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It's that time again! Spring is here and we need a new cookbook for June.
Last month we had a run-off and My Bombay Kitchen came close to winning it. Other books nominated and seconded were : Radically Simple, Seduction Of Rice and Flatbreads and Flavors, 660 Curries, The Olive and The Caper, and The Splendid Table. There was much discussion about other books and cookbook authors; please see the May thread if you'd like to freshen your memory. Nominations for new and/or not- previously mentioned books are very welcome.

Please nominate your selections ALL IN CAPS. Deadline for nominations is Monday, May 16th at 5pm CDST.

Here we go......!

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  1. Thanks bayoucook! Boy, I just can't believe how quickly time passes!!

    I have no idea which book I'll nominate this month but I do know with the good weather finally arriving I seem to have more tasks, events etc competing for my time so I'll be thinking of books:

    • With recipes that can be prepared quickly (or w a cuisine I’m familiar with)
    • That make good use of seasonal produce
    • That include some recipes that would work on the grill

    I’m also thinking one book would be a lot more manageable than a pair.

    I'm always interested to see where this journey will take us!! What's everyone else thinking?

    11 Replies
    1. re: Breadcrumbs

      Hey BC - I agree! Would love to see a book on grilling and/or fresh produce for the month. As you know, our plants are ripening now. My friend is bringing me some cucumbers out of her garden today. The problem down here is drought, we're in desperate need of rain! Okay, this should be interesting....waiting for noms.

      1. re: bayoucook

        Funny I was thinking of your lovely tomatoes yesterday as I picked up two patio planters on my way home. Lots of nice green leaves . . . but not a tomato in sight yet I'm afraid!!! We're supposed to get rain this weekend and rest assured, I'd like nothing more than to send it your way instead!! ; - )

      2. re: Breadcrumbs

        Seasonal produce is so very variable by region. We won't have local "summer" produce, like corn, tomatoes or cucumbers for another couple of months. To me, a seasonal book works best later in the summer when most on CH have seen the fruit of their gardens. That being said, I have no clue as to what book to nominate!

        1. re: roxlet

          Like roxlet our seasonal summer vegetables really don't come to fruition till late July and August, with smatterings of peas, green beans, lettuces and herbs along the way. I've been thinking about Bittman's Food Matters Cookbook* but then perhaps we're ready for an Asian book for June. A country we haven't visited yet... Thailand? Japan?


          1. re: Gio

            Ooh, Japan sounds great! What about Elizabeth Andoh's 'Washoku'? Or 'Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art'......but then again, I would be just as happy doing Thailand......decisions, decisions!

            1. re: Allegra_K

              I love "Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art", a real tried and true standard in our house.

              1. re: qianning

                I like the idea of Japanese cooking next month. I have Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art by Shizuo Tsuji but have rarely used it except for sukiyaki and a couple of other dishes. It looks to be a wonderful book which would yield some wonderful recipes.

                I'll do a check on its availability in various libraries around the country and post results. Will also search Dunlop's availability. On the other hand, I just read buttertart's suggestion of a repeat of Fuchsia Dunlop. I'd actually been thinking that'd be a great idea.
                Since I don't own any Dunlops, I don't cook from them often. I'd LOVE to revisit.

                1. re: oakjoan

                  I was excited but it met with a big resounding nothing doing.

                  1. re: oakjoan

                    Tsuji's recipes really do work., and instructions are clear and very informative. At some point I'd love to have others insights into interesting recipes to try (for example I've never tried his sukiyaki....), even with books I love it is so easy to get into a rut; turning back to recipes over and over.

                    To whit, the old COTM Dunlop threads have really helped me expand the recipes I've tried from her books. I can really understand why there's a strong push to try "new" authors; but at the same time I'd love to see some of the older threads expanded/updated somehow....but Iim not sure the best way to do it.

              2. re: Gio

                Living in the same neck of the woods, the seasonal stuff at my home is a blink and you miss it affair, Asia, on the other hand is eternal theme around here, with a particular soft spot for thai cooking.

              3. re: roxlet

                Of course, later in the summer would be better. It feels like it's been summer here for months already. Hot. Humid. Dry. And it's just May. Have a feeling it's going to be a blistering summer with a good possibility of hurricanes.

            2. REVISIT FUCHSIA DUNLOP. Every time I pick up a book I come out with a winner recipe. I worship her. Lots of vegetables so good for produce season too.

              7 Replies
              1. re: buttertart

                Just made "Steamed Eggplant with Spicy Chili Sauce" from LOP last night, Mr. QN's first comment "How come we've never had this one before". Needless to say it was yet another hit fom Ms. Dunlop.

                1. re: buttertart

                  Much as I'm in total agreement with you on the worship issue, I don't think her books need a formal revisit (at least, not until she publishes a new one, which I sincerely hope will be sooner rather than later). There are so many of us who cook from those books regularly and many of us continue to post on those threads so they remain quite active. I'd prefer something new. Seems as though we've been doing more than the usual amount of revisiting lately.

                    1. re: buttertart

                      I completely agree with JoanN. I much prefer new books to revisits, even if it means buying a new book or sitting out a session or two. If I want to revisit, I can just go back to the original thread on my own.

                      1. re: dkennedy

                        I don't understand why we need to revisit anything, when you can always cook from it and post to the original thread. It seems to me we better serve the purpose of COTM by doing a different book each time and not repeating.

                        1. re: dkennedy

                          I do not understand the need to "revisit" either. So many cookbooks, so little time:)

                  1. I'm going to have to make another attempt at getting SEDUCTIONS OF RICE into the archives!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Allegra_K

                      I also bought Seductions after the nomination thread a couple of months back. I am a big fan and I would love to cook from this book as a group. If we do, we might want to add Flatbreads and Flavors as they would really compliment each other when putting menus together. I posted a long pitch last time round, I will try to post a link to it later. Second SEDUCTIONS along with FLATBREADS AND FLAVORS.

                      Not sure how to attach a link so here is the content cut and pasted from the previous thread:

                      Second the nominations for SEDUCTIONS OF RICE AND FLATBREADS AND FLAVORS.

                      Here are my notes from the April nomination thread:

                      I ordered Flatbreads and Flavors so I am glad to hear the two books will compliment each other. Based on how much I am enjoying this book, I anticipate completing my Alford and Duguid collection sometime down the road.

                      As for those of you who do not have Seductions to refer to, I am going to lay out how the chapters are set up:

                      The first section of the book is, quite obviously, all about rice. And it's fascinating! I have learned all kinds of things I never knew I wanted to learn about. How rice grows, different types rice, different methods of cooking rice, and on and on.

                      But the remaining chapters, for me, are even better. Each chapter covers the cuisine of different region. Not a lot of recipes in each section, maybe 25-30, but they are representative of everyday food you might eat if you lived in this region. Here's the breakdown: Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Indian, Central Asian and Persian, Mediterranean, Senegalese, and finally, North American. Each dish mentioned is intended to be served with rice or is a rice snack. The recipes run the gamut from simple sauces to pour over rice, to snack food, to dinner fare - and there are some breakfast and desserts thrown in for good measure.

                      I know earlier in the thread I complained that it is hard for me to cook from an Asian book exclusively for a month (due to my family's protests) but I foresee a book like this being very easy to cook out of day in and day out without getting monotonous. In fact, I am planning on it.

                      I have now read Seductions cover to cover and I think it would make an ideal COTM.

                      1. re: dkennedy

                        I agree completely, Seductions would be a terrific COTM. I purchased this after it came up in the past nomination thread and was utterly captivated by it.

                        I also see the wisdom in pairing it w Flatbreads. That said, I definitely prefer when we cook from just one book. Somehow the energy level / participation seems higher to me.

                        1. re: dkennedy

                          I bought Seductions too after the recent nominations discussion. Have not made a lot from it and would love it a COTM. Still thinking...

                      2. A YEAR IN MY KITCHEN and/or MY FAVOURITE INGREDIENTS by Skye Gyngell. The former was recommended recently on Chowhound as a good present for Mother's Day.

                        Skye Gyngell is an Australian who works in a restaurant in a garden centre (really) in London. She cooks seasonally, and her food is beautiful. I haven't cooked as much as I would like from either of these books, and would love the chance to explore them a bit more. Her approach reminds me a bit of Sunday Suppers at Lucques - great ingredients and gorgeous combinations, cooked precisely and creatively.

                        Here's what Chow said:

                        A Year in My Kitchen by Skye Gyngell
                        This London chef's book has tons of pretty, earthy photos of recipes, flowers, and produce. The dishes fall in between fancy/restauranty and weeknight in scope—mostly things that would make awesome weekend suppers with friends, like pan-roasted chicken with lentils, roasted tomatoes, and basil oil, and cauliflower soup with Gorgonzola and pickled pear relish. The book is divided by season but doesn't get too precious about the whole deal, other than a brief digression into mushrooms being fall's gift or something.

                        13 Replies
                        1. re: greedygirl

                          I have just remembered that I am away for most of June! Doh. I think it's probably best if I withdraw my nomination if possible. Thanks.

                          1. re: greedygirl

                            That gives me some time to check these out gg! I just recently discovered Skye when Costco had "How I Cook" which I flipped through and of course, decided I just must have it!

                            The recipes and photography remind me of Donna Hay who I adore. I haven't cooked from that book yet but have seen enough to know I'd enjoy her food.

                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                              It amuses me to see how Commonwealth preference still works because there are several people, Donna Hay among them, who are not at all well-known in the States except among the obsessed. ;-)

                              1. re: buttertart

                                Very interesting observation buttertart. I wondered whether Donna Hay may get more exposure in the US after she cooked for Oprah & guests during her visit to Australia.

                                I came to know DH via her beautiful magazine. I used to be a magazine junkie!! Interestingly enough, DH's is one of the very few I still buy. I now own almost all her cookbooks too. Her Lemon Chicken Pasta recipe is one of our all-time favourite dishes. One of those meals you're always in the mood for!!

                            2. re: greedygirl

                              This reminds me, I think there was some discussion one month about The South American Table. Greedygirl suggested we look at it for the month she would be away, if I am not mistaken. I checked this book out from the library, it has some pretty interesting stuff in it.

                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                . . . yet another book I'd be happy to cook from.

                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                  I bought South American Table after the nomination thread two months ago. It would make a great COTM selection, and I would also be happy to cook from it. If anyone needs more specifics about the book, post your questions here and I will try to answer from my copy.

                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                    I thought it was you! I didn't look up the old thread, but I remember that it sent me straight to the library. The book is indexed on EYB if people want to get an idea.

                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                      Haven't been able to find a copy to look at yet, the idea of a completely new to me region is intriguing, but on the other hand my dumb-nuts uninformed impression of South American food is "lots of beef, lots of salt, rice and beans, kinda dull", this has got to be wrong, but can you give me a feel for wrong in what way?

                                      1. re: qianning

                                        Every time Anthony Bourdain goes to SA, he mainly seems to eat a lot of stewy things. I have never seen this book, so I wonder if that predominates. The only book I have that is vaguely South American is Seven Fires.

                                  2. re: L.Nightshade

                                    I got The South American Table from the library too and really like it! Especially the soup chapter. I made a couple of the soups so far and they were delicious.

                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                      OK, I will nominate THE SOUTH AMERICAN TABLE.
                                      As I recall greedygirl felt she might have difficulty obtaining ingredients, and she is going to be away in June. There are many books on this list I'd be delighted to cook from, just thought I'd jump on that scheduling opportunity.

                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                        I really don't think many of the ingredients in this book are hard to find, FWIW. Plaintains maybe, but there are plenty of recipes with readily available ingredients, and she offers suggestions for substitutions, like sweet paprika if you can't get anatto.

                                2. SEVEN FIRES - FRANCIS MALLMANN

                                  it is grilling season. just look at the length of the unusual things to grill thread.

                                  ROVING GOURMAND - JIM HARRISON

                                  an excellent yarn.

                                  1. Second A YEAR IN MY KITCHEN. Lovely book. (And I should be off crutches and ready to cook by early June!)

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: pikawicca

                                      I know produce doesn't kick in until July/August for some of you (I can't even imagine) but fresh produce or no, hot weather is coming! June just screams out it's summer to me - and to me summer means BBQ, picnics and the beach. With that in mind, I have two cookbooks on my shelves that everyone should take a look at:

                                      The first is THE SUMMERTIME ANYTIME COOKBOOK by Dana Slatkin. This is s beautiful book written by CIA grad and co-owner of the Shutters on the Beach hotel in Santa Monica, California. Anyone who has had the pleasure of staying at Shutters has, I am sure, already clicked on the Amazon link and ordered this book. As for me, I first saw this book on a friend's shelf and immediately went home and ordered it. The chapter are cleaverly broken down by weather (eg sunny days, cloudy days, balmy nights, stormy nights, etc.). Some personal favorites out of this book include toasted pearl pasta with rock shrimp, Mexican pot roast, plum tomato soup with baby grilled cheese sandwiches (they are known for this one), and the peanut butterscotch crunch bars. In addition to all the great recipes, the book is very Ina-ish with ideas for beach table chic thrown in here and there. This is the next best thing to a vacation at the sea shore.


                                      The second is a personal favorite, though I think the price may be a sticking point for many. Still, I can't resist mentioning it because it is such a stunning book. All the recipes are mouthwatering, and the pictures are awe-inspiring. Straight from the world famous Blackberry Farm in Tennessee, it's THE BLACKBERRY FARM COOKBOOK by Sam Beall. The recipes are decidedly Southern in nature, but Southern summer recipes. I have never been to Tennessee and until I saw this book I couldn't imagine going their on a vacation, but it is now on my bucket list of places to stay before I die. The food alone would make this trip a must stay for many of us. The BBQ section of this cookbook is amazing, ribs are glazed with either peach, blackberry, or coffee BBQ sauce. Fried chicken gets the same treatment, choose from fire fried chicken, buttermilk brined with sage, sweet tea brined, chili cured, or skillet fried chicken.


                                      1. re: dkennedy

                                        DK, both those books sound enticing but what chance does the Blackberry Farm book have if on the very same page is a blurb for Curtis Stone's "Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone: Recipes to Put You in My Favorite Mood"? Especially after one hits zoom...


                                        Now I ask you... ^_~

                                        1. re: Gio

                                          Is that a wink Gio? Very clever. I don't know Curtis Stone. - what is his favorite mood? I'll have to find out....

                                        2. re: dkennedy

                                          dkennedy: "THE BLACKBERRY FARM COOKBOOK by Sam Beall"

                                          Hi, D. Thanks for recommending this book. It's gorgeous and has lots of good recipes. It's one of those high-WASP tomes kind of like Martha Stewart's Entertaining or Lee Bailey's books back in the '80s (the subtitle says it's about "the good life"). It's really as much travelogue as eatologue, and Tennessee is a place I've never been. Nice to live in that world, if only for a moment.

                                          If anyone besides us were to read this book, I think it could be a COTM contender.

                                          I couldn't get the Santa Monica book from the library, d. Is it as large (14" x 14") a book as Blackberry Farm?

                                          1. re: Jay F

                                            No Jay, it's a paperback book. Each recipe is a treasure from one of the numerous Santa Monica farmer's market vendors. A really worthy addition to anyone who appreciates farm fresh produce.

                                            1. re: dkennedy

                                              I just love Santa Monica, so I ordered a copy of THE SUMMERTIME ANYTIME COOKBOOK.

                                      2. i really want to do olive and the caper, but i´m out of the country and not near a computer most of the time until late june. a plea from me that we wait on it until at least then. i know there were some people who weren´t interested anyway, but i´m just asking.

                                        miss you all!

                                        1. I've been thinking about this today and since I'm not sure if I'll have time to visit these boards over the weekend I thought I'd make a nomination just in case. So, here goes:

                                          EAT RIGHT, EAT WELL THE ITALIAN WAY - EDWARD GIOBBI

                                          I'd honestly be happy w any of his books which all seem to be readily available at a reasonable cost through Abes, Amazon US/UK & Canada.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                            Italian appeals to me, partly because I'm trying to learn Italian food terms in preparation for my trip in the fall. And Giobbi's heathy perspective is a draw.
                                            But I've also been thinking about Radically Simple. After it was nominated last month I checked it out from the library. Haven't cooked anything yet, but the recipes look fast, fresh and flavorful.
                                            No caps yet, still thinking...

                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                              Giobbi's revised edition of Eat Right, etc. is wonderful.

                                              Personally, I prefer cooking from one book during COTM. Don't like revisits, either...

                                              Cranky in Cucina

                                              1. re: Gio

                                                Hear! Hear! This month has not been a "new recipe" kind of month, and I suspect that next month is more of the same. Thank goodness the freezer is stuffed with items from previous COTM's or we would be on the English muffin diet.

                                              2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                I would be happy to cook from Giobbi's "Eat Right." I have a trade paperback edition from 1998.

                                              3. I nominate RADICALLY SIMPLE.

                                                I got the book last month, and each dish looks beautiful and delcious and healthy. I want to eat all of the fish dishes. This is really the kind of cooking I like now, simple, good ingredients, and what looks like very, very tasty.

                                                9 Replies
                                                1. re: Jay F

                                                  I took a look at RADICALLY SIMPLE and am very intrigued by it also.

                                                  1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                                    I nominated RADICALLY SIMPLE last month, and would be delighted to see it as the June COTM.

                                                    1. re: pikawicca

                                                      I think I'm going to abstain from nominating/voting this month, but I bought Radically Simple based on your glowing recommendation last month, pikawicca, and am also very intrigued. Haven't made anything yet, but it is sitting on my kitchen island right now with the Ottolenghis, calling to me with the promise of quick and flavorful meals.

                                                  2. re: Jay F

                                                    I'd be happy to get on board with RADICALLY SIMPLE. Haven't cooked from it yet, but everything looks so fresh and colorful. Lots of recipes that look easy to do after a workday.

                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                      Was looking at Radically Simple today in a store. I'd be happy to cook from it, but don't think I'd want to own it, unfortunately my library doesn't seem to want to own it either....

                                                    2. re: Jay F

                                                      Since we get to nominate two books, I choose FAST FOOD MY WAY as my second nom.

                                                      1. re: Jay F

                                                        Jay F: Is that Nigel Slater's book? If so, I love it and use it all the time.

                                                        1. re: oakjoan

                                                          No, it's by Jacques Pepin. http://www.amazon.com/Fast-Food-Way-J...

                                                          Is Nigel Slater's REAL FAST FOOD the book you're talking about, Joan? It looks good. http://www.amazon.com/Real-Fast-Food-...

                                                          1. re: Jay F

                                                            Yes, that's it. I actually have it and use it quit often. Was just too lazy to go check out the title. Lazy bum that I am.

                                                    3. I notice none of the James Purviance books have ever made it to be a COTM. If folks would like a book on grilling I highly recommend WEBER'S WAY TO GRILL by James Purviance. It is not Weber specific in any way and address all types of grills (gas, charcoal, etc.). And it has wonderful sauces and accompaniments, great photos and lots of instructive step-by-step stuff with photos. I've learned most of my grilling from the James Purviance books.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: audreyhtx1

                                                        This is the time for grilling, but a number of folks that regularly participate in COTM live in city apartments with no grilling option. Just a thought.

                                                        1. re: smtucker

                                                          There are a few indoor options for grilling too. But ultimately that is why people vote on the COTM selection so that the interest level can be gauged.

                                                          1. re: audreyhtx1

                                                            Yes, but damned few. Nearly all grilling books assume either gas or coals. For the most part, indoor grilling is broiling, and it's just not the same.

                                                            I love to grill, but as one of those living in apartment, I have very few opportunities. I'm not averse to a grilling book. We did the Chris Schlesinger & John Willoughby books in August of '07. But since I'll be returning to COTM after a two-month absence (at least, I certainly hope I will), I'd like to put in a very selfish plea for a grilling book be put off until later in the summer.

                                                        1. These are some of the cookbooks I've been thinking about lately. I particularly like the River Cottage book and now that there's a US edition it will soon make it's way to my cookbook library. I read Heidi Swanson's blog and although I haven't actually cooked any of her recipes, yet, her culinary philosophy closely mirrors mine. The 3rd & 4th books are aleady in my library just waiting for their turn.

                                                          Any interest in any one of these books...?

                                                          1. River Cottage Every Day, Hugh Fearnley-Whittenstall


                                                          2. Supernatural Cooking, Heidi Swanson


                                                          3. Fast Food My Way, Jacques Pepin


                                                          4. The Spendid Table:Recipes from Emilia-Romagna, the Heartland of Northern Italian Food, Lynne Rossetto Kasper


                                                          30 Replies
                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                            I would very much like to see the Kasper as COTM one day but wonder if it's not more appropriate for somewhat cooler weather? Not home now so I can't flip through the book, but it is indexed on EYB and a very quick perusal indicates there are a lot of ragus and pastas (as one might expect). I'll rely on you, though, Gio. If you tell me you think the book would be a good one for June, I'll readily get behind it.

                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                              Almost half of The Splendid Table is pasta related, either macaroni recipes or sauce recipes. The rest is pretty much a mixed (shoppping?) bag so I'll put it on the back COTM burner for now. Any thoughts about the River Cottage or Supernatural, Joan, or anyone else?

                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                After reading last month's nomination thread I decided to investigte John Besh's My New Orleans and I was captivated. Does anyone have this book and/or cooked from it?


                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                  Yes, I got the Besh for my husband for Christmas at one of those $11 and no shipping sales at thegoodcook.com. He was very captivated by it, but he hasn't cooked from it yet, nor have I. It is a very nice book, indeed!

                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                    So glad you brought that up, Gio. I've had his book since 1/10 and have loved it. I'd love to nominate it for a COTM eventually. What I've made so far according to my notes: Louisiana Shrimp and Andouille with Grits -page 120, Barbeque Shrimp -page 122 - never made it this way before - it uses cream - husband doesn't want it made any other way now. Page 164- Crab and Shrimp Stuffed Flounder: haven't used a recipe for this in over 25 years; it's a staple in our house. But we loved this recipe partly because of the delicious pan sauce (page 15) served with it. It's my go-to recipe now. Drew's Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo - page 279 - prefer this one over the one I've been making for years, so rich and yummy. Brendan's Bread Pudding with Brown Butter Sticky Rum Sauce - page 356 - made this for my aunt's birthday and had to email copies of the recipe to everyone the next day - in fact, I want this right now! My regular bread pudding is a Prudhomme one from his first cookbook that I've been using since it came out. It's delicious too with it's lemon sauce and chantilly cream, but oh, this one of Besh's is divine. I have many other recipes marked. I see that I have indeed been cooking local favorites (our diet do consist of 'dose) - . So many others I want to try. May try the crab bisque because our local store has lump crabmeat on sale this week. LOVE this book. Keeping it out. Now look what you've done!hehe

                                                                    1. re: bayoucook

                                                                      This is great testimony coming from a bayou cook, bayoucook!

                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                        Thanks! (I actually do live on a bayou) as did my late mother-in-law who taught me so much about bayou cooking.

                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                          That reminded me to take the avatar bayou off my profile and put on the real one. Finally.

                                                                        2. re: bayoucook

                                                                          Well... we still have July and August to get through...not to mention September.
                                                                          Let's see what happens.

                                                                        3. re: Gio

                                                                          I have it, and love it, but haven't cooked from it yet. I think I love him! :-)

                                                                        4. re: Gio

                                                                          Not really. Haven't seen either River Cottage or Supernatural. River Cottage, even used, is pretty expensive and my library doesn't have it. Not convinced it's a book I'd want to buy without a test drive. And although I shouldn't be, I was a bit put off by the following line in the product description of Supernatural: "Shows how to build a whole-foods pantry with nutrition-rich ingredients like almond oil, pomegranate molasses, and mesquite flour." Maybe I'm just cranky today, but I have a Chinese pantry, an Indian pantry, a Thai pantry, a Mexican pantry. I've run out of pantry space. I don't want to "build" any more pantries.

                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                            I have River Cottage Everyday and like it a lot.

                                                                        5. re: Gio

                                                                          The Pepin Fast Food looks very good. I followed your link and put it in my wish list. I like the idea of simpler fresh foods for summer. With long sunny days, you don't want to spend all of them hovering over the oven!

                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                            Me too. I might "need" this book anyway. When I first started seriously cooking for myself in the early 80s I had a couple of small paperback Jaques Pepin books and the recipes were really wonderful.

                                                                            I think I still do his version of ratatouille.

                                                                          2. re: Gio

                                                                            I like the idea of Fast Food My Way for the summer. Last summer cooking from Italian Easy and Italian Two easy was enjoyable because of the fresh ingredients and how quickly the recipes came together. Also, Sign me up for the Spendid Table this fall or winter.

                                                                            1. re: BigSal

                                                                              In that case, Let's do it...
                                                                              FAST FOOD MY WAY, JACQUES PEPIN

                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                FAST FOOD MY WAY, JACQUES PEPIN. Still hoping for Japanese, Korean and Thai food months too. So many cuisines, so little time.

                                                                                1. re: BigSal

                                                                                  Just checked with my library, interesting to note that they not only have Fast Food My Way, and More Fast Food My Way, but they also have DVDs 1, 2, and 3 of the Fast Food My Way series. Described as: "Jacques Pepin shares the techniques he honed in the most famous kitchens of the world to show you how to create simple, special meals in minutes. These recipes require little work and fit nicely into the fast-paced lifestyles of today." To me, it sounds fun to watch him prepare some dishes that I would be cooking.

                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                    I always learn something when I watch Jacques. I dug up this video last summer when we were cooking from Italian Easy, because I we were deboning a chicken, but still kept it in one piece.


                                                                                    1. re: BigSal

                                                                                      That was a thing of beauty. Looks like it is shot in real time, he just races through the procedure. Impressive.

                                                                                    2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                      I've just ordered Book 1 and DVD 1 of Fast Food My Way from my library. I always liked his shows with Julia and Claudine.

                                                                                      1. re: Jay F

                                                                                        Does anyone know the rule on nominations? I've put my name to two books in this thread, as I see that some people nominate several. Is that OK? Is there a limit? I know in voting we each only get one vote.

                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                          I believe we each can nominate 2 books.

                                                                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                            Thanks, I guess I've hit my limit! So many great options.

                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                              I'd love to do FAST FOOD MY WAY by Jacques Pepin! I've had it for years and have hardly cooked out of it, though I like the looks of many recipe. If we choose it, I think we should do MORE FAST FOOD MY WAY as well -- doesn't make sense to split them up.

                                                                                              1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                                                                                I would prefer to settle on one book, and one book only, not an author's entire oeuvre within a category. It diluted the shared experience having to look through so many Jamie Oliver cookbooks in April. I probably won't bother if it's more than one single book. I'm not being pouty. It's just not as "shared" an experience if we use more than one book.

                                                                                                Of course, I would have everyone cooking the same recipe. I'm focused that way.

                                                                                                1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                  Many of us agree with you Jay. One book - one month. It gives us a chance to focus on what the author wants to bring to our attention and table. Presumably that will incite our interest in his or her other cookbooks...

                                                                                      2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                        So since JoanN has been grumpy, I, also being named Joan, am exercising my grumpy rights by saying I WILL NOT vote for Jacques Pepin's Fast Food any way because I'm sooooo sick of seeing him every single Saturday on my local PBS station on his program of the same name. I mean he's a great chef and all, but I've had enough of him (including all his cooking with Julia programs).

                                                                                        So what if I didn't take my MOOD ELEVATORS today. Oops, I hope the caps don't turn mood elevators into a COTM nomination.

                                                                                        End of rant.

                                                                                        1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                          I am with you on Pepin, oakjoan. Looked at the videos posted upthread and they did not inspire me one bit and the recipes sound boring - a chunk of avocado covered with pink mayo-like sauce, anyone?

                                                                                          1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                            Have I told you lately that I love you? ROFLOL...
                                                                                            A chacun ses goûts. Joan bebe...

                                                                                  1. re: blue room

                                                                                    I think having the videos available makes it that much more interesting. I may change my nomination. I wonder if Claudine is in any of them.

                                                                                    [EDIT: I watched a couple of those videos. He's not kidding, fast food. He dresses a salad the way I do. I love that he loves cilantro. And I love the way he says "cilantro."]

                                                                                  2. I vote for Pepin's Fast Food MyWay. If I can have a second choice, it would be Radically Simple.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: Goblin

                                                                                      Goblin, please put your choice(s) in all caps to make it official.

                                                                                    2. FAST FOOD MY WAY (first choice)
                                                                                      RADICALLY SIMPLE (second choice)

                                                                                      1. I'd be happy with most of the choices suggested so far but since I have to narrow it to two, I'll go for two I already own and haven't cooked from enough yet.
                                                                                        RADICALLY SIMPLE
                                                                                        A YEAR IN MY KITCHEN

                                                                                          1. I don't know if it's even fair for me to nominate or vote given my limited ability to participate. Out of the books suggested I am most interested in SEDUCTIONS OF RICE. I would also try fast food my way or radically simple, both of which are available in my library. There is only one library copy of the giobbe in all of Brooklyn, and I think the splendid table and south American table are best pursued in fall/winter.

                                                                                            1. Back from my weekend getaway and I was keen to see what had transpired on this thread! As usual, lots of great discussion and good ideas. Since i don't own Radically Simple or Fast Food My Way, i'll cast my second nomination for:

                                                                                              SEDUCTIONS OF RICE

                                                                                              1. Looks like it's gonna be a pleasant June -- ...simple / fast / my way / seduction...

                                                                                                20 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: blue room

                                                                                                  It does! It's close among three books now.

                                                                                                  1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                    Yea! It looks like SEDUCTIONS is making a come back. Somewhere up thread, it was mentioned that you can only nominate two books. I remember reading last month that there was no limit. Could someone post a link to the "rules" so we can all be clear on what to do going forward. I don't want my nominations to be disqualified for having too many nominations out there. It makes sense that voting should be limited, but I am not sure I can see the rationale behind limiting the number of nominations.

                                                                                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                      dkennedy, AFAIK there are no formal rules (i.e., something that can be linked to) regarding nominations, unless the current coordinator, whoever she is at the time, sets them out, as in the requirement to use all caps. So it's up to bayoucook to set any limits on nominations and unless she does, I don't think we need assume them.

                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                        This is something we all should discuss and agree upon. I think multiple votes should top out somewhere or it could just get crazy. So what's fair and reasonable? 3 votes, or 5 per person? Please give your opinions here.

                                                                                                        1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                          Any more than 2 apiece, I think would soon get crazy and uncontrollable.

                                                                                                          1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                            Discussions evolve. People change their minds. Someone proposes a new title and it begins to generate excitement. I don’t think a poster should be penalized because s/he suggested two titles early on and then decided there was a third book s/he’d be happy to delve into as well. One vote only for the voting thread, of course. But for the nomination thread? I don’t see the harm in three or even more.

                                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                              I agree with this. I think it's pointlessly limiting to only be able to nominate one book, and I don't think there's a particular reason to have an arbitrary cap, either, given that most people (in my observation) don't nominate more than one or two, but may be inspired along the lines Joan suggests.

                                                                                                              However, I also think it's essential to have a vote unless nominations are so lopsided as to make it pointless, for the same reason; the nomination process is a discussion, the voting process a simple tally.

                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                I feel the same way. You're talking about a cookbook to cook from for a month, and the discussion is always interesting and lively, and it's important to choose the right one for that month. IMHO.

                                                                                                            2. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                              A plan that makes sense to me is direct. Decide which book you'd most like to cook from, nominate that book. That creates a list of books.

                                                                                                              Then, again decide which book you'd most like to cook from, vote for that one.

                                                                                                              1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                                I agree w Joan and Caitlin, in that folks may change their minds as discussions evolve and momentum builds.

                                                                                                                I think if folks are clear that they can propose books and solicit feedback without actually nominating the book it might help to reduce the risk of getting an unmanageable number of nominations. How about something like this:

                                                                                                                Welcome to the “month/year” Cookbook of the Month “COTM” nomination thread. Here’s how the nomination process works:

                                                                                                                Please tell us what book you're interested in cooking from. We’d love to hear why you’re excited about cooking from it, what recipes you’ve tried, reviews you’ve read. Feel free to throw ideas out there and share your thoughts on books being suggested.

                                                                                                                When you’re ready to actually nominate a book, type the book title in BLOCK CAPS.

                                                                                                                Nominations end on “insert date” when we’ll post a “month/year COTM Voting Thread” on the Home Cooking Board. The books with the highest number of nominations will be listed and voting will commence to choose a COTM.

                                                                                                                Here’s a link to all the books we’ve cooked from over past COTM’s and a full explanation of how the COTM works:


                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                  "I think if folks are clear that they can propose books and solicit feedback without actually nominating the book it might help to reduce the risk of getting an unmanageable number of nominations."
                                                                                                                  Yes, the more discussion & titles suggested the better, but I think bayoucook is asking how many should we each actually "all caps" nominate?

                                                                                                                  1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                    While I think a cap is necessary for a voting thread, I'm not sure it's necessary for a nomination thread. I've only been participating in the COTM since last Sept but I can"t recall an instance where there has been an issue w individuals casting excessive nominations.

                                                                                                                    I'd only create a cap if the excessive nominations were the norm vs the anticipated exception.

                                                                                                                    I worry that folks won't participate if they feel there are too many rules.

                                                                                                                    . . . I'm not a lawyer, can you tell?!!! ; - )

                                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                      I think part of the cap thing was to make it easier for the coordinator to see which books are actually nominated. The all caps make the books pop out.

                                                                                                                      I've been participating in COTM since the beginning. I don't have an opinion one way or another on the number of nominations, just that the BOOKS, themselves, be accessible to all. But the cap on nominations had evolved from too many nominations in voting threads.

                                                                                                                      In the past, when there were too many nominations, when the voting time came, the vote becomes diluted. Then the complaints come because the winning book only won by one vote, leading to lower participation in that month's book.

                                                                                                                      1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                        Sorry, i should clarify, when I said " cap" I was referring to the idea of capping the number of nominations per CH member.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                          My fault. I'm a bit tired and that never leads to coherent reading comprehension and subsequent posting. However, the latter half of my post still stands. Too many nominations lead to diluted votes in the voting thread.

                                                                                                                          1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                            I still have no opinion about the number of nominations, this is to clarify how the nomination limit evolved. The coordinator can state what her/his preference is in the nomination thread.

                                                                                                                      2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                        Ha, lawyers like lots of rules I guess.
                                                                                                                        Better to be a politician here--nominate your one best candidate for the vote -- that should result in a well-thought-of and strong winner. Too many books spoil the COTM ?

                                                                                                          2. re: blue room

                                                                                                            You have a dirty mind, blue room! Or is that I have a dirty mind reading your post?

                                                                                                            1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                                              You're not the only ones, I was going to post "sounds like my kind of month"!

                                                                                                              1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                                                I'm sticking to my original observation--
                                                                                                                "a pleasant June"

                                                                                                              1. ANCIENT GRAINS FOR MODERN MEALS: Mediterranean Whole Grain Recipes for Barley, Farro, Kamut, Polenta, Wheat Berries & More by MARIA SPECK

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Tom P

                                                                                                                  Tom, the nominations have already closed for this month, but if you go here


                                                                                                                  you can vote for one of the 3 nominated for June.
                                                                                                                  The deadline for voting is June 19th, 5p.m. CDST

                                                                                                                  1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                    hey thanks! I was not paying attention obviously :) I'll throw this one up next month

                                                                                                                    I appreciate all your work!