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

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!

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  1. 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


      1. re: jen kalb

        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



        1. re: yamalam

          (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

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

            1. re: vorpal

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


          2. re: yamalam


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


            1. re: yamalam


              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


                  Thank you!

                2. 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

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

                    1. re: oakjoan

                      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

                        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

                          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

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

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


                      1. 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. CASAS and DUNLOP please!

                          1. ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES
                            ALL ABOUT BRAISING

                            thanks as always yamalam.

                            1. ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES
                              THE SLOW MEDITERRANEAN KITCHEN

                                1. ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES
                                  ALL ABOUT BRAISING

                                      1. re: bayoucook

                                        Touch choice.

                                        ESSENTIALS OF CLASSIC ITALIAN COOKING by Marcella Hazan.

                                      2. All About Braising
                                        The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: CindyJ

                                          Don't forget your all caps! (grin)

                                        2. ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES


                                          1. BAKING FROM MY HOME TO YOURS
                                            ALL ABOUT BRAISING

                                            1. ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES

                                              Thank you!

                                                1. 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. ALL ABOUT BRAISING
                                                    CASAS BOOKS

                                                    1. 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: smtucker

                                                          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

                                                                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

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


                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                    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

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


                                                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                                                        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

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

                                                                          1. re: MMRuth

                                                                            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

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

                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                              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."

                                                                            2. re: MMRuth

                                                                              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

                                                                      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

                                                                        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

                                                                          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

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

                                                                    ROAST CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES, by Simon Hopkinson
                                                                    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