, by Paula Wolfert
*La Cocina De Mama, Tapas, The Foods and Wines of Spain, & Delicioso, by Penelope Casas
*Roast Chicken and Other Stories, by Simon Hopkinson
*Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, by Marcella Hazan
*Arabesque, by Claudia Roden

Place your votes here, by midnight October 15th (PST). Don't forget, your vote must be in ALL CAPS to be counted.

P.S. I'll put up the January nomination thread in mid November, so we can finalize the selection with plenty of time for our loved ones to do their holiday shopping!

  1. yamalam Oct 17, 2009 12:07 PM

    Ding ding ding, we have a winner (or 2):

    ALL ABOUT BRAISING, by Molly Stevens


    I broke the tie myself because 1.) its getting late in the month 2.) everyone but "moh" who voted for Casas also voted for Hopkinson or Braising or indicated they'd be ok with any of the books 3.) I found a copy of Hopkinson at Goodwill for $3


    1. The Dairy Queen Oct 15, 2009 02:27 PM

      Is anyone freakishly keeping a tally as I am? I think we might need a tie-breaker for book #2! yamalam might get her chance to vote afterall!


      20 Replies
      1. re: The Dairy Queen
        smtucker Oct 15, 2009 02:52 PM

        What is the current score?

        1. re: smtucker
          The Dairy Queen Oct 15, 2009 03:03 PM

          Well, I just did a cursory count. And, of course, I am not yamalam. There were some "judgement calls" involved (do votes in lowercase count, for instance), so, of course, this is subject to yamalam's official tally and rulings in certain gray areas, but I've got:

          All about braising/Stevens 16
          Casas (Spanish) & Hopkinson (Roast Chix) tied at 7 each
          Hazan (Italian) at 5
          Dunlop (Chinese) at 4
          Greenspan (Baking) 3
          Wolfert (Slow Med) 2
          Madison (Veg) 1

          I told you I was freakish.


          1. re: The Dairy Queen
            JoanN Oct 15, 2009 03:11 PM

            What about Hopkinson?

            1. re: JoanN
              The Dairy Queen Oct 15, 2009 03:13 PM

              Tied with Casas at #2.


              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                JoanN Oct 15, 2009 03:22 PM

                Ooops. Sorry. Missed that. Tough call, isn't it?

                When I look at that list, I wouldn't be unhappy with any of them. I voted for the books I thought I needed a bit of a push to explore further. But in the end I really don't give a hoot which ones win. A really great selection.

                1. re: JoanN
                  The Dairy Queen Oct 15, 2009 04:12 PM

                  I feel the same way! I would be happy to cook from any of them!


                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                    MMRuth Oct 15, 2009 04:19 PM

                    By the way - Hopkinson has a new book that is for sale in the U.K. tomorrow - The Vegetarian Option. By dumb luck, my husband is spending tomorrow night in London on his way home from Damascus, and so I've put in a request for a copy.


                    1. re: MMRuth
                      The Dairy Queen Oct 15, 2009 04:35 PM

                      Lucky you! Of course, you'll be obligated to post about it in your Hopkinson thread. :) I can't wait.


                      1. re: MMRuth
                        LulusMom Oct 15, 2009 04:44 PM

                        OK, I don't care how much it costs to order this from the UK ... I'm getting it! Thanks for letting me know.

                        1. re: LulusMom
                          MMRuth Oct 15, 2009 04:44 PM

                          Should I ask him to buy two of them? Not a problem at all.

                          1. re: MMRuth
                            The Dairy Queen Oct 15, 2009 04:58 PM

                            How many can he carry? HAHAHA!

                            Man, I really have to kick this cookbook addiction--one hint of a new hard-to-acquire cookbook and I'm all atwitter. The good news is, I really do cook from most of them (eventually) so, at least I'm putting them to good use!


                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                              MMRuth Oct 15, 2009 05:02 PM

                              Ha - I was thinking about that. He does have a suitcase that I know is by no means full!

                          2. re: LulusMom
                            greedygirl Oct 16, 2009 01:42 AM

                            LLM and TDQ: Here's a taster from The Times.


                            1. re: greedygirl
                              JoanN Oct 16, 2009 06:07 AM

                              Oh, my! Those cheese-crusted parsnips sound positively divine! That got copied into my "to try" listed faster than I could say "deep fat frying thermometer."

                              1. re: greedygirl
                                greedygirl Oct 16, 2009 06:47 AM

                                And a few more:


                            2. re: MMRuth
                              greedygirl Oct 16, 2009 01:41 AM

                              MMRuth: Haha! Knew you wouldn't be able to resist. ;-) I have only seen the excerpts in The Times so far and am waiting for your review!

                    2. re: The Dairy Queen
                      smtucker Oct 15, 2009 05:55 PM

                      I don't own either the Casas or the Hopkinson books, and I just inherited a bunch of cookbooks. I NEED another bookcase!

                      1. re: smtucker
                        MMRuth Oct 15, 2009 06:13 PM

                        Don't we all! In the Hopkinson threads, there are loads of links to online recipes of his. If you have not looked at his books, I highly recommend that you do. I suspect that, at this point, it should be pretty easy to get a cheap used copy of Roast Chicken and Other Stories. I became enamoured with him from the first read of that book, and absolutely love "Week In, Week Out" , which, I saw today, is available in paperback in the U.K.

                        Here are various threads:






                        1. re: smtucker
                          MMRuth Oct 15, 2009 06:26 PM

                          By the way, I regularly clean out and reorganize books, build new bookshelves, sell old books, and I am still always in a situation w/ more books than space.

                          1. re: MMRuth
                            The Dairy Queen Oct 16, 2009 04:11 AM

                            OMG! I am so relieved to hear that you are constantly purging, re-organizing and re-shelving. Me too! If I didn't do that, I'd be overtaken by cookbooks. Somehow, no matter how many books I get rid of and no matter what clever organization scheme I come up with, I always end up with a pile of half a dozen books that have no home. Now, that's okay, because I nearly always have a half a dozen books "in play" at any given time. But, it distresses me knowing that they have no "permanent" home and that, clearly, I have no room for growth. Oh well.

                            Hopkinson's new book: I love this quote from The Times' article greedygirl linked as it's exactly how I feel: "He will never be a vegetarian, he says, because he loves food too much, and any restriction on his diet would result in “a life not worth living”, but thinks that such dishes can be every bit as exciting as those that include meat or fish."

                            Anyway, CSA season is drawing to a close here (we're now pretty much just dealing with cellared/cellaring vegetables), so, maybe I'll pick up a copy of Hopkinson next spring. Assuming I can wait that long (because, I bet the may knows 100 things to do with squash and celeriac!) Still, I must pace myself!


                  2. GretchenS Oct 15, 2009 09:58 AM

                    ALL ABOUT BRAISING
                    CASAS BOOKS

                    1. c
                      cpw Oct 15, 2009 07:09 AM

                      A lot happened while I was away. I have missed the excitement, but atleast I am back for the final voting:

                      ALL ABOUT BRAISING

                      1. d
                        DGresh Oct 15, 2009 06:39 AM

                        ALL ABOUT BRAISING

                        1. rabaja Oct 14, 2009 11:07 PM

                          ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES

                          Thank you!

                          1. n
                            newfoodie Oct 14, 2009 05:07 PM

                            BAKING FROM MY HOME TO YOURS
                            ALL ABOUT BRAISING

                            1. greedygirl Oct 14, 2009 12:43 PM

                              ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES


                              1. CindyJ Oct 14, 2009 07:50 AM

                                All About Braising
                                The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: CindyJ
                                  MMRuth Oct 14, 2009 08:30 AM

                                  Don't forget your all caps! (grin)

                                2. bayoucook Oct 13, 2009 12:04 AM

                                  ALL ABOUT BRAISING

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: bayoucook
                                    bayoucook Oct 13, 2009 08:38 AM

                                    Touch choice.

                                    ESSENTIALS OF CLASSIC ITALIAN COOKING by Marcella Hazan.

                                  2. pikawicca Oct 12, 2009 01:04 PM

                                    ALL ABOUT BRAISING

                                    1. Gio Oct 12, 2009 06:38 AM

                                      ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES
                                      ALL ABOUT BRAISING

                                      1. r
                                        regular Oct 12, 2009 06:30 AM

                                        ALL ABOUT BRAISING

                                        1. JoanN Oct 12, 2009 05:58 AM

                                          ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES
                                          THE SLOW MEDITERRANEAN KITCHEN

                                          1. LulusMom Oct 12, 2009 05:51 AM

                                            ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES
                                            ALL ABOUT BRAISING

                                            thanks as always yamalam.

                                            1. m
                                              moh Oct 11, 2009 10:56 PM

                                              CASAS and DUNLOP please!

                                              1. MMRuth Oct 11, 2009 07:48 PM

                                                I think that is a great idea to deal w/ January in November - thanks! I'll post later about my actual past COTM thoughts.

                                                Edit: I will just note, for those who have not cooked from it, that, much as I like her other books, Patricia Wells' Vegetable Harvest was a complete dud, IMHO.

                                                1. kubasd Oct 11, 2009 05:21 PM

                                                  VEGETARIAN COOKING FOR EVERYONE

                                                  1. nomadchowwoman Oct 11, 2009 03:27 PM

                                                    ALL ABOUT BRAISING by Molly Stevens
                                                    ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES by Simon Hopkinson

                                                    1. Rubee Oct 11, 2009 01:18 PM

                                                      Ooh, tough one. I really loved all three of Casas' Spanish books, and Arabesque too. And my husband would love it if I cooked more French with Julia Child. But I'll vote:

                                                      ALL ABOUT BRAISING by Molly Stevens
                                                      ESSENTIALS OF CLASSIC ITALIAN COOKING by Marcella Hazan

                                                      For me, I especially think 'tis the season with cool weather and entertaining visiting guests for braising, but did want to add that Stevens' book is not a limited braise book or all about heavy meat dishes - there are also a wide range of seafood and vegetables dishes that span the globe (like Vietnamese braised scallops or Moroccan chicken with preserved lemons), recipes using braised ingredients (like the gruyere and leek tart, or the carbonara with braised pork belly) and of course, the CH favorite "World's Best Cabbage". Hmmm..I think I'm going to make that this week.

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: Rubee
                                                        oakjoan Oct 11, 2009 02:47 PM

                                                        CASAS BOOKS...since there are 2 of them, I figure one can't vote for another month's boo.

                                                        1. re: oakjoan
                                                          The Dairy Queen Oct 11, 2009 10:27 PM

                                                          Joan, (not to nitpick) just a small clarification, there were actually 4 Casas books. Foods and Wines of Spain; Tapas; Delicioso; and Cocina de Mama. I cooked from all but Delicioso. I had picked up cheap copies of Tapas and F&WoS and checked CdM out of the library. In hindsight, I wish I had Cocina de Mama instead of Tapas, since all the other books include tapas recipes. I didn't try Delicioso; I'm guessing my library didn't have it.


                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                            oakjoan Oct 13, 2009 12:13 PM

                                                            Thanks TDQ, or as I like to call you: "Hawkeye"! I won't vote again since it'd be confusing, but since the caps say "CASAS BOOKS", I figure I'm within the law.

                                                            1. re: oakjoan
                                                              The Dairy Queen Oct 13, 2009 12:15 PM

                                                              HAHAHA! You crack me up. And for that, I think I shall cast my second vote towards CASAS BOOKS, too.

                                                              I really enjoyed those. I really regretted not purchasing a copy of Cocina de Mama. That books yielded such delicious, comfort-food type results, and fit into my weight watchers core plan with minimal adjustment. I would like an excuse to buy it now. :)


                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                oakjoan Oct 14, 2009 10:53 PM

                                                                Her recipe for baked rice is worth the price of the book as far as I'm concerned.

                                                      2. yamalam Oct 11, 2009 11:26 AM

                                                        Ok, so you don't have to follow the link, here's the list of past COTM to choose from:

                                                        August 2008 The Glorious Foods of Greece -Diane Kochilas- Greek
                                                        July 2008 Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone -Deborah Madison- Vegetables
                                                        June 2008 La Cocina De Mama, Tapas, The Foods and Wines of Spain, Delicioso -Penelope Casas- Spanish
                                                        May 2008 The Flexitarian Table- Peter Berley- General
                                                        April 2008 Roast Chicken and Other Stories- Simon Hopkinson- General
                                                        March 2008 Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook and Land of Plenty- Fuchsia Dunlop- Chinese
                                                        February 2008 Frank Stitt's Southern Table -Frank Stitt- Southern
                                                        January 2008 The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen -Paula Wolfert- Mediterranean
                                                        December 2007 Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook & Martha Stewart’s Hors d’Oeuvres Handbook -Martha Stewart -Baking, Hors D' Oevres
                                                        November 2007 The Silver Palate Cookbook -Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins- General
                                                        October 2007 All Julia Child Recipes- Julia Child- French
                                                        September 2007 Vegetable Harvest -Patricia Wells -Vegetables
                                                        August 2007 License to Grill, The Thrill of the Grill, and Let the Flames Begin- Chris Schlesinger & John Willoughby -Grilling
                                                        July 2007 Forever Summer -Nigella Lawson -General
                                                        June 2007 Country Cooking -Edna Lewis- American
                                                        April 2007 Arabesque -Claudia Roden- Morocco, Turkey, Lebanon
                                                        March 2007 Leite's Culinaria -David Leite- General
                                                        February 2007 Hot Sour Salty Sweet -Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid- Southeast Asian
                                                        December 2006 Baking from My Home to Yours -Dorie Greenspan -Baking
                                                        November 2006 Mexico One Plate at a Time -Rick Bayless- Mexican
                                                        October 2006 All About Braising- Molly Stevens -Braising
                                                        September 2006 Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking- Marcella Hazan- Italian
                                                        (I removed Zuni and Lucques, as we've already revisited them)

                                                        There are so many great choices, I'm biting my tongue to keep from voting!

                                                        10 Replies
                                                        1. re: yamalam
                                                          jen kalb Oct 11, 2009 01:46 PM

                                                          ALL ABOUT BRAISING
                                                          SLOW MEDITERRANEAN cOOKBOOK

                                                          1. re: jen kalb
                                                            jen kalb Oct 15, 2009 07:38 AM

                                                            as much as I love Slow Med, Im going to switch my second vote to CASAS, since Ive never really cooked out of her books that I own.
                                                            still all for BRAISING

                                                          2. re: yamalam
                                                            NYchowcook Oct 11, 2009 03:30 PM

                                                            BAKING FROM MY HOME TO YOURS

                                                            ALL ABOUT BRAISING

                                                            1. re: yamalam
                                                              buttertart Oct 12, 2009 07:32 AM

                                                              LAND OF PLENTY AND REV CHINESE DUNLOP
                                                              BAKING FROM MY HOME TO YOURS GREENSPAN
                                                              (hope they're both working on new books...)
                                                              Made the "15 min miracle" food processor chocolate amaretti torte from Baking yesterday...terrific.

                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                vorpal Oct 13, 2009 12:00 PM

                                                                I second Dunlop's Land of Plenty, and throw my second vote to Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.

                                                                1. re: vorpal
                                                                  vorpal Oct 14, 2009 05:18 PM

                                                                  Ooops... *slaps head*. I didn't read the caps rule. Let's try that again:

                                                                  FUCHSIA DUNLOP: LAND OF PLENTY
                                                                  MARCELLA HAZAN: ESSENTIALS OF CLASSIC ITALIAN COOKING

                                                              2. re: yamalam
                                                                The Dairy Queen Oct 13, 2009 08:29 AM

                                                                ALL ABOUT BRAISING

                                                                (haven't decided on my other vote yet...) THANKS YAMALAM!


                                                                1. re: yamalam
                                                                  soypower Oct 13, 2009 03:42 PM


                                                                  I really love the opportunity to go back to these books. It took me about a year to figure out what COTM was! :o)

                                                                  1. re: yamalam
                                                                    bizkat Oct 14, 2009 06:49 AM

                                                                    ALL ABOUT BRAISING

                                                                    1. re: yamalam
                                                                      MMRuth Oct 14, 2009 08:29 AM

                                                                      ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES

                                                                      Thank you!

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