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Dec 26, 2010 09:12 AM

Which culinary books did you receive for Christmas?

My husband who knows me so well surprised me with the following:

- Harvest to Heat
- Mastering Cheese: Lessons for Connoisseurship from a Maitre Fromager
- Avec Eric
- Falling off the Bone
- Oxford Companion to Food
- Forgotten Skills of Cooking
- Spice Lover's Guide to Herbs and Spices
- Illustrated Food and Cooking of Poland, Russia and Eastern Europe
- 500 Places for Food and Wine Lovers

My friend got me:

- Edible Seashore
- Hedgerow

Methinks I will not be bored over the Christmas holidays!

The Oxford Companion to Food is rather large which I LOVE. Bigger than French Laundry and Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck Cookbook. It's funny - when I make Amazon book orders I tell my husband, "Today I ordered 14 lb and 4,983 pages worth of books." All the books look wonderful thus far. Share your recent book acquisitions!

My revised Amazon wishlist has now been whittled down to 134 books.

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  1. What a great haul, cah! I obviously haven't been nearly as good as you have ; )
    (In fact, I've been pretty bad given how many cookbooks I purchased for myself in the last few months.)
    Still, I scored a few:
    --DH got me "Il Viaggio di Vetri."
    --My very generous sister got me "The Southern Foodways Alliance Cookbook" (and a WS gift card so I can buy additional Canal House volumes!)
    --Baby Brother got me a paella set, which had a paella cookbook ("PaellaPaella") in it. He also picked up at Walgreen's as a gag gift a (very poorly/humorously edited) cookbook by a former NO Saints player: he and my sister took turns reading recipes aloud as I cooked. We hooted at such instructional gems as "cook until you like the taste of it" and "this recipe may be not hot enough or too hot for you" and "continue to add until it gets the taste you want." (My brother, however, has asked me to make the "Beer Rice" for him while he's in town.)

    1 Reply
    1. re: nomadchowwoman

      Actually, looks can be deceiving! I normally purchase about 5 culinary books from Amazon per month so I'm pretty bad, too...

      Your books really do sound interesting! Don't you just love gift cards? Man, I am a sucker for them.

      That gag gift book sounds absolutely hilarious! What fun to get things like that, too. Oooooh, a paella set - that is another thing on my wish list. Great paella is truly a marvellous thing.

    2. Because I do a lot of "bale sale-ing" for him and his school, my 10 year old nephew got me--with his own money--a book called Hello Cupcake. It has a ton of great ideas for decorating cupcakes with candies and canned frosting. I guess this is his way of saying that he wants more fun bake sale donations from his Aunt Cookies. I didn't have the heart to tell him that I don't use canned frosting.

      3 Replies
        1. re: iluvcookies

          I received that book as a bridal shower gift. Somewhere in there (I think in the back?) they have recipes for non-boxed cake(s) and non-canned frosting(s). I have either made a vanilla or cream cheese frosting from their recipe, and it got the job done.

          1. re: LaPomme

            Right you are... in the back, past the doctored-cake-mix instructions!
            I have some old Cook's Illustrated issues in which the author, Karen Tack, collaborated on some of the recipes. I'll have to take a look at this book a bit more closely. Thanks :)

        2. Curry Easy - Madhur Jaffrey
          Green & Black's Chocolate Recipes

          So that was the wishlist eliminated plus one extra.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Harters

            Have you had the chance to look at Curry Easy in detail yet? It is one on my wishlist.

            1. re: chefathome

              Not yet. And I'm afraid it'll be some weeks - I operate a strict process of reading books in order of receipt (and, yes, I know that's very anal of me).

              If not already on your shelves, I can thoroughly recommend her "Curry Bible" which is a fascinating exploration for how the genre has spread across the globe adapting to local tastes and products as it has. And there's some damn good recipes as well.

              1. re: Harters

                I think that's the one that came out as "Madhur Jaffrey Cooks at Home" this year in the US and it's very good.

                1. re: Harters

                  If that is anal, I am anal x 7. When I receive new books I do not allow myself to read them all the way through the first day. I skim them all, choose a few and start out. Sure, I allow myself to finish one on the second or third day but not the first for some very, very odd reason. They need to be slowly savored.

                  Her "Curry Bible" is on my list as well. As I have neither it looks as though I have much to look forward to!

              1. re: tldmatrix

                I have that book and love it! It really is beautiful.

              2. I think I need to stop asking for cookbooks for Christmas, because every year I get a bunch of new books all at once and don't know where to start, and I end up flipping through them over and over again, trying to decide which one to tackle first, instead of just cooking from them. Anyway, this year I got:

                Mexican Everyday
                5 Ingredient Fix
                The Complete Asian Cookbook
                Daisy: Morning, Noon, and Night
                Around My French Table
                and a subscription to Fine Cooking

                6 Replies
                1. re: glacier206

                  I'm curious about "Ratio". Is it informative? Did you learn something from it? What type of reader is it geared to?

                  1. re: chefathome

                    I'm only at the beginning of it right now, but I'd say very informative. It's geared toward the person who wants to cook without relying on recipes. So, for example, it tells you the ratios of flour:fat:liquid for pie dough, biscuits, etc. And it gives ratios for bones:liquid for making various stocks. It's a handy guide and a good reference book.

                    1. re: glacier206

                      Excellent. Although I rely on recipes for baking I love the freedom and creativity of not adhering to recipes.

                      1. re: glacier206

                        Are these ratios meant to be memorized? Or would you just open that book, look up the formula and freestyle from there?

                        1. re: LaPomme

                          I think part of the helpfulness of the book is recording the ratios for you, so that they're always right there and you don't need to memorize them. Though some of them are pretty easy and basic, so they'd probably become committed to memory automatically after using them a few times.

                    2. re: glacier206

                      How do you like Around My French Table? I have been eyeing that book for a while now