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July/(August) Cookbook of the Month Nominations

It's time to nominate our next cookbook! On the agenda this month are two decisions:

1. What cookbook shall we cook from next? Please type the title of your nomination in ALL CAPITALS so I can pick it out from the discussion more easily.

Nominations are open through next THURSDAY, JUNE 17, at 9 PM, EST.

Here are all of our previous picks for COTM, for reference: http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

2. One month or two? We've done Gourmet Today for two months, which should give participants a sense of how they like a two-month period. Two months with a single-subject book might be a different experience than with a thousand-recipe "potmanteau" book with many kinds of food and cooking to choose from, so that is something to consider.

Please indicate whether you would like our next pick to be for one or two months, and I will tally preferences when I tally nominations.

Let the discussion begin!

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  1. August will be the last month of my stint as COTM coordinator. If someone would like to take over for the next six-month period beginning with the September selection, please shoot me an email (my address is in my profile). This job is obviously essential to COTM continuing, but it does not take a whole lot of time each month on the part of the coordinator.

    1. Hmmmm...quiet month so far. With July and August being the peak of the summer growing season here in the upper Midwest, it would be great to have a book that takes advantage of the wonderful seasonal produce. Nothing specific comes to mind, though. Maybe an oldie Chez Panisse Vegetables? p

      Caitlin, thanks for all you've done as COTM coordinator. Your successor will have big shoes to fill (though I am sure there is someone among us who will be up to the task!)

      ~TDQ

      1. To get the nominations going... Earlier this month Pikawicca asked me to nominate a book for her because she's on holiday for a few weeks. Her choice is:
        BLUE EGGS AND YELLOW TOMATOES: RECIPES FROM A MODERN KITCHEN GARDEN by Jeanne Kelley. I know next to nothing about the book myself but Pika loves it, that much I do know. After reading the product description I now know that the recipes reflect what Ms Kelley grows in her kitchen garden. Organically. Now That I Like !

        Here's a link to the Amazon page for it:
        http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Eggs-Yello...

        3 Replies
        1. re: Gio

          It's getting some great reviews on Amazon, but most people are just commenting on how pretty the book is and aren't really giving a lot of specifics that indicate they've actually cooked from the book. But, I do trust pikawicca's recommendation!

          I wish you could "search inside this book" on Amazon, but you can't. However, this book is indexed on EYB, so, those of you who have EYB can scan at least the recipe names and ingredients, if you wish. Lots of appealing sounding recipes, though it's not at all strictly vegetable focused (lots of meat recipes) and calls for a lot of citrus and other ingredients that don't grow here. But, there are a lot of things that don't grow here, so, that's nothing new!

          It's almost as if the book's subtitle should have been "Recipes from a Modern Farmers Market." (instead of Garden).

          Oh, and my library has it! (which, hopefully means other people's libraries have it, too!)

          ~TDQ

          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            Actually, I think it's a good thing that meats and seafood recipes are included. That makes for book that will appeal to omnivores. I do agree with you, TDQ, that it isn't totally garden based, from what i read. FWIW I still haven't decided what book I'm nominating. But I'm leaning toward Summery, gardeny, seafoody...

            1. re: Gio

              It doesn't bother me that the book has meat, seafood and poultry recipes in it (though I would personally prefer one that is more produce-oriented than this one seems to be per my review of the recipes--all 16 pages of them--on EYB. I have A LOT of produce to use up and only saw about 5 "vegetable" recipes in this book that called exclusively for vegetables that actually grow here and, therefore might be in my CSA*) as much as I was surprised by how many there were since the book is called "From a Modern Kitchen Garden," since most people (I am sure there are exceptions, of course) probably don't have meat or seafood growing in their garden. Poultry, maybe.

              Anyway, it sounds like a charming book. Lots of used copies on Amazon for about $5. And, given my recent EYB addiction, I'm pleased that the book is indexed

              *I just hate to go to the grocery store to buy produce when I have a fridge full of CSA produce.

              ~TDQ

        2. Here's a thought... the more I read about Blue Eggs the more I like it... but,
          what if we chose a new book Plus revisited those past cotms that lend themselves to cooking fresh summer produce? Each book we've cooked from has a vegetable chapter, but I'm thinking primarily of the ethnic books like the Spanish, Greek, Italian, Chinese, Indonesian, Indian books. Just a thought.

          And, although I'm not nominating a book right now I'd like to say that I really Do prefer a 1 month term for cotm. It's a good thing GT is such a large book but most books couldn't be stretched for 2 months unless one really Loved the book.

          1. Just to bore everyone silly, I'm going to go ahead and nominate the River Cafe books again. Or how about The Complete Asian Cookbook by Charmaine Solomon (sorry if I'm misspelling here).

            Thank you so much Caitlin, for what you've done over the past 6 months. I'm feeling sort of overwhelmed right now, and my husband is planning to travel for a large chunk of the next few months, so I'm not going to be able to step up to the plate this time around.

            11 Replies
            1. re: LulusMom

              In our voting thread for May/June, waver had suggested combining River Cafe with Silver Spoon's "Recipes from an Italian Summer" for an Italian-ish month, which sounded pretty great and summery to me.

              Still mulling nominations and want to look at "Blue Eggs," but I definitely prefer the one-month COTM format...even with the huge GT book, I feel like the enthusiasm is winding down now that we're more than a month in (although my own recent absence from the board has been predominantly due to travel and the chaos that is the end of the school year with two kids and another performance/potluck/field trip every time I turn around!).

              1. re: mebby

                I love GT and didn't participate for the first couple of weeks because of some commitments, etc.., but I'm also getting bored with it. I guess this why I own so many cookbooks. I get bored even with the books I love. I did like the feeling that I had plenty of time, but, still, I'm starting to get antsy.

                ~TDQ

                1. re: mebby

                  Since I'm (as usual) trying not to buy another cookbook, I'll nominate the Italian idea:

                  RIVER CAFE and SILVER SPOON (I have this, but not the other Silver Spoons). It does have a large vegetable chapter.

                  I did enjoy the two-month idea but I can see why it might not have worked for some. I actually have dishes I've made this month to report, and still planning on (Peruvian Chicken this weekend), but haven't had the time yet to post.

                2. re: LulusMom

                  Oh gosh, LLM... I love The Complete Asian Cookbook, and in the same vein The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook by another author. I ordered the latter yesterday.

                  1. re: LulusMom

                    LLM, can you describe the Complete Asian Cookbook a little? It's not in my library and it's not super cheap even used on Amazon, so, I'm just wondering what you love about this book. I already have about 30 Asian cookbooks and I'm wondering if I really need another. (I'm sure I do! I need only the smallest amount of encouragement...)

                    EDIT: I'm pleased to discover the River Cafe "Italian Easy" and "Italian Too Easy" books are both indexed on EYB, as is The Complete Asian Cookbook. YAY! I'm telling you, it's life-changing.

                    Alas, Recipes from an Italian Summer is not indexed.

                    ~TDQ

                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      Well, TDQ, I have to admit to you that it (the complete asian cookbook) was an asked for gift, and since I got it I've either been cooking from a COTM book or been just going with very simple recipes because things have been a bit crazy. So it is really just selfishness on my part to want to have a good reason to really delve into it. The bit of time I've spent looking at it has me very interested. It was recommend to me by Gio and Greedygirl, I think, and I can see why after a few looks through. I do feel your pain on the additional asian cookbook thing - that initially scared me off, but I think, looking at this one, that I'd trade a few I already have in for this one. of course the proof of the pudding is in the tasting!

                      Similar story with the Italian Easy books. I already had Ital. Too Easy and have had some really good meals from it, and now have the first one too. Just looking for a good excuse to delve deeper into TOO and fully into the first one.

                      1. re: LulusMom

                        Aha! Maybe GG and Gio will chime in, then, with some thoughts about the Complete Asian Book. I completely understand wanting to get some use out of a new-to-you cookbook.

                        ~TDQ

                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          Hiya.. TCAC is a very good cookbook. The author, Charmaine Soloman covers 15 Asian couintries with all the necessary additions of pantry, culture, and etiquette. She was born in Singapore IIRC, now lives in Australia and is very well known as a food historian and writer. Here's her web site and the page is the book we're discussing here:
                          http://www.charmainesolomon.com/index...

                          That's the edition I have... there are subsequent editions. My book was a gift too and I've cooked many recipes from it which were very successful and delicious. The photographs are full color/full length.

                          1. re: Gio

                            Thanks for this, Gio. In addition to the link you just offered, I discovered that there are a ton of pages available through Amazon's "Search this book" feature, for those interested in learning more about the book. Most importantly, the table of contents is there so you can see the 15 countries. I notice she's got Philippines and Korea on the list, which are two countries I am curious about and for which I have no other books. Interesting!

                            In the edition available on Amazon, she also has a section on "eating for health" where she says she's modified the recipes "using almost half the amount of fat called for in traditional dishes" in the revised edition. She also provides some general tips on how to substitute for certain fats.

                            ~TDQ

                    2. re: LulusMom

                      I was actually inspired to look into the River Cafe Books based on last month's nominations and ended up with both Italian Easy and Italian Two Easy. I like the emphasis on fresh ingredients and simple preparations.

                      1. re: LulusMom

                        I took a look at Italian Too Easy in a local bookstore (where it was on a sale shelf for $11.99), and thought I'd mention for the benefit of those who prefer cookbooks full of photos, that it seems to have a photo of almost every recipe. Also looked like it could be appealing as a summer pick, with summery fruit/vegetable recipes and a chapter on grilled meat and fish, though I didn't have time enough to study it closely.