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February 2011 Cookbook of the Month Nominations (Through Thurs., 1/13)

We are well underway using the Young cookbooks for COTM January 2011, and now we must look ahead to February.

It is time for the Chowhound Cookbook of the Month nominations. The Cookbook of The Month is open to anyone who wants to participate. Simply make a nomination, then vote and cook. There are no dues to participate; no secret handshake to learn. Join us!

Please note that nominations are counted and only the top vote getters make it to the voting round. If you want your choice to advance, make sure you participate in the nomination round.

But please type the title of the book you are nominating in ALL CAPITALS, if you want your nomination to be counted. Nominations will be open until 10pm, EST on Thursday, JANUARY 13.

Here is a list of the previous COTM selections:
http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

If anyone is interested in guaranteeing the continuation of COTM by taking over coordination as of either the March or April 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 think it's time for NIGEL SLATER. I'd like to nominate Tender, but I think it still isn't widely available, so how about both APPETITE and THE KITCHEN DIARIES?

    58 Replies
    1. re: MelMM

      Oh good call. Slater has come up frequently in previous nomination threads. I have Kitchen Diaries but so far hsve just read not cooked from it. Also, Real Fast Food. Here's his web site:
      http://www.nigelslater.com/recipes_wi...

      A ton of his recipes are at the Telegraph UK site as well...

      1. re: MelMM

        I have 3 Nigel Slater books (Tender, 30 Minute Cook, and Real Fast Food) but neither of those. :) But, I'd like an excuse to acquire them, esp Kitchen Diaries.

        But, oh no! I notice Appetite doesn't seem that readily available on Amazon: a paperback copy is $27 and a hardback copy is $78! Prices on Alibris don't seem much better. Do a lot of home cooking 'hounds already have this book (Appetite?)? My library has 2 copies though!

        ~TDQ

        1. re: MelMM

          Love, love, love Nigel Slater and I own every one of his books (well, Tender II is winging across the Atlantic right now) so I would be happy whatever we choose. Personally, I'd prefer later books, the two TENDER volumes (though as MeIMM says they won't be so widely available) or THE KITCHEN DIARIES just because I've cooked from his earlier books so much already. APPETITE is a great book if we're doing one old and one new.

          Gio - I think you meant The Observer for his recipes, he is food columnist for The Observer Food Monthly www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/foodmo.... He also has his own website with recipes www.nigelslater.com.

          1. re: JaneEYB

            Again, I'm concerned about the lack of availability of some of the Slater books. Kitchen Diaries seems plentiful at relatively reasonable prices, but the other two not so much. If we're going to do Tender, it might make sense to wait until May: the book has a new release coming out in April for $25:

            Copies available for $40 or less (not including shipping) on Amazon US:

            Kitchen Diaries: 9 new(starting at $25); 22 used (starting at $9)

            Tender: 2 (starting at $35)

            Appetite: 5 (starting at $28)

            Copies available for $40 or less (not including shipping) on Alibris:

            Kitchen Diaries: 12

            Tender: 4

            Appetite: 7

            I personally own Tender, 30 Minute Cook (limited availability) , and Real Fast Food (many affordable copies available).

            ~TDQ

            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              I agree about availability and accessibility to most hounds. I'm more of a library user and like to make the determination as to whether or not I like the book before I buy it. Plus, I do have space constraints so every purchase as to have a place before acquisition. My extensive library network only has 30 Minute Cook (1 copy), Real Fast Food (4 copies), Kitchen Diaries (8 copies) and Toast (many, but is this even a cookbook).

              Using Slater's website to peruse recipes is just not an option for me. I'm a voracious reader, but my surfing attention span is minimal. Somehow, I just can't seem to get into looking for recipes on the web.

              1. re: beetlebug

                Maybe Kitchen Diaries is the way to go if we do a Slater (which I am definitely in support of!). My library has 5 of KD, a few of Appetite, one of Toast, and one of Eating for England.

                ~TDQ

                1. re: beetlebug

                  I totally agree with beetlebug's statement about being a library user. I just don't have the money to shell out for every COTM, so if it's not in the library (except for a few I just cannot live without - Ottolenghi for example) I'm not participating.

                  I have Real Fast Food and like it a lot, but I don't think it's meaty enough to be a COTM. The recipes are mostly simple and quick.

                  My library system has some Slater books - Kitchen Diaries, etc. If one of those books is chosen and available, I'll participate. Otherwise, if I can't find recipes online, it's toast (get it? huh? huh?).

                  1. re: oakjoan

                    I'll drink a Toast to that. :).

                    But, a couple of people have said they need more time to acquire Slater books through their libraries, that they can't have them in time for February. So, if we are going to ever do a Slater book, it seems we have to do it further in advance our normal month before.

                    I, too, use my library but Slater doesn't seem to be in high demand right now, so I'm fortunate that way.

                    And the problem, of course, is we all have books we can't live without, but those "must haves" are different for different people.

                    ~TDQ

                2. re: The Dairy Queen

                  I just acquired one of those affordable copies of Real Fast Food, so I'd love if that one was included. THE KITCHEN DIARIES plus REAL FAST FOOD would be my nomination.

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    Have you looked at ordering from Amazon UK? Books are fairly cheap and shipping's not as bad as you'd expect - usually get things within 10 days. There are used booksellers in the UK too accessible through AbeBooks.

                    1. re: buttertart

                      You're right, even with shipping, getting it from AmazonUK is more reasonable:

                      Appetite: GBP11.60+7=18.60@1.29=$24
                      Kitchen Diaries: GBP10.49+7=17.49@1.29=$22.57
                      Toast: GBP 4.54+7=11.54@1.29=$14.89

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        Ihadn't realiz ed the pound was that low (wish it had been this time last year, when we were there too briefly). Hmm, maybe I need more books...

                        1. re: buttertart

                          I know! It's a good time to buy British cookbooks!

                          ~TDQ

                          1. re: buttertart

                            Doh! I just realized, the rate I used above was the EURO, not for the GBP. :( It's not as favorable as I previously said.

                            You're right, even with shipping, getting it from AmazonUK is more reasonable:

                            Appetite: GBP11.60+7=18.60@1.55=$29
                            Kitchen Diaries: GBP10.49+7=17.49@1.55=$27
                            Toast: GBP 4.54+7=11.54@1.55=$18

                            ~TDQ

                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              Overall, I still think that access to these books are an issue and if we choose to do all of them, participation will plummet (ie Julia Child, Penelope Casas).

                              So, I'm going to nominate SPICES OF LIFE by Nina Simonds. It's a book I've had and never really used. Now is as good as time as any.

                              1. re: beetlebug

                                Nigel Slater keeps coming up in the nominations, though, so I have the feeling we will eventually choose a Nigel Slater book. I think it's just a matter of timing. I don't love the idea of doing "all" Slater books, though, because I think it dilutes participation, ala Julia Child and Casas, as you point out.

                                I personally would love to do Kitchen Diaries (even though I don't own it...) because I think it is among his most acclaimed bookis. We already know JoanN doesn't think she can get it in time for February, and rabaja asked for more time.

                                Would it be crazy to choose this book now, in advance for March to give people time to acquire the book?

                                I love the idea of Spices of LIfe. My library has about a half dozen copies.

                                Along the same lines, I'd love to do a Martha Rose Shuhlman. I have her Mediterranean Light (and my library has 2 copies), though I haven't cooked from it in years.

                                ~TDQ

                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  It would make more sense to wait until the American edition of Tender comes out (in May??) and there are also a wealth of veggies available then.

                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                    It comes out in mid-April, so, yes, May would be a better time to do Tender, though people who rely on libraries would still be at a disadvantage, perhaps.

                                    ~TDQ

                                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                    <"Would it be crazy to choose this book now, in advance for March to give people time to acquire the book?">

                                    Lulu'smom asked to have a Jamie Oliver book nominated in March since she's away till then. Of course, nomination doesn't mean a win.

                                    When we did 2 River Cafe books the reponse was quite good, I thought.

                                    1. re: Gio

                                      Yes, I recall that. I don't think she necessarily meant it had to be March, though, just that she wanted us to wait until at least March because she knew she couldn't participate during Jan and Feb.

                                      Both Slater and JO are on my list of authors I'd love to do cook from for COTM, though, so, it doesn't matter to me which we do when, except that re: Slater it seems people need more time to acquire the book.

                                      I don't have a problem with doing two books at a time, they way we are doing two now. It worked for Dunlop, Vietnamese month, Italian Easy Month etc. It's just when we do more books than two (Casas, Child) that I think participation gets diluted.

                                      Anyway, we need a book (or books!) for Feb! We can't push them all out to the future! HA!

                                      ~TDQ

                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                        Well, as usual I cannot make up my mind so any book that gets nominated will be OK with me. I do think I prefer ethnic cuisines, though. I haven't cooked Japanese, or Korean to any great extent, for instance. OTOH, the big new compendiums are certainly worth considering.

                                    2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                      I have no issue with Slater per se. My only issue with any COTM is access for most everyone. And, access to me, is how available books are in library systems.

                                      It's funny how you mentioned Martha Rose Shulman, I've been on the library waiting list for her new book, Very Best Recipes for Health, for a couple of months now.

                                      1. re: beetlebug

                                        I agree, beetlebug. COTM is always the most fun (for me anyway) when we have that intersection of easy access and passion for the books chosen. I'm in a quandary for Feb I tell you! Slater is the only author getting multiple nominations at this point, but there have been almost as many people raising concerns about lack of access.

                                        ~TDQ

                                        1. re: beetlebug

                                          I could definitely endorse Shulman. I love recipes like that.

                                          http://www.martha-rose-shulman.com/

                                      2. re: beetlebug

                                        beetlebug, I don't understand your mention of Julia Child and Penelope Casas. It seems to say that they weren't widely available, which is certainly not the case here in Oakland and the greater Bay Area libraries. I can't remember whether they were popular or not, but I don't think it was due to lack of availability. Oh, now I see that you may mean that there were too many books for one COTM month.

                                        I don't remember what happened during the Casas month, but I know I cooked from her books which I got out of the library. Her baked rice recipe is among my regulars now.

                                        1. re: oakjoan

                                          Too many books = less participation.

                                          1. re: beetlebug

                                            Why do many books equal less participation? It seems like the opposite would be true.

                                            1. re: blue room

                                              I think it's just because it's more fun if everyone is looking at the same recipes. If you have book A, Gio has book B, and beetlebug has book C the whole point of cooking along with each other in order to scope out great recipes and share tips gets lost.

                                              1. re: blue room

                                                Participation gets diffused and people get less excited. Then less people post reports bc they don't have the book. Less reports lead to even fewer reports since it seems like people aren't participating. It's a circle and one I've observed since COTM started.

                                                1. re: blue room

                                                  When we did Casas month, we had four books. I swear to you I was the only person cooking from Cocina de Mama. I'm sure that wasn't entirely true, but if I'm going to be cooking alone, I'd rather cook from my own collection on my own timing. The whole point of COTM is to be cooking from the same sources as a community.

                                                  ~TDQ

                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                    Yes, I think I get what happens. It's unfortunate though that specific cookbooks which create instant enthusiasm are too often nixed for practical reasons. I thought a more general choice would be better.

                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      I cooked from Cocina since that is the only Casas book I own. IIRC we liked everything we cooked...

                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                        Ah, well, it was just the two of us then. :) I loved that book, too. Oddly, it's one of the few COTMs I did not purchase.

                                                        ~TDQ

                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                          I must not have made an impression ; ) I think it just may be the way you remembered it at the time. I just checked and I cooked 7 recipes from Cocina. Many winners, including that meat and potato casserole you turned me on to. Hmmm...maybe I'll make it this weekend. NYCKaren and OakJoan also joined in the fun.

                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/524514

                                                          1. re: Rubee

                                                            Oh dear. Well, before Gio mentioned above she also cooked from CdM that month, I claimed I was cooking from that book ALL BY MYSELF! So, you (and Gio and NYCKaren and oakjoan) shouldn't take it personally, that's for sure! :)

                                                            Thank you for linking it. There are a lot more people in that thread than I remember. In hindsight, participation wasn't really that bad. And yet Casas is often called out as a"low participation" month. Hmmmm...

                                                            ~TDQ

                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                              Maybe because I was out of town? ;-)

                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                That surely must have been it, JoanN!

                                                                ~TDQ

                                                              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                Okay, because I'm a freak, I went back and looked at all 4 Casas threads (one for each of the four books)

                                                                Master thread 2 replies
                                                                LCdM 57 replies
                                                                Tapas 62 replies
                                                                F&WoS 77 replies
                                                                Delicioso 27 replies

                                                                So, about 225 replies in total. That's really not that bad, is it? And yet, I didn't feel like those threads were very hopping. Maybe it's just a poor memory, or maybe the participation just felt diffused somehow...

                                                                P.S. apologies to smtucker. I hope you're able to pick out the nominees from all of this! Looks like the front-runners are pretty clear!

                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                  Well, it is low compared to most of the other months. Each thread this month has 160 posts and it's only 1/11/11. I don't remember how many posts are on the master thread but it's well over 100. That's almost 400 posts in 11 days.

                                                  2. re: oakjoan

                                                    Which Casas is that from? Her chicken in garlic sauce (Foods and Wines of Spain) is a treat.

                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                      Buttertart, the baked rice recipe is from La Cocina,,, it's our favorite alternative rice recipe.

                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                        Of course, it's one I don't have!

                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                          That's the problem. No one had it, except Gio and me. :) At least, that's how it felt at the time. I'll bet there were more people posting in that thread than Gio and me, of course, but I don't think many people had that book. It has some really nice comfort-type food in it. Really a nice book, I thought. I'd love to revisit Casas one of these days, actually. Under-rated COTM due to scattered participation, I think.

                                                          ~TDQ

                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                            I revisit past COTMs frequently during the week because sometimes the present cookbook has recipes that take too long to prepare after a busy day. But both of us really like La Cocina and G is always asking for something from that book.

                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                              I'll get it from the library if I can.

                                                2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                  I was thinkin' it sounded awfully low.
                                                  As greedygiel noted, Toast is a memoir - good reading (and widely available in the US, I got it from the Brooklyn library and there was a paperback edition published in the US - but no point in getting it if the idea is to cook from it.

                                        2. re: JaneEYB

                                          Yes, you're correct, Jane. I continually get the Guardian and Telegraph mixed up.
                                          http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl...

                                          1. re: Gio

                                            Which is kind of funny, because they're at opposite ends of the spectrum, politically!

                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                              Hah... I know it but I usually just read the life & styles/food & drink sections, unless something specific catches my eye (like the new terrorist campaign alerts).

                                              1. re: Gio

                                                I'm impressed you read them at all!

                                        3. re: MelMM

                                          My library system has some copies of The Kitchen Diaries, two copies of Toast, and no copies of Appetite. I can't quite figure out if the Real Fast Food is available or not since most copies are in "storage." Perhaps others can check their systems to see if there is greater availability elsewhere?

                                          1. re: smtucker

                                            We're in the same library system. For Real Fast Food, there are three copies available. One of the storage copies should be available as soon as that branch re-opens (unless the librarians have weeded it out due to lack of circulation of the book).

                                            1. re: beetlebug

                                              Thanks for the translation. That website is really not trying very hard to be user-friendly!

                                              1. re: smtucker

                                                Here's the list from the "NOBLE" system:
                                                Appetite ...........1
                                                Kitchen Diaries 2
                                                Real Fast Food 2
                                                Toast................9

                                                And, They're all "On Shelf".

                                          2. re: MelMM

                                            I'd prefer to do TENDER and KITCHEN DIARIES, personally. Appetite is one of the few of his I haven't got, although I could probably be persuaded and I can get it pretty cheap off Amazon. Toast is a memoir, not a cookery book.

                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                              We all seen to have different combinations of Slater's books that's why Any of them would be agreeable solution, IMO.

                                          3. I'd love to do some Nigel Slater. I read Toast again recently, and just checked out Kitchen Diaries. Unfortunately, someone else has requested it and I'll have to return it at the end of January.
                                            For whatever reason, no other Slater books are available in my library system.
                                            Maybe push this author back a couple months so we can all source out his books?
                                            I've stopped buying every COTM, and am loving my local library. I will ask them to get more of his books.

                                            1. After looking online at his books, the Nigel Slater with the most appeal for me is Appetite, but the prices on Amazon are outta sight. Why not just try ANY NIGEL SLATER ?
                                              I see so much cooperation among posters here that even a general request gets a big response. Access to any recipe is practically guaranteed.

                                              1. Very limited number of copies in the Manhattan system. I was the second person to put a hold on two of the titles for which there is only one copy circulating. Past experience tells me that means I won't get my hands on them until after February.

                                                1. WHOLE GRAINS EVERY DAY, EVERY WAY by Lorna J. Sass

                                                  ~TDQ

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                    Funny, I have this book out from the library right now, but haven't had a chance to really look at it yet. Will go study.

                                                    1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                                      Oh, please do let us know what you think. I half wanted to nominate Wolfert's Mediterranean Grains and Greens, but we just did a Wolfert...

                                                      ~TDQ