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

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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: The Dairy Queen

                            Is it ever not? ;-)

                            1. re: buttertart

                              True!

                              ~TDQ

                          2. 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

                                                  2. This year I resolve to add more Nigel Slater to my bookshelf. In the meantime, I'll throw:

                                                    THE ESSENTIAL NEW YORK TIMES COOKBOOK: CLASSIC RECIPES FOR A NEW CENTURY by Amanda Hesser

                                                    out there to see if there's any other interest in this.

                                                    The up side from being home sick w a cold over the weekend, was that I had a chance to look through some of the books I rec'd over the holidays. This book has such an amazing variety of recipes and I immediately thought it would make a great COTM.

                                                    22 Replies
                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                      That was my thought as soon as I started looking through it, too. Excellent book. Love Slater but I don't see as many immediately appealing recipes per se in his books.

                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                        I would be into this book for sure, but I do worry about the book being so new. But, I have it and my library has 5 copies!

                                                        ~TDQ

                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                          I have this book as well but haven't had much time to look through it much less cook. Just having scanned it quickly when I received it I thought the information and back stories are fascinating. Plus I found that I actually had torn out some recipes from the magazine section years ago, including a lobster recipe from a friend of mine. I wonder if that's in the book.
                                                          It keeps appearing on cookbooks-to-have lists.

                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                            It really is excellent. Amanda Hesser is apparently over her Cooking for Mr. Latte preciousness. This is one for the ages.

                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                              So glad to hear that. I loathed Cooking for Mr. Latte (couldn't be Mr. Latte was one of my fave New Yorker writers).

                                                              I've made one recipe from the new cookbook, Cabbage with potatoes and breadcrumbs or something like that. It was absolutely delicious. There was bacon and cream and the breadcrumbs had mustard and parsley. Soooo goooood and perfect for winter.

                                                          2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                            I have it, but I haven't really looked through it yet--only enough to see that Amanda didn't include any of the recipes I sent her. Boo-hoo. Guess I'm going to have to hold on to all those pieces of tearsheet after all.

                                                            Count me in on this one. Love the idea of Slater (read the memoir and enjoyed it tremendously), but not buying the books and will not have the ones'v already put on hold from the library until it's too late to participate.

                                                            Official seconding of nomination: THE ESSENTIAL NEW YORK TIMES COOKBOOK: CLASSIC RECIPES FOR A NEW CENTURY by Amanda Hesser

                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                              That was easy... I'm sold. Thanks Buttertart and Joan!
                                                              THE ESSENTIAL NEW YORK TIMES COOKBOOK: CLASSIC RECIPES FOR A NEW CENTURY by Amanda Hesser

                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                Another vote here for THE ESSENTIAL NYT COOKBOOK!

                                                              2. re: JoanN

                                                                Hey Joan

                                                                I'm pretty sure MMRuth has Kitchen Diaries. Maybe you could sneak a look at hers, or borrow it?

                                                                I know I'm a lone voice from the other side of the pond, but I have accessibility issues for the New York Times Cookbook.

                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                  Thanks for the reminder. I think you're right. I'll have to ask her about it.

                                                                  Re: Times Cookbook. I bought mine at Costco for $24.99 (retails for $40 here). I'm going to be making a Coctco run next week and would be happy to pick one up for you if they still have them at that price. It's a big book. Weighs 4-1/2 pounds. No idea what shipping would cost. But I'd be more than happy to send you one if you think you'd be interested.

                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                    Don't worry about it. I can get it on Amazon UK if necessary for £20. But I'd like to have a look first and that might be impossible.

                                                                  2. re: greedygirl

                                                                    gg--the book depository does free shipping anywhere in the world, doesn't it? Maybe have a look and that and see if the free shipping makes this book a better price than the deal JoanN has found, after shipping?

                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                  3. re: JoanN

                                                                    WOOHOO! I'm definitely up for Hesser, since I own the book! Also, I believe many of the book's recipes are available online on the NYT website. It's indexed on EYB, so for those who don't own the book, it would be pretty easy to find a recipe you wanted to try and then search for it on the NYT site.

                                                                    But, re: Slater, is there a way to choose one of his books far enough in advance so that book have time to get it from the library?

                                                                    If people don't have enough time now to get it in time for February, when will it ever be any different?

                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                      Well, I've got a couple of Slater books on hold. Forgotten which ones and too lazy to go look it up. When the books arrive, I'll go through them and photocopy the recipes that appeal to me so I'll have them to hand if/when any of his books do get chosen. Although, I must say, I've done this in the past and when it comes down to it just haven't participated much if at all (Breakfast Lunch Tea, anyone?). As others have said, there something about having a physical book in hand--even if it is a library book--that makes COTM real to me.

                                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                                        I completely agree, that a physical book is the best way to go. I think the type of people who gravitate to COTM love cookbooks, the look and feel, getting a sense for the author's voice and style, etc. They aren't the type who find it satisfying to look up isolated recipes online.

                                                                        As I mentioned upthread somewhere, my favorite COTMs have been the ones where there's an intersection between high interest and high access. When lots of people can't get access, it's harder to get broad participation.

                                                                        BLT is an interesting case. At the time that book was COTM, it was only $16 (new) on Amazon which I think is pretty affordable as cookbooks go, but few were able to check it out from the library. Also, this book was nominated (by me) on the very last day of the nominations process and got a sudden (bizarre) last-minute flurry of support of people seconding it. It turns out, people didn't really have time to research the book and even people who were able to get a copy of the book decided they didn't like it. So, it was a low access, low passion month.

                                                                        On the other hand, Ottolenghi was an example of a month where enough people were very passionate about the book and were willing to purchase it. So, even thought you'd think it was a "low access" month, there was apparently enough passion to overcome the general lack of availabilty. Still, a lot of people were left out that month, unless they wanted to follow along "online."

                                                                        I know not everyone is going to be able to acquire every book, but I think it works best when most people are excited about a book and most people have access to the book. Also, I think peoples willingness to PURCHASE COTM's diminishes the longer they have been participating. There are always exceptions of course.

                                                                        So, I don't know how to view Slater. I do think there is enough passion for him as an author, because his name comes up repeatedly. I personally would love to cook from a Slater book.

                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                  4. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                    Quick library check.... 10 copies, all out, 2 with an additional hold.

                                                                    1. re: smtucker

                                                                      What a bummer. :(

                                                                      Two of my library's 5 copies are available.

                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                      1. re: smtucker

                                                                        Of 9 copies of NYT in my library system:
                                                                        2 are available and 7 are due to be returned the last week in Jan.

                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                          Reserve, reserve, reserve.

                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                            Reserve, shmerserve. I bought it...

                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                              Gio, you're my kind of girl.

                                                                      2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                        Ok, I've just put in a request for this one too.
                                                                        8 copies in my system, and I am eighth in line. Bigger miracles have happened, right?
                                                                        Perhaps I should just try to buy this one. Hell, it's only rent money.

                                                                      3. Another vote for THE ESSENTIAL NEW YORK TIMES COOKBOOK by Amanda Hesser.

                                                                        1. I'll cast a vote for THE ESSENTIAL NEW YORK TIMES COOKBOOK as well.

                                                                          1. Does anyone know if the old "New York Times Cookbook" would have some of the same recipes? Or none of the same recipes?

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: blue room

                                                                              It's possible that some recipes are the same as the source material for both is the NY Times, but Amanda Hesser and her partner in Food52.com, Merrill Stubbs, tested and updated the recipes (1,108 in total) so they probably won't be identical.

                                                                            2. THE ESSENTIAL NEW YORK TIMES COOKBOOK: CLASSIC RECIPES FOR A NEW CENTURY by Amanda Hessler

                                                                              1. ONE BIG TABLE since I just got it and I know several others have it.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: italy531

                                                                                  Love this book, but haven't cooked from it yet. It's wonderful to read!

                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                2. Although I definitely want a Nigel Slater month soon, I'd be very happy if THE ESSENTIAL NEW YORK TIMES COOKBOOK was the choice. It's a wonderful book, destined to be a classic. I love the stories before each recipe.

                                                                                  I was just reading a review of the book today in LA Weekly, who selected the book as their Cookbook of the Year. http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/20...
                                                                                  Worth reading for anyone that's on the fence about this book as COTM.

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                    I favor ONE BIG TABLE over NY times.

                                                                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                      Ditto ONE BIG TABLE - just got it out of the library and looked it over - a huge diversity of not-too complicated but interesting recipes from every imaginable cuisine. Reminds me of the recipes I used to clip from the Times back in the Claiborne days. Would be fun come Feb when I finally get tired of Wolfert's rich stews (if I do)

                                                                                      1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                        FYI ONE BIG TABLE is available through Cookbook of the Month Club, I got my copy for $11.99. It arrived yesterday, and I have been tabbing pages ever since.

                                                                                        1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                          I really love o-b-t. (only from reading it; haven't cooked from it yet). Molly O'Neall really got out and met with real people in their kitchens and communities--the book was 10 yrs in the making. Vs. Andrea Hesser (whose book was 6 years in the making) who did her research in the archives and an via an online community (and her own kitchen of course). I find Hesser's stories a little more remote.

                                                                                          Now this decision is getting really hard!

                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                    2. A vote for:
                                                                                      THE ESSENTIAL NEW YORK TIMES COOKBOOK: CLASSIC RECIPES FOR A NEW CENTURY by Amanda Hesser

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: qianning

                                                                                        L.A. county only has one copy of the essential ny times cookbook in their system, and there are 9 holds on this copy as of today, so if that sways anyone's vote, better speak up....

                                                                                        1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                          It looks like the $11.00 sale is over.

                                                                                      2. I'm all bummed, still waiting for "...Sky's Edge" to arrive. Errrgh! I bought a wok!
                                                                                        I already nominated any old Slater, but it looks like the New York Times book will prevail.
                                                                                        I'm a little afraid that it will be full of slight variations of recipes that most recipe-people already have?
                                                                                        Same doubt about "One Big Table".
                                                                                        Ooh, pessimism! (See 1st sentence!)

                                                                                        20 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: blue room

                                                                                          One Big Table has a surprising number of ethnic recipes. (I posted a listing of the ethnicities that jumped out at me here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7497...

                                                                                          )

                                                                                          So, for instance, from St. Paul MN there is a Hmong recipe and a Somali recipe. She's got a recipe from a taco truck in San Francisco. And it goes on like that.

                                                                                          I would suspect that if you are from a particular region, you might have your own version of the recipes from that region, but I'd be surprised if there weren't some recipes you didn't have.

                                                                                          As far as Essential NYT, well, by definition, all of those recipes have been published at least once, so, yes, many of those recipes --especially the recipes from recent years or from former cookbooks--have been and are floating out there. Some of the older recipes might be hard to come by, perhaps, and Hesser did try to get enough recipes to span the entire 125 years and did really try to choose "the best" recipes. I dont' really see, for instance, much value in her putting any of Bittman's recipes in her book because they are so readily available and the man appears to be a recipe machine. Then again, if she's gone through and culled the best of his, there a lot of value in that because I find his recipes highly unreliable. She's also added many "notes" on ingredients and techniques to recipes, which is especially helpful for some of the older recipes where ingredients and equipment might have been different.

                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                          1. re: blue room

                                                                                            There are all kinds of recipes - simply all over the map - in One Big Table. I didnt expect to be interested in it but I found I was. difficult to articulate why but it feels like the book is a transmitter of a lot of different people's food rather than trying to represent a unified vision or palate. I always found Amanda Hesser precious, and Bittman less than satisfying so that makes the NYT tome less appealing to me at least.

                                                                                            1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                              The Hesserism is toned down a lot in the NYT (I find her precious too), as the Reichlism was in the green Gourmet book (not so much in the yellow, which is pretty Ruth-y). They're both great achievements, the O'Neill is less encyclopedic and perhaps more interesting for that.

                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                I have no interest in book that intends to be encyclopedic or comprehensive these days (at least with respect to the US culinary scene) but I am interested in tasty well vetted recipes with some background info. that just makes it more likely for a recipe to grab me.

                                                                                                1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                  I'm feeling more and more that way myself, the O'Neill is much more satisfying in that regard. Remember the Jean Anderson Grass Roots Cookbook? This is like an update of that in a lot of ways.

                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                    Now there's an idea. How about nominating Jean Anderson's Grass Roots Cookbook? Have that and never really cooked from it, even though I adore Jean Anderson. I suspect it was because she was channeling other cooks. And that may be my problem with Molly O'Neill as well. I haven't seen her new book, but I have her New York Cookbook. I found it charming. I loved reading the stories. but unlike blue room I never cooked a single thing from it. Afraid it's influencing my feelings about her still unseen, but on library hold, new book. Great stories, but will I really want to cook from it?

                                                                                                    1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                      I really want to cook from it. :).

                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                        Noted. Seems as others do as well. I'll be curious to see whether or not I feel the same way once I see the book. Maybe it was just that when I acquired her New York Cookbook I had no COTM colleagues with whom to share.

                                                                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                          Oh, I didn't realize you hadn't seen the book yet--that could be problematic. I would be happy to cook from either book, not to worry. I think they are both pretty neat books.

                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                            New York Cookbook - same here, enjoyed, no cooky. Wasn't crazy about her as food editor of the NYT Mag either.

                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                              Well, I haven't cooked from it either, yet. :) I hope to get to it soon, though. I hope I'm not disappointed.

                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                I'm not judging OBT, I just flipped through the dessert recipes (surprised?) and they looked v interesting.

                                                                                                        2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                          I have O'Neill's New York book as well, and have tried several recipes, none of which have made it into the "regulars" list, imho, they aren't awful, but not much to get excited about either.

                                                                                                    2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                      I like both books. The proof will be in the cooking, I think. If the recipes are clear and reliabile and yield delicious results, I will be very pleased.

                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                        I like them both too, each has its points.

                                                                                                  2. re: blue room

                                                                                                    I didn't have any interest in OBT until I saw it. When I opened it, I was immediately taken with the recipes and the blurbs. I was really surprised by my own response to it since the reviews did nothing for me. I bought it on the spot. That said, I haven't cooked from it yet but right now, I'm happy I own it. Can't say the same for Sky's Edge. I bought that bc I got suckered by the amazon sale. The library book would have been a better fit for me.

                                                                                                    1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                      Bummer about Sky's Edge. At least you only spent $14 instead of $24!

                                                                                                      I'm really pleased with it, but I also didn't previously own a wok or do any real stir-frying, so, it's been particularly fun to cook from.

                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                        Yes, that's why I'm not bitter about Sky because it was only $14. I am having fun cooking with my new old wok (sat in mom's basement for 20+ years) but still won't say that a wok is a superior vessel to cook chinese food in. I've made tons of successful dishes from Dunlop using a variety of pans.

                                                                                                        1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                          Me too, I've had plenty of successful Dunlop dishes before now without owning a wok.

                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                      2. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                        I just read several reviews for each book -- ha that sinking feeling that I'll end up with both. I have a M. O'Neill called just "New York Cookbook" which I love, probably many people here are familiar with it.

                                                                                                    2. Molly O'Neill on her book (a Thanksgiving treat from the PBS NewsHour):
                                                                                                      http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/entert...

                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                        Thank you, buttertart -- (tamale stuffed turkey !)

                                                                                                        1. re: blue room

                                                                                                          I bookmarked the tamale stuffed turkey recipe to try, it sounds really intriguing. The only problem I am having with One Big Table, is that it is, in fact, so BIG!!!! I am 1/2 way through tabbing recipes and I am beginning to experience burn out. Does that ever happen to any of you? Sometimes when a book is too comprehensive the sheer volume of information overloads me and I forget why I liked the book in the first place.

                                                                                                          When I paged through OBT at the book store, I came across Daniel's potato crusted fish (I love this recipes), a fantastic ice cream recipe from an independent ice cream shop back east, and several ethnically diverse recipes that caught my eye. I was salivating right there in the isle and knew I had to have this book.

                                                                                                          Fast forward to when I started paging through it at home, it is so jam packed with recipes, (several from reputable restauranteurs), that I am getting to the point that unless someone else recommends one recipe or another, it will be hard for me to hone in on which ones to make, and which ones too skip. There are just too many. I had the same problem with Gourmet Today and The Essential New York Times.

                                                                                                          I prefer books like Zuni and Sunday Suppers that have a lot of information, and a lot of techniques, but a more (or less, as the case may be) refined selection of recipes.

                                                                                                          Having said all that, my vote remains for ONE BIG TABLE.

                                                                                                          BTW, will there be a runoff thread, or do we have a clear winner?

                                                                                                          1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                            I find EYB super helpful for navigating these giant kinds of books... oyb is very unique in that it seems to cover a lot of very specific regional recipes, but not just the typical ones. And, it's nice to have a crosssection of these cool regional recipes all in one place.

                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                              Totally agree DQ, I love EYB it's given my cookbooks a new life and, made me feel a lot less guilty for buying them the way most folks buy milk and bread!

                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                For me, I find I use EYB more as a resource to locate recipes that I have cooked before but I can't remember which book they are in (eg. buttermilk mashed potatoes), or to find recipes containing a certain ingredient (eg. mango).

                                                                                                                How would a search on EYB help you identify recipes out of OBT you would like to make for the first time? I'd love to expand my use of EYB.

                                                                                                                1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                  I put in ingredients along with the last name of the author as a way of narrowing down my options. Or, let's say I really want a Chinese soup with noodles, the search Chinese soup noodle. This doesn't always work since the catch-all "cupboard ingredients" contains way too much stuff, however, for the protein or a specific vegetable, I often get a list of recipes I missed when reading.

                                                                                                                  1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                    Exactly. Usually I think, Hmmmm..I feel like pork tonight, and I want a main dish, let's see what recipes I can pull...and go from there.

                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                      2. The WINNER thread is up:
                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/759427

                                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                          OK, I am going to try to use EYB with OBT and see if I can figure out how to make use of this monster of a book. Thank you Smtucker for taking on the role of coordinator. We all really appreciate it.

                                                                                                          1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                            ping me if you get stuck.... I can usually wrestle technology to give me what I want! Sort of an idiot savant in this regard. :-)

                                                                                                            1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                              One neat thing about EYB and OBT is that they have tagged the ethnic recipes. So, you can search EYB on, for instance, one big table Cajun. Or one big table Portuguese to get some of these ethnic recipes to pop up if you have a particular interest.

                                                                                                              And, as you're going through the book and tagging recipes, you can also tag them in EYB if you wish...

                                                                                                              EYB is great for Grace Young month, too. Because these are the only two Young books I own, I can search both books at a time by searching my "bookshelf" for
                                                                                                              "Grace Young" then whatever and it will search BOTH books.

                                                                                                              For instance, yesterday morning I had some salmon in the freezer that I knew I wanted to defrost for dinner. I just searched on "Grace Young Salmon." It brought up the one salmon recipe from BOAW that I ended up trying and the salmon recipe from SFTTSE that pikawicca had reported on (she didn't care for it, alas.)

                                                                                                              And I have this leftover carrots, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, so, tomorrow morning I will try to search on Grace Young and a combination of those ingredients to see if I can figure out how to use them up.

                                                                                                              Really, I want to try to remind myself to use EYB more for bookmarking my favs and the recipes others report on that I want to try. I've set up a bookmark called "recommended" which I mark on EYB. You think you'll never forget your favorites, but I'm amazed when I scroll through my favorites on EYB I think, "Oh yeah, that was really good. I should try that again."

                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                I'm also finding EYB really useful for the COTM's. In addition to being able to bookmark individual recipes, you can bookmark your books. As soon as we picked the 2 Young books for January I created a 2011-01-COTM bookmark and flagged both books. I've been able to search both books at the same time by ingredient(s), course, occasion, nutrition etc. Its especially helpful in providing some last minute inspiration when you only have a few ingredients on hand.

                                                                                                                I also created a "COTM - Historical" bookmark and added any of the books that were past COTMs (and in my own cookbook collection) that way when I'm searching for inspiration, I can look up recipes from that group of books and then check here on Chowhound to see if anyone else has made the dish. It also helps to remind me that if I do make a dish from a past COTM, I should post it in those threads.

                                                                                                                I just love EYB, it really helps me use my cookbooks more frequently and effectively.

                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                  What greet tips for using EYB! I am bookmarking this thread so I can refer back when I have more time. Meanwhile, I am moving forward with my task of conquering One Big Table. So far I have made two recipes out of it and neither have met my expectations.

                                                                                                                  The first was Hal and Mal's vegetable soup recipe on p. 113. It called for cola which intrigued me. The soup was ok, kind of tasted like a warm bloody mary, but it was nothing I would earmark to make again.

                                                                                                                  Next I made Rod Okuno' green chili on p. 463. This one shows more promise but it is not spectacular as written. I think making a few modifications will improve the dish considerably. For example, it calls for 20 cups of water. Cut that down to 10 cups, and use chicken stock instead. Omit the bouillon cube. Second, when you roast the meat, do so in a preheated dutch oven, to allow the meat to sear right away. Replace 3 of the 6 cups of roasted green chiles with an equal measure of canned whole green chiles, along with their brine, to add a certain something that was missing from the chili. I would also consider dry rubbing the meat before roasting and adding garlic to the mixture.

                                                                                                                  Having said all that, as written, the chili is good, but not great. I think the problem I am running into so far with this book is that the recipes do not call for layering the flavors, resulting in flat results. i am use to more labor with better results.

                                                                                                                  My next recipe to try is Betty Keller's pasta recipe on p. 659. Betty Keller is Thomas Keller's mother, so I am guessing this is going to be a winner, since it was put forth by Mr. French Laundry himself. I'll post again when I have more to report.

                                                                                                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                    Oh dear. This is not encouraging. Please do keep us posted on your next efforts from OBT.

                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                      I know, I have about 100 recipes tabbed to try and I don't relish the thought of working my way through that many mediocre recipes. I will post as I go, so we should have a better sense if this is a worthy contender for future COTM.

                                                                                                                      I am bummed that I didn't think to get the NY cookbook before the $11.00 sale ended on TGC. I have really been binging on cookbooks lately so I don't think I can rationalize this purchase unless it is at a great price. My library only has one in the system and 9 ahead of me on the waiting list, so it looks like I will wait and watch this month.

                                                                                                                      1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                        Don't forget that ENYT cookbook is indexed on EYB, so, you can browse the titles and ingredients on EYB, then google the recipe name to see if it's online somewhere. Or, ask someone to summarize the recipe for you. I know it's not the same as having the cookbook in your hands, but where there's a will, there's a way! I suspect a lot of the newer recipes will be on the NYT website. I could be wrong, though.

                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                          Thanks TDQ. I will attempt to participate through recipes found online, but yes, it is not the same experience. I don't have a lot of willpower when it comes to saying no to cookbooks, so it is possible I will cave, soon!

                                                                                                                    2. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                      dkennedy (and others): I have started a OBT thread so we can pool our experiences http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7609...

                                                                                                                      ~TDQ