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July 2010 Cookbook of the Month VOTING (Through MONDAY 6/21)

Decision time! Consensus, such as it was, seemed in favor of a one-month selection, so we will be voting here for a book for July only.

In order for your vote to be counted, you MUST type your choice in ALL CAPITALS.

Please vote for ONE of the following (on hound, one vote!):



*ITALIAN EASY and ITALIAN TWO EASY, Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers


*ITALIAN EASY and ITALIAN TWO EASY, Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers AND
JAMIE'S ITALY, Jamie Oliver

Voting will be open through MONDAY, JUNE 21 at 9 PM, EDT

If anyone is interested in guaranteeing the continuation of COTM by taking over coordination as of either the September or October nomination cycle (each book cycle takes about 1-2 hours total), please let me know; email in my profile.

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  1. I'm very torn between options two and three because I really want to cook from a Jamie Oliver book, but I'm not convinced this is THE JO book I want to cook from (especially in light of oakjoan's comments at the end of the nominations thread). I fear voting for option 3 because I fear it might preclude cooking from JO in the future. But, if we're all open to cooking from another JO book in the near future, I'm on board with it.

    The Complete Asian Cookbook isn't in my library so, I'm not too keen on it.

    Oh, decisions, decisions.

    Caitlin, thank you again for your efforts.


    1. Door number 2 - *ITALIAN EASY and ITALIAN TOO EASY, Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers.

      Solomon's book sounds interesting. But there are only 2 copies in the entire library system. I know of at least one other HC hound in this area who is in my same library system.

      Option 3, as appealing it may be, isn't my vote because I think three books is too many for one month. The reports on the recipes get diluted and there isn't as much back and forth on the recipes themselves.

      Option 2, isn't ideal either since there are only 7 copies of Italian Easy and none of ITE in the library system. But, there is probably a better chance of other HC hounds owning this book so there will be enough copies for all of us. Hence, option 2 gets my vote.

      ETA: I just realized that I had the title of the second book wrong. It's Italian Two Easy and that's why a general title search didn't come up in the library system. There are 5 copies of that cookbook in the system and that's plenty to share.

      1 Reply
      1. re: beetlebug

        Thank you, beetlebug, for the correction on the title of Italian Two Easy! I requested an edit of my OP to reflect the correct title - whoops.

      2. Given that we've voted on one month (which pleases me - somehow I missed that we were supposed to vote on that part too), I also go for option 2: ITALIAN EASY and ITALIAN TOO EASY." Agree that this gives us another chance to do JO some other time, and maybe 2 books or something that others feel more strongly about.

        1. I'm casting my vote for option #2 - ITALIAN EASY and ITALIAN TWO EASY. I'm glad we're back to one month and I think these will make for a nice summery month of food. Like others, I would definitely support a Jamie Oliver month or The Complete Asian Cookbook in the future as well. Thanks, Caitlin, for once again wrangling us into some semblance of order!

          1. Love Charmaine Solomon's books. Every recipe of hers that I've tried has turned out well.


            1. I'm torn, but I suppose, since I don't crave Italian very often in the summer, I'm going with THE COMPLETE ASIAN COOKBOOK. (Does anyone else feel that the all caps makes it seem as if we're announcing our choice with a booming voice, sweeping arm gesture, and applause from the audience?) I just crave Asian foods more in the summer.

              1. ITALIAN EASY and ITALIAN TOO EASY, Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers

                Yeah, I think 3 books is too confusing for a one-month cycle. I do want to try a JO book or two, though one of these months. Maybe for August while produce is still amazing?


                1. Because it is for 1 month, I choose option two (ITALIAN EASY and ITALIAN TWO EASY). I would be open to a Jamie Oliver Book. Which one should I get?? I have Jamie's Italy, but have not cooked from it. I also purchased a used copy of The Complete Asian Cookbook. I'm excited to get it.

                  1. I’ve ordered Italian Easy from the library but haven’t seen it yet. I’m confused, though. In the nomination thread people seemed to be interested in these books as being particularly appropriate choices for a time of abundant produce. But when I look at the table of contents of the first book at least ( http://bookreviews.krolltravel.com/cu... ), it seems to be rather heavy in carbohydrates and not geared to the season any more than most Italian cookbooks. Am I missing something here?

                    Anyway, since I have a shelf full of Italian cookbooks that I don’t really use all that much, I’ll cast my vote for THE COMPLETE ASIAN COOKBOOK (well aware that I’ll have to do so again, hopefully sometime soon).

                    12 Replies
                    1. re: JoanN

                      I was persuaded by the number of times "zucchini" appears and, also, by the hope that one or two of their sauce recipes might call for my fresh tomatoes. Here's what my CSA yields in July: too much zucchini, too many cucumbers, too much basil, too many tomatoes. Have I made a horrible mistake? *sudden wave of fretting and second-guessing myself*

                      EDIT: PS, I completely understand your point about having a shelf full of Italian books...I was only willing to vote for this book when I learned it was a) available at my library and b) indexed by EYB. Given the general nuttiness of my life lately I liked the idea of "easy", too.

                      I suppose if I love it, I might consider buying my own copy and chucking some other Italian book I don't use...


                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        We won't have tomatoes until the end of July, and only then if we are very lucky. Now those zucchini... we will have plenty. They are like rabbits. Two plants and they produce an entire clan.

                        1. re: smtucker

                          We normally get tomatoes in mid-Aug, but everything (except tornado season: I'm not sure what to make of that) seems about a month early this year, so, I'm betting we'll get them in mid-July...


                          1. re: smtucker

                            My father was an avid gardener, plants, flowers, fruit, vegetables. He could make anything thrive. And it is probably because of the abundance of zucchini when I was growing up that it’s the one vegetable that I avoid if at all possible. I remember zucchini and tomato stews and zucchini bread and zucchini pickles and zucchini soup—both hot and cold. And I’m sick of it. All these years later. You could remove zucchini from the earth and I wouldn’t miss it in the least.

                            1. re: JoanN

                              You barely need to be a gardener to grow zucchini. It's amazing your father didn't find them too ordinary!

                              Nevertheless, now I understand why the Italian books didn't call to you if you ignored every single zucchini recipe! Do you think the Complete Asian recipes seem pretty summery?


                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                It’s not that I find the recipes what one might call “summery.” It’s that southeast Asian foods originated, for the most part, in very hot climates. So it always strikes me as somewhat odd when people say they think of it as cold-weather food.

                                1. re: JoanN

                                  I do see logic in your thinking. I do think of a lot of VIetnamese food as being very appealing in hot weather, (though I don't totally understand the appeal of pho in that heat. I crave it in winter. Still, that's just one dish out of an entire cuisine.)

                                  Well, it's a pretty close race so far, so, we shall see! I'm sure I will be happy to cook from any of the books, though, Complete Asian would require me to buy the book. It sounds like a book I'd be happy to own, though, so that's probably not that bad.


                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                    You know you want it...my vote is for THE COMPLETE ASIAN COOKBOOK and if it's chosen will participate I promise.

                                    1. re: buttertart

                                      Ha! You're right, of course. COTM is the only excuse I have to buy a cookbook that my husband won't complain.

                                      Thank you, Caitlin for correcting out the spelling on Italian Two Easy. Suddenly, my library has it!


                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                        My hisband knows better (a mild eye-rolling is permitted) - my advantage is that he's at least as big a book junkie as I (and university press books are more expensive than cookbooks!).

                              2. re: JoanN

                                With you Joan on the over-abundance of zucchini! (Garrison Keillor joked that people in his fictional town locked their cars in Aug so people wouldn't put zucchini in their car)
                                I think the reason to grow zucchini is the flowers. Romanesco, an Italian variety, bears less fruit(?) than others but sprouts lots of male zucchini blossoms. Stuffed and fried you would never think they're related to boring zucchini. And actually that variety has some taste to it, kind of nutty almost.

                                1. re: NYchowcook

                                  You're right. And I tend to forget. Thanks for reminding me. I'll have to keep the blossoms in mind next time I disparage zucchini.

                                  And funny Keillor line. Never heard that one.

                        2. I too would prefer to cook from a different JO book than the Italy one. Actually, what I'd like is a month where we did multiple JO books, which could include Italy, but not be the only one.

                          So I'll vote for door #2, ITALIAN EASY and ITALIAN TWO EASY, Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers

                          1. Caitlin, I might be able to volunteer, but can I ask you to describe your monthly process? For example, how do you make this a 'sticky', how much time does it take to organize the chapters [which you have done beautifully], time to collate votes [not counting the 'do we continue month'], etc. Might be nice to have a reference for any future COTM co-ordinators, so should this become its own thread? Thanks for your wonderful work, and for any information you can share.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: smtucker

                              I think my experience has been similar to that of the previous coordinators, and I spend probably one to two hours total for each book cycle - that includes the organization and posting of the nomination thread, the voting thread, and the monthly chapter threads. Tabulating the votes only takes a few minutes. The chapter organizing takes a bit of thought, although it can also be obvious, just depends on the books chosen. Definitely not difficult, though. Stickying is something only the moderators can do, so the coordinator requests for them to sticky the relevant posts, usually via the report function.

                              I'll definitely pass on everything I know to the next coordinator via email. (I have a feeling based on the rules requiring chowdowns to be organized off-site that any further discussion about the details of organizing is probably best left to email, and you or anyone else should please email me at chowcaitlin at gmail dot com, if you want to ask about any of it before deciding.)

                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                My COTM coordinator job took no more than a couple of hours a month. There was one month where there were two books and lots of different categories, as well as and an extra large amount of written info in the voting thread, that took longer, but that was an exception.

                                I actually liked it. You also have Caitlin's help and description which will make things easier.

                                1. re: oakjoan

                                  smtucker has agreed to take over from me when my reign (ha, joking! make that my tenure) is over.

                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                    Caitlin: Be sure NOT to tell them about the crown and ermine robes.

                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                      Thank you in advance, smtucker, for donating your time to support our COTM habit!

                                  2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                    Just to add a quick note - a couple of months in which I found organizing the threads a bit complicated, I got in touch with one or more former coordinators for help. So, you can certainly rely on the coordinators emeriti!

                                2. THE COMPLETE ASIAN COOKBOOK

                                  1. THE COMPLETE ASIAN COOKBOOK

                                    1. Option #2: ITALIAN EASY & ITALIAN TOO EASY please.

                                      Thank you!

                                      1. Option #2 ITALIAN EASY & ITALIAN TOO EASY for this newbie, please.

                                        1. I'm happy with either option 1 or 2, to be honest, but if I have to make a decision, I'll go for
                                          ITALIAN EASY and ITALIAN TOO EASY. Thanks.

                                          1. ITALIAN EASY and ITALIAN TWO EASY. Thank you Caitlin!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Gio

                                              ITALIAN EASY and ITALIAN TWO EASY

                                            2. Option #2 ITALIAN EASY & ITALIAN TOO EASY -- and thank you :-)

                                              1. Though there's only one copy in my library system, I'm intrigued by THE COMPLETE ASIAN COOKBOOK, Charmaine Solomon. So, there's my vote. But, honestly, I would try to find something to cook from the other three options, so won't be terribly disappointed by any of the nominees this month. I will say, though, that I'm much more inclined to eat Asian food than Italian this time of year, as it's freaking hot and humid here. The idea of anything served hot (like pasta with a sauce) makes me a little nauseated.