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May 2012 Cookbook of the Month Voting is Now Open!

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¡Damas y Caballeros!
Get out your castanets, and don your mantillas; one way or another, we'll be cooking Spanish food in May!

First, let me walk you through the wild ride that was the nomination thread. With over 150 responses, we had 23 individuals, casting 51 nominations for 30 books, websites, and themes. Individuals posted as few as one, and as many as 10 separate nominations. Any of you who did informal counts might have come up with different numbers than I did, because a few people wrote titles in caps when discussing a book, after they had already cast a nomination for that book. So I counted nominations by person, not by the number of times the book was in caps. There were quite a few people nominating groups of books under a thematic head, and there were a few nominations for a theme (Spanish) with no suggested book titles. But, in the end, there were three books that had seven or more nominations; the other books and themes garnered between one and five nominations.

The three books with the most nominations were:

MORO: THE COOKBOOK by Samantha and Samuel Clark
THE FOOD OF SPAIN by Claudia Roden
THE NEW SPANISH TABLE by Anya Von Bremzen

The New Spanish Table and Food of Spain were frequently paired together; Moro was not frequently paired with either of the other two books. I know some people like to do a group of books, and some prefer to work from a single book, so here is what I'm going to try:

When you cast your vote, put your first choice in ALL CAPS. After you've entered your first choice, please write, in lower case, if you'd like to cook from that book alone, or if you would like to have that book paired with one or both of the other books. I know I'm running the risk of confounding the results, but I think that the one-book people, and the multiple-book people, should all have their say. Hopefully, a clear trend will emerge in this process. If it doesn't, we run the risk of a brief runoff, but, fingers crossed.

So let's start voting! ONE first choice in ALL CAPS, combos and further thoughts in lower case. Voting will close on Wednesday, April 18th, at 5pm Pacific time, 8 pm Eastern time, and 12 midnight GMT.

Confusedly yours,
L.Nightshade {{º;º}}

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  1. THE FOOD OF SPAIN
    My preference is to cook from one book.

    1. LN, you are a saint and did a genius job with this. Per your earlier post, I do hope your taxes were your first priority though!!

      I think your idea of handling the voting is fair and innovative. Hat's off to you (actually, I'll raise my glass of Zin and suspect you too may be enjoying a little something in celebration of a Nomination like no other!!)

      No vote yet...thinking required.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Breadcrumbs

        Thanks Breadcrumbs! I'm currently breathing a (however temporary) sigh of relief, and enjoying a martini and some duck liver pate courtesy of Essential Pepin!

        1. re: L.Nightshade

          You deserve both, LN (and isn't that a delicious pate?).

      2. :: BRAVO ::

        Brilliant work L.Nightshade.

        1. very intelligent approach - will be interesting in seeing how you tally the responses

          1. I second the congratulations on a wonderful job of making sense of the voting, which seems very clear.
            My vote goes to THE FOOD OF SPAIN.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Goblin

              I should have added " single title" under my vote above for The Food of Spain.

            2. THE NEW SPANISH TABLE
              As a softly enforced rule, I'd say 2 books, related in some way please, should be the monthly limit. Just one book would be ideal.

              L.Nightshade: Pleeze forgive my informal (and inaccurate to boot) count -- I realized too late that a count before all votes are in could cause someone to decide it would be of no use to even try. It was stupid of me and I'm very sorry.

              1. MORO: THE COOKBOOK. My preference is for one or two books but it's difficult this month. I have enough Spanish cookbooks so I probably won't participate if the "wrong" (for me) book is chosen.

                Thanks LN for your sterling efforts.

                1. Well that was simply Brilliant, LN. Ever think of running for political office?

                  THE FOOD OF SPAIN
                  I prefer to cook from one book.

                  1. THE FOOD OF SPAIN
                    Single title.

                    Brava, brava LN. Very well done.

                    1. THE NEW SPANISH TABLE

                      one book

                      it is also not as expensive as other 2 books

                      1. Well done, L. Nightshade.

                        I'm obstaining from voting due to my wretched lack of participation lately, but am looking forward to cooking something Spanish in May, even if it's just to bump some old Casas threads. I'm not sure it matters since I'm not voting, but my two cents is that in general I have a preference to cook from one book, except that some of my favorite months (Dunlop, Pham/Nguyen, River Cafe books, Grace Young) have been a pair of very complementary books. I think more than 2 books is really messy. But, a well-chosen pair can be really fun in the compare and contrast department.

                        I do have Roden and I recall (from last time it was a serious contender) my library had the Von Bremzen, so I hope to able to jump into one of those. Of course, Moro sounds fabulous, too. Oddly, my library has only Casa Moro.

                        ~TDQ

                        1. MORO and one or both of the others (preference to Food of Spain which I own)

                          1. THE FOOD OF SPAIN
                            I don't mind if it's paired with another book.

                            1. Fabulous job, LN!

                              MORO, with possibly one other book, but my preference is for no more than two. Thanks for doing such an amazing job.

                              1. THE FOOD OF SPAIN

                                I'm not opposed to pairing it with another book, preferably the New Spanish Table.

                                ETA, I meant to add my compliments to L.Nightshade for her adept sorting out of this unruly month of nominations, which must have been like herding cats!

                                1. Brilliant LN!

                                  THE FOOD OF SPAIN, moro.

                                  if nothing else through this month's nominations i've come to realize that i really do prefer two book months, except if we are doing one of those doorstop compendiums a la enyt or gourmet & etc.

                                  1. While we're on the subject of Spanish cookbooks, has anyone else read "Rustica: a Return to Spanish Home Cooking" by Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish? I bought this on a whim from Amazon and it quickly jumped to the top of my list for that subject. The chef is based in Australia, which is why his work has flown under the radar of many in the US.

                                    As for the nominees, I'll go with "The New Spanish Table."

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: d8200

                                      d8200, if you want your vote to be counted, the title needs to be in all capital letters.

                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                        Sorry, I'm kinda new around here. Count me in for:

                                        THE NEW SPANISH TABLE BY ANYA VON BREMZEN

                                        1. re: d8200

                                          No problem, your vote is now counted.
                                          Welcome to COTM!

                                    2. MORO with either one of the other books

                                      I'm very impressed with the voting scheme you came up with after a crazy thread. Thanks for all of your work on this!

                                      1. MORO, and one of the other two books (I have a slight preference for New Spanish Table, but I'd be fine with either). After finally getting a chance to look at the three options, I'm definitely most interested in Moro. It seems to have a more varied and interesting vegetable section, and the simplicity of many of the recipes is very appealing, along with the North African/Middle Eastern flavor profile of course. I know I was previously griping about availability, but I'm going to try to get the book through interlibrary loan. And thanks, LN, for sorting it all out for us.

                                        1. This is a hard choice. Or an easy one, depending upon how you look at it. Truth is, I have all three books, and would love to cook from any of them. I've been looking through the books, trying to decide. So, here's my vote:

                                          MORO, with The Food of Spain.

                                          LN, hats off to you for making sense of the Spanish mess we had going in the nomination thread. Your solution respects everyone's opinion and gives us all a chance to voice it, while imposing some semblance of order. You are a true leader.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: MelMM

                                            A Spanish month has been a long time in the works, with it making it to the voting thread again and again, only to be trumped by another title. I have checked out all three titles from the library in anticipation of one of them being selected for past COTM months, so I feel pretty well versed in the content of each. For whatever reason, I didn't get inspired by either New Spanish Table or The Food of Spain when I had them in my grasp, and only earmarked a handful of recipes to try out of each. Moro, on the other hand, got my heart beating fast and made it hard to decide which of the three Moro books to add to my ever growing collection. If it is selected, I will definitely be buying it.

                                            MORO

                                            Given the choice, I always prefer to cook off a single title.

                                            N.B.: Thank you for taking on this monster of a month, L.Nightshade! You are truly inspiring.

                                          2. MORO, but happy to cook along with any of the books. I don't have a strong preference for one or two books per month. Sometimes it is nice to have options, especially if the book isn't as readily available (like Moro might be for some), but I guess we can always add a companion book to make sure we are making this as inclusive as possible. I'm looking forward to Spanish month in May!

                                            P.S. Thanks for weeding through all of the responses L.Nightshade, great job!

                                            1. MORO . I prefer no more than 2 books.

                                              1. I'm a modern sort of guy, so I'll go with THE NEW SPANISH TABLE but I wouldn't be unhappy if Moro won.
                                                One book is all I can digest in a month.

                                                1. L.Nightshade, I am very impressed with your ability to sift through the nominations threads and pick a manageable number of cookbooks for the voting. Amazing how May turned into a Spanish month! And I love that you are collecting information on who and how many of us is a one, two or many books a month kind of cooks.

                                                  Hats off and keep it up!

                                                  1. I am very flattered by all of your support here, but let's wait and see how this all shakes out...
                                                    I don't know how smoothly this will ultimately go down this month, but, no matter what, I feel honored to be working with such a great group of people!
                                                    Thanks to all of you, and keep those votes coming in!

                                                    1. Claudia Roden has been one of my faves of all time ever since I saw a very low budget cooking show she had in her kitchen in, I think, Cairo - it was a BBC program I saw on the PBS station in San Francisco years ago.

                                                      THE FOOD OF SPAIN

                                                      1. I ordered Moro but unfortunately it hasn't arrived yet so I'm basing my vote on Moro's recipe list in EYB and, my review of New Spanish Table and Food of Spain.

                                                        Moro's recipes are appealing and from what I've read, it seems to be a mix of Spanish, North African, and eastern Mediterranean cuisines. While I love the combo, my preference is to do a deep dive into Spanish cuisine.

                                                        Comparing F of S & NST, I found the style and format of NST to be far more engaging than that of F of S and, the recipes in NST seemed more approachable and diverse with dishes to suit weeknight and weekend dining.

                                                        That said, I'm casting my vote for:

                                                        THE NEW SPANISH TABLE by Anya Von Bremznen

                                                        Selfishly, I'd love to see an adjunct thread for "Other Spanish Cookbooks" as I have a number of Spanish books on my shelf and there are a few that I'd also like to add into the mix like Culinaria Spain, Mario's Spain book and a Jose Andres book.

                                                        LN, thanks again!

                                                        1. FOOD OF SPAIN. I enjoy cooking from two books for variety, but no more, so second pick is The New Spanish Table. This was a tough choice; both books look excellent, but Roden captivated me just a little bit more.

                                                          1. Gosh, what a nail biter!

                                                            ~TDQ

                                                            1. THE FOOD OF SPAIN, would also like to cook from New Spanish Table. Thanks

                                                              Jules

                                                              1. NEW SPANISH TABLE

                                                                It's the only one I can get at my library!

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: sarahcooks

                                                                  I was going to post, "Oh oh, there goes my copy", except that I see that there are three copies. One for BigSal, too! HA! Actually, I'm a little nervous that this book appears (on the surface) to be a lot like The Olive and the Caper (which I dumped after trying two poorly written recipes) but am comforted to know home cooking hounds have really enjoyed this particular book...

                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                    Yeah, I don't see myself participating much in a spanish month, but I'll at least look through and try and find something to make.

                                                                2. THE NEW SPANISH TABLE by Anya Von Bremznen

                                                                  I don't mind if any of the other two books are cooked from; however, my choice of the other two to cook from would be "The Food of Spain" by Claudia Roden.

                                                                  1. Just a reminder to everyone, voting ends today at 5pm Pacific time.
                                                                    I may be working a bit late today, so bear with me if the final count isn't out right at 5pm; there is a lot to go through here.
                                                                    I'm excited that everyone is so enthusiastic!

                                                                    1. It is 5pm here on the west coast, and nominations are now CLOSED! Thanks to everyone for voting, I will post the results as soon as I can decipher the responses!

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                        The announcement thread is now up here:
                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/844918

                                                                      2. FYI, nominations for the June cookbook are now open here:
                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/848648