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July 2012 Cookbook of the Month Voting is Now Open!

L.Nightshade Jun 15, 2012 05:06 PM

Welcome to the voting thread for the July 2012 Cookbook of the Month. In the nomination thread we had 55 nominations for 16 books. Two books came out on top, and will move on to the voting round. This month you are voting for one of the following books:

FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT, by Rick Moonen and Roy Finamore (revisit of March 2009 COTM)
MIGHTY SPICE by John Gregory-Smith

To view the nomination thread, please click here:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/853254
To view the history of COTM and how it works, please visit this link:
http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

When you cast your vote, please put your choice in ALL CAPS.

Voting will close on Tuesday, June 19th, at 5pm Pacific time, 8 pm Eastern time, and 12 midnight GMT. (There will be one extra day of voting this time, as I probably won't be available on Monday, I apologize for any inconvenience.)

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  1. Breadcrumbs RE: L.Nightshade Jun 15, 2012 05:13 PM

    Thanks so much LN! Another nail-biter!

    Fish and vegetables tend to figure prominently in our meals during the warmer months and I'd love to have the opportunity to cook along w everyone else w the Moonen/Finamore book. That said, my vote goes to:

    FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT

    and even better if we have and adjunct thread for Veggie/Farmer's Market books. (I especially like Vegetable Love with so much variety to suit everyone's market haul or CSA du jour).

    1. lilham RE: L.Nightshade Jun 15, 2012 05:51 PM

      MIGHTY SPICE

      1. m
        MelMM RE: L.Nightshade Jun 15, 2012 07:00 PM

        MIGHTY SPICE

        1. s
          sarahcooks RE: L.Nightshade Jun 15, 2012 09:01 PM

          MIGHTY SPICE

          1. jpr54_1 RE: L.Nightshade Jun 16, 2012 04:44 AM

            MIGHT SPICE!

            1. bayoucook RE: L.Nightshade Jun 16, 2012 05:23 AM

              FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT

              1. pikawicca RE: L.Nightshade Jun 16, 2012 06:41 AM

                MIGHTY SPICE.

                6 Replies
                1. re: pikawicca
                  d
                  dkennedy RE: pikawicca Jun 16, 2012 07:16 AM

                  Wow, this is a hard decision! I love Mighty Spice and have been hoping it would be selected as a COTM for some time. But July doesn't seem like the right month for it. I think it would do better in the cooler months. So many spicy dishes to warm the bones. On the other hand, Fish Without a Doubt is a revisit and the fact that it made it so far really says something about how much everyone liked it the first time around. I am very excited to cook out of it, and I didn't participate the first time around so it's a win-win for me. But I could do that whether or not it is selected, right? Still, summer cries out for cooking and eating lots and lots of fish. Hmmmm. Will have to give this one some thoughts.

                  1. re: dkennedy
                    blue room RE: dkennedy Jun 16, 2012 08:24 AM

                    It was hard for me too. I love fish so much that anything beyond a little butter and lemon seems nuts -- but maybe I'll be proved wrong if we cook from the fish book.

                    The spice book offers more variety of foods I think, but we just had a month of Spanish and one of Tex-Mex -- 2 mighty spicy months in a row.

                    I'd say pick a peach, catch a fish, it's summertime. (Of course I'll participate whichever is chosen, in the spirit of the game.)

                    1. re: blue room
                      BigSal RE: blue room Jun 17, 2012 02:01 PM

                      blue room, Interesting to see you say we've had two spicy months in a row, as I do not consider Spanish food spicy.

                      1. re: BigSal
                        r
                        Rella RE: BigSal Jun 17, 2012 02:54 PM

                        Your post piqued my interest, I found this, as well as similar posts.

                        "Although the Spanish, like all Europeans were quick to integrate tomatoes, corn, peppers and chocolate into their foods, their taste buds did not adapt to fiery hot peppers like jalapeños. So, for the most part, Spanish cuisine is typically Mediterranean, with few dishes that are hot and spicy."

                        The above from about.com

                        1. re: BigSal
                          blue room RE: BigSal Jun 17, 2012 03:34 PM

                          Sigh...in my staid household, the discovery of chorizo and smoked paprika in May made it a spicy month. I agree with your point, however -- lots of nice mellow food.

                          1. re: blue room
                            r
                            Rella RE: blue room Jun 17, 2012 03:57 PM

                            I do agree with chorizo being spicy in the way that Italian sausage can be a bit spicy -- and yet, there is even 'hot' Italian sausage which is quite spicy to me, but I love it. (FWIW, it's about the only pork product that I do like - pity me!)

                            But for some reasons, back in time, I thought I liked chorizo, but in the last maybe 5 years I've tried several types/versions and have come to think of it as a food that is not a source of pleasure for me.

                  2. blue room RE: L.Nightshade Jun 16, 2012 08:07 AM

                    FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT please, L.Nightshade.

                    .

                    1. Caitlin McGrath RE: L.Nightshade Jun 16, 2012 08:41 AM

                      FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                        onefineleo RE: Caitlin McGrath Jun 16, 2012 10:43 AM

                        FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT.

                        Many thanks.

                      2. b
                        bitchincook RE: L.Nightshade Jun 16, 2012 11:37 AM

                        MIGHTY SPICE

                        1. JoanN RE: L.Nightshade Jun 16, 2012 01:59 PM

                          Well, I feel a little ridiculous voting for it since I've never stopped cooking from it and didn't plan to any time soon. I just added them up and see I've made 38 recipes from the book (including sides, but not sauces, compound butters, etc), many of them more than once. And a new recipe is on the menu for tonight. But I don't have, and wasn't intending to buy, Mighty Spice, so

                          FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT

                          it is.

                          1. The Dairy Queen RE: L.Nightshade Jun 16, 2012 05:31 PM

                            I just bought this book a couple of weeks ago after long regretting that I couldn't get it together to participate the first time around. We tried a modified version of the catfish sloppy Joes and they were a huge hit, so:

                            FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT

                            Thank you L. Nightshade!

                            ~TDQ

                            1. DonShirer RE: L.Nightshade Jun 16, 2012 05:40 PM

                              Wilthout a doubt it is FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT !

                              1. d
                                debbypo RE: L.Nightshade Jun 16, 2012 07:01 PM

                                MIGHTY SPICE for me. (I do tend to vote for the underdog) but I love Mighty Spice.

                                1. delys77 RE: L.Nightshade Jun 16, 2012 07:11 PM

                                  Well I had originally planned to vote for mighty spice, but after having read the reviews I'm thinking a fish book might be a practical and healthy choice for the family. So FISH WITHOUTBA DOUBT it is.

                                  1. pikawicca RE: L.Nightshade Jun 16, 2012 07:23 PM

                                    Sorry, but I think it's really lame to do a revisit for COTM. There are too many great new cookbooks to explore, and one can always post on established threads. I would like to see this option banned.

                                    70 Replies
                                    1. re: pikawicca
                                      The Dairy Queen RE: pikawicca Jun 16, 2012 08:16 PM

                                      You know, I'd agree with you if this were a choice between a former COTM and a book that hasn't been discussed much here on HC, but both of these books have been thoroughly reported on-- fish without a doubt when it was COTM and mighty spice in its separate thread.

                                      In a case like this, I think it really just comes down to which book most people feel like cooking from in July.

                                      ~TDQ

                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                        JoanN RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 16, 2012 08:41 PM

                                        Remember, too, that there was a thread on Fish Without a Doubt before it became a COTM selection.

                                        1. re: JoanN
                                          herby RE: JoanN Jun 16, 2012 08:50 PM

                                          Does anyone look at it any longer? Is it somehow incorporated into the "master" thread? Or is it all lost to the ones that do not know about it (me)?

                                          1. re: herby
                                            The Dairy Queen RE: herby Jun 16, 2012 08:56 PM

                                            There's a link to it in the FWAD master thread, easy reference for posterity : http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6001...

                                            ~TDQ

                                            1. re: herby
                                              JoanN RE: herby Jun 17, 2012 05:28 AM

                                              No, just me, I'm sure. But there are reports on recipes from the book in that thread that haven't been reported on in the COTM threads.

                                              1. re: JoanN
                                                Breadcrumbs RE: JoanN Jun 17, 2012 05:35 AM

                                                Hah, not true Joan!! I was just there this week when I discovered you'd made that Hoisin Glaze. I thoroughly enjoyed your reports!!

                                        2. re: pikawicca
                                          herby RE: pikawicca Jun 16, 2012 08:23 PM

                                          I am 100% with pika! I just bought "fish without a doubt" - enjoying reading it and will start cooking from it soon; when I do, I will check the existing threads and post my experience there too. What is the point of collective re-visiting when one can re-visit all one wants? Would someone, please, explain the "revisiting" need to me?

                                          I feel very similar about the "mighty spice" - a nice book, some recipes are worth repeating, but there is already a vibrant thread that has been active for months. What is the point of choosing this book as a COTM? Why not continue posting to the existing thread?

                                          I will be cooking from both books but not exclusively in July. I think I am going to focus on Victory Garden book and Plenty. I do not have Tender (have not warmed up to Slater anyway) and do not want to buy yet another veg book.

                                          Just bought 660 Curries in hope that it will be July's COTM and would love to cook from it. I took it out of the library once and loved everything I made from it. Maybe not the same authentic taste as recipes in other Indian books that I have but surely easier and still yummy.

                                          I think my July cooking will focus on Indian spicy flavouful dishes always suited to our summer, BBQ dishes from 60 countries, and veggies from the farmers markets:)

                                          Happy cooking, everyone!

                                          1. re: herby
                                            lilham RE: herby Jun 17, 2012 01:16 AM

                                            But many books have a cook together thread before they get selected for COTM. It just reflects their popularity. I'd expect more wide spread participation as a COTM for those books as a result.

                                            Not sure if there was ever a revisit being the sole book for the month. Will next month be the first?

                                            1. re: herby
                                              t
                                              TxnInMtl RE: herby Jun 17, 2012 05:46 AM

                                              I agree with both of you about not understanding the revisits, although this whole discussion has piqued my interest in fish without a doubt and it wasn't even on my radar before. I think I'm more likely to look into the book when I have more time to cook thanks to these recent discussions.

                                              My concern with saying we shouldn't nominate books that already have a vibrant discussion thread for the book is I think it discourages people from starting a thread and often those threads are useful for getting people excited about a book. I've seen several books with shorter discussion threads become COTM before the discussions get very involved. I wouldn't want people to stop making those threads because they'd rather see books as COTM. As lilham points out, it does have more of a community feel once a book goes from a thread to a COTM.

                                              I hope you enjoy 660 Curries, herby. It's one of my most used cookbooks. We cook from it at least once a week. I hope it makes it to be a COTM at some point (and with luck during a month when I have time to cook!).

                                              1. re: herby
                                                pikawicca RE: herby Jun 17, 2012 06:09 AM

                                                I just bought 660 Curries too, herby. Haven't cooked from it yet, but it looks great.

                                                1. re: pikawicca
                                                  r
                                                  Rella RE: pikawicca Jun 17, 2012 07:39 AM

                                                  Part of Herby's post:
                                                  "I think my July cooking will focus on Indian spicy flavouful dishes always suited to our summer, BBQ dishes from 60 countries, and veggies from the farmers markets:)

                                                  A great suggestion. I haven't cooked enough from 660 Curries and just purchased Planet BBQ (60 countries).

                                              2. re: pikawicca
                                                Gio RE: pikawicca Jun 17, 2012 05:31 AM

                                                I do agree with you, Pika, and have made similar statements many times. Like JoanN I've never stopped cooking from FWAD. I have Mighty Spice so feel I can always cook a couple of recipes if that book wins. My focus in July will be on seafood and vegetables no matter which the wind blows or the pages turn..

                                                1. re: Gio
                                                  k
                                                  Karen_Schaffer RE: Gio Jun 18, 2012 09:35 AM

                                                  I agree about it being a shame to revisit when we only get 12 months of choices. Though I also understand the desire to have the whole group focused on a revisited book. You get more discussion going that way, rather than sporadic posts that may not get read or responded to for months (if ever).

                                                  Pairing a revisit with a new book would be my preference for the future. What about declaring both Fish and Mighty Spice to be the COTM for July? Neither of them are all that large, and it will give our menus more variety. (Not that I manage to cook more than once or twice a week from COTM usually, but I still like the choice.)

                                                  So I'll cast my vote for a COMBINED MONTH of FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT and MIGHTY SPICE. (But L. Nightshade, you can feel free to ignore this vote since it's not really playing by the rules.)

                                                  1. re: Karen_Schaffer
                                                    g
                                                    greeneggsnham RE: Karen_Schaffer Jun 18, 2012 09:50 AM

                                                    I would be very happy with a combined month, as well. Although I fear perhaps we are too far along in the process to have that happen. I guess regardless of whichever wins, there are always the old COTM threads or the Cooking from Mighty Spice Thread to make a "combined month" possible unofficially!

                                                    1. re: greeneggsnham
                                                      blue room RE: greeneggsnham Jun 18, 2012 10:58 AM

                                                      A combined month would eliminate the need for a vote at all this month. The 2 books have both already "won".

                                                      Maybe it would make sense to dissolve COTM as it is, and just have Cookbook Threads that anyone could initiate or add to at any time. That would eliminate the need for a moderator, a nominating discussion, and a vote. There could be a master list of these Cookbook Threads. (All the past COTMs of course already in list.)

                                                      I personally like the idea of several people focusing on one book at a time. When it is 2 books I then have to buy or locate both, or miss out a bit.

                                                      1. re: blue room
                                                        The Dairy Queen RE: blue room Jun 18, 2012 11:02 AM

                                                        Dissolving COTM would make me cry. Just the nominating discussions alone are exceedingly valuable, not to mention the actual cooking and reporting.

                                                        ~TDQ

                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                          blue room RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 18, 2012 11:15 AM

                                                          Yes, the nominating is my favorite part. Then the vote is so exciting.

                                                          1. re: blue room
                                                            The Dairy Queen RE: blue room Jun 18, 2012 11:20 AM

                                                            Funny!

                                                            Even when I don't have time to cook from cookbooks, I enjoy discussing them, or reading what the rest of you have to say about them!

                                                            ~TDQ

                                                        2. re: blue room
                                                          s
                                                          smtucker RE: blue room Jun 18, 2012 11:40 AM

                                                          Sorry blue. I really don't like this idea. In fact, I don't understand how this discussion has devolved to this suggestion.

                                                          I really love COTM. And I love it just the way it is. I see no reason for committees, caucuses, or any other major changes. If one doesn't like the selected book or has a month of vacation, it is possible to step away and dive in at the next nomination thread.

                                                          The sheer democracy of the selection process is really refreshing. I have learned so much from the nomination threads.

                                                          1. re: smtucker
                                                            The Dairy Queen RE: smtucker Jun 18, 2012 11:57 AM

                                                            Really, it's kind of healthy for the COTM process for people to take time away on occasion to explore other cookbooks. That way, we've got some informed opinions about which books we should be cooking from in the future!

                                                            There are some things about the COTM process I wish were different, but overall I've learned that it works pretty well as is. The books chosen seem to reflect the personality and interest of those partipating. When we get a new wave of participants, the COTM morphs to fit them, and that's okay. It continues to evolve.

                                                            As long as I'm being pushed to try new books, learning, eating well, and feeling the support and cameraderie of my fellow 'hounds, all's well.

                                                            ~TDQ

                                                            1. re: smtucker
                                                              blue room RE: smtucker Jun 18, 2012 01:37 PM

                                                              No, I don't like the idea either! I just see it going that way. Such strong feelings both ways about re-visiting. This month already there's a "post-mortem" for the month's book (do the rest of us keep cooking from a book deemed too flawed to cook from?) "Companion threads" are now the norm -- were there companion threads before last year? It doesn't seem like COTM is evolving, but dissolving on its own. Everyone doing his own thing.
                                                              Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, just upsets my sense of order. Haha democracy is messy.

                                                              1. re: blue room
                                                                s
                                                                smtucker RE: blue room Jun 18, 2012 01:45 PM

                                                                :: passing you a virtual towel with lavender water ::

                                                                1. re: blue room
                                                                  The Dairy Queen RE: blue room Jun 18, 2012 01:56 PM

                                                                  Eh, strong feelings are nothing new for this group. The first "companion" thread (we called it an adjunct thread) I remember was for Indian month Sahni/Jaffrey, that was back in 2009. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/658817#5096767

                                                                  And, it's not unheard of for people to bail out of a book before the end of the month if they aren't happy with it, although, I don't remember if is customary to do an actual post mortem for it ... More likely it was just a short mention buried deep in one of the threads saying, "I'm not having luck with this book, I'm cutting my losses and moving on." I personally did that with Glorious Foods of Greece as well as the Olive and the Caper. Believe it or not, I also did it for Dunlop because I was trying to lose weight and Dunlop was taking me in the opposite direction with my weight.
                                                                  .
                                                                  The first revisit I remember was December 2008 (Lucques and Zuni).

                                                                  Honestly, this kinds of debate happens pretty regularly for COTM. Also, I do think people tend to wander off in summer as people are distracted by vacations and good weather etc. Also, around the holidays.

                                                                  I'll link to a classic discussion on COTM procedures. Lots of the same discussion with very little resolution. Here it is: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/529619 This thread was before our first revisit, so that wasn't a topic of discussion, but you get the idea of the kind of passion and subjects that have been contentious over the years.

                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                    JoanN RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 18, 2012 02:05 PM

                                                                    Too lazy to go look for them, but during the first year or two we used to have separate threads that were essentially, "So, how's it working for you?" Should it be every month, every other month? Should it be only one book? You may not believe it, but very early on there was even some discussion as to whether or not the moderator should make the decision. Also very early on, the moderator would toss out a handful of suggestions and those were the books that were voted on. As many have said, it's evolved in the way participants wanted it to evolve and changed as people have dropped out and new participants joined. That's not to say that some things can't or shouldn't change, but in essence we make our preferences known with our nominations and votes.

                                                                    1. re: JoanN
                                                                      The Dairy Queen RE: JoanN Jun 18, 2012 05:51 PM

                                                                      Wow, I never knew the history. I only wish I'd been in from the beginning. You guys cooked from some true classics in the beginning!

                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                        JoanN RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 18, 2012 06:19 PM

                                                                        Some of those books were fairly new when we first cooked from them. That was the point. Trying to search out what would be the new classics. I think the focus of COTM has changed somewhat since then. There seems now to be more enthusiasm for books that will supply tasty, speedy, preferably healthy, weeknight dinners. Books such as Sunday Suppers at Lucques would, I'd guess, be seen as too complicated, too time consuming. I'd love to see books such as Ad Hoc at Home as COTM, but I don't think it would be chosen today. COTM has changed focus somewhat. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but the choices are based on different criteria.

                                                                        1. re: JoanN
                                                                          pikawicca RE: JoanN Jun 18, 2012 06:42 PM

                                                                          Sorry to rain on your parade, but I spent one afternoon with "Ad Hoc at Home" and regifted it to Candy. I love SSaL. I'd be interested to know what recipes from AHaH you tried and loved.

                                                                          1. re: pikawicca
                                                                            JoanN RE: pikawicca Jun 18, 2012 06:51 PM

                                                                            I've only made two recipes from the book so far. Both the Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb and the Buttermilk Fried Chicken were the best I've ever had.

                                                                            1. re: JoanN
                                                                              The Dairy Queen RE: JoanN Jun 18, 2012 07:52 PM

                                                                              We made some grilled ribs from AHaH that were fantastic.

                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                              1. re: JoanN
                                                                                d
                                                                                dkennedy RE: JoanN Jun 18, 2012 08:08 PM

                                                                                I agree, the fried chicken recipe is outstanding.

                                                                            2. re: JoanN
                                                                              The Dairy Queen RE: JoanN Jun 18, 2012 08:17 PM

                                                                              Interesting the "tomorrow classics" idea. I always think of Hazan, Julia Child, Edna Lewis when I think of that first year, but then again there's Goin and Alford and Duguid, and Roden's Arabesque.

                                                                              I've noticed the recent trend towards weeknight cooking type books, too, and find it an interesting development. Mostly I'm surprised by my own lukewarm enthusiasm. Those are the books I really need, but am less drawn to. I think I like the idea of having my fellow hounds to lean on for advice when tackling something really complicated is what appeals to me most about COTM. That and getting a good insight into a cuisine or culture.

                                                                              Everyday cooking is more of a chore and it just doesn't call to me, even though I obviously need to get a meal on the table every night. And by the time I get around to reporting on a recipe or two, everyone else has already reported on that and a dozen others. I'm a tortoise in this race.

                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                        2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                          blue room RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 18, 2012 02:42 PM

                                                                          Okay, I read that thread from 2008. I loved this from you:
                                                                          "Personally, for me, I like the structure COTM provides around my own cooking efforts. If there's not going to be some consistency and predictability in the way the process works, then I find it too frustrating. But, that's probably just me."
                                                                          Between that quote and smtucker's anxiety-absorbing lavender, a better attitude.

                                                                          1. re: blue room
                                                                            The Dairy Queen RE: blue room Jun 18, 2012 05:53 PM

                                                                            I'm glad my rare moment of lucidity (nd smtucker's lavender) was helpful to you... :)

                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                        3. re: blue room
                                                                          k
                                                                          Karen_Schaffer RE: blue room Jun 18, 2012 02:07 PM

                                                                          I think of the companion threads as an expansion of COTM, a proof of success! Not a sign of demise, imho.

                                                                          There have been several books chosen that haven't captured my interest, as well as ones I've adored. I mostly keep quiet about the ones I haven't cared for, and I'm certainly never going to flounce off in a huff because the book I favor wasn't chosen.

                                                                          If the book chosen isn't available through my library, I might quietly note that that's why I'm not participating (although mostly I don't say anything). I also feel for our non-U.S. members who can't always get copies of the books and sympathize with their desire to point that out occasionally.

                                                                          1. re: Karen_Schaffer
                                                                            blue room RE: Karen_Schaffer Jun 20, 2012 08:41 AM

                                                                            Karen_Schaffer, I see in an old thread (2010) you said:

                                                                            "I've been thinking more and more about starting "Cooking the Book: (name of book)" type threads myself. There are so many books out there and so few months in a year to choose them as COTM."

                                                                            I mentioned this kind of system yesterday, and people jumped to the defense of COTM as it is!
                                                                            I do understand why.

                                                                            1. re: blue room
                                                                              k
                                                                              Karen_Schaffer RE: blue room Jun 20, 2012 09:01 AM

                                                                              I think the difference is that you suggested dissolving COTM in favor of separate threads, hence the jump to defend it. I was simply talking about threads like the ones on Mighty Spice that other folks already do. I certainly think there's room for both.

                                                                              But I never have started such a thread, have I? Hmm, maybe I'll remedy that.

                                                                              1. re: Karen_Schaffer
                                                                                Blythe spirit RE: Karen_Schaffer Jun 20, 2012 09:04 AM

                                                                                Just out of curiosity, what books would be your top picks?

                                                                                1. re: Blythe spirit
                                                                                  k
                                                                                  Karen_Schaffer RE: Blythe spirit Jun 20, 2012 11:15 AM

                                                                                  Vegetables Every Day by Jack Bishop is definitely a top one that I already cook from. I have several favorites from it and would love more people to know about it. Also to a lesser extent, his book Pasta e Verdure -- I mostly take the veg ideas and skip the pasta.

                                                                                  Then I have lots of books that I've acquired because they looked good, yet haven't cooked from the much (like most of us!). So if I started a thread on a book, I would be making a modest commitment to myself to try to cook from it. Salad as a Meal by Patricia Wells is definitely one, and summer is clearly the time for it. Someone gave me Mission Street Food for Christmas and I have yet to do more than flick through it. And I've always meant to explore Sheila Luken's USA Cookbook more (though I find the red, white, & blue text very offputting, a triumph of concept over usability.)

                                                                                  1. re: Karen_Schaffer
                                                                                    blue room RE: Karen_Schaffer Jun 20, 2012 11:28 AM

                                                                                    ye gods, red, white and blue text -- what color is the paper?
                                                                                    It's funny how a COTM book can lose in a close vote, leading you to believe it will be back next month, but is never heard from again. Those books would be good candidates for Cooking the Book threads.
                                                                                    I might try to start some interest for "Asian Dumplings" again. It made a few sparks recently but then fizzled.

                                                                                    1. re: blue room
                                                                                      Allegra_K RE: blue room Jun 20, 2012 12:45 PM

                                                                                      I'd be all over that Asian Dumplings thread. Last year I made a whole pile of recipes from it, with very good results and a freezer full of goodies enough for several dim sum evenings. Would not be unhappy with the prospect of doing that again! There are many more recipes that I would like to try.

                                                                                      1. re: Allegra_K
                                                                                        s
                                                                                        sarahcooks RE: Allegra_K Jun 20, 2012 04:38 PM

                                                                                        I think it'd be better as a stand alone thread rather than COTM because dumplings are pretty big projects and it might be hard to get lots of people making them in the same month. But if there were a thread to share tips and results on an ongoing basis, that might be more useful.

                                                                                        1. re: sarahcooks
                                                                                          JoanN RE: sarahcooks Jun 20, 2012 05:24 PM

                                                                                          No question you're right that dumplings are big projects, but I believe that's exactly why it's a perfect candidate for COTM. Some of our most successful months have been when we've all pulled together to learn from each other cooking dishes outside our comfort zone. Much as I enjoy cooking from a book such as "Essential NYT," other than a few reports of superb results for recipes I might not have considered, I really don't feel I need a community to help me explore it.

                                                                                          Although my preference is nearly always for a single title, this is one instance (“Lobster Without a Doubt” would be another) where I feel two books could work well together: one with more challenging recipes or less readily available ingredients, the companion book more accessible.

                                                                                          1. re: JoanN
                                                                                            Blythe spirit RE: JoanN Jun 20, 2012 05:37 PM

                                                                                            Agreed - JoanN-
                                                                                            Asian dumplings sounds delicious but I wonder at the effects on my silhouette - of Asian dumpling - eating for a whole month :-) )

                                                                                            1. re: Blythe spirit
                                                                                              JoanN RE: Blythe spirit Jun 20, 2012 05:46 PM

                                                                                              Much as I love "Sunday Supper at Lucques," I wouldn't want to eat those meals for an entire month, either.

                                                                                              1. re: Blythe spirit
                                                                                                herby RE: Blythe spirit Jun 20, 2012 06:43 PM

                                                                                                Some Asian dumplings are very low-cal - rice paper/steamed/seafood inside. others, like samosas, could be hefty.

                                                                                              2. re: JoanN
                                                                                                blue room RE: JoanN Jun 20, 2012 05:49 PM

                                                                                                I remember a thread (maybe it's still going!) about caneles (especially nice fluted & cylindrical French pastries -- okay, life-changing goodies).
                                                                                                That was very focused. But this book takes in at least 7 different cultures' versions of dumplings. "Dumpling" a real broad term here.

                                                                                                1. re: blue room
                                                                                                  JoanN RE: blue room Jun 20, 2012 05:59 PM

                                                                                                  Absolutely! But I didn't think that mentioning spring rolls, samosas, and turnovers was the best way to further my argument. ;-)

                                                                                                  1. re: blue room
                                                                                                    Blythe spirit RE: blue room Jun 20, 2012 06:39 PM

                                                                                                    Well that does sound more varied than the title suggests.

                                                                                            2. re: blue room
                                                                                              k
                                                                                              Karen_Schaffer RE: blue room Jun 20, 2012 02:25 PM

                                                                                              Okay, I pulled the USA Cookbook off the shelf, and to be fair, it's not as bad as I remembered it. The text is mostly dark blue on white paper, with red used as ornamentation, no panels of red or blue with white text. All I can say is that the first time I pulled it off the shelf in a bookstore, I was appalled and quickly shoved it back on the shelf, so that's the memory that lingers. Years later I picked up this copy used. Maybe the first one I looked at really was worse?

                                                                                              Although I've just now looked through the poulty and fish chapters and have hardly found any recipes that appeal. Guess it goes back on the shelf for a while.

                                                                                              1. re: blue room
                                                                                                herby RE: blue room Jun 20, 2012 04:33 PM

                                                                                                I would love tocookfrom Asian Dumplings and Asian Tofu. Do not have either book, supported nomination for both and would happily buy one or both if you start the thread. I always prefer threads that are focused on one book but if both are chosen in a thread, it isgoing to stop me from participating:)

                                                                                                1. re: herby
                                                                                                  blue room RE: herby Jun 20, 2012 05:26 PM

                                                                                                  To those who would like an "Asian Dumplings" by Andrea Nguyen thread, I'm just beginning to read it. I plan to be even more enthusiastic after I've finished it and will put up a dedicated thread. (Unless one appears before then. I love that thought too.)
                                                                                                  It's just a skill I've wanted for years--dumpling proficiency. Practical, huh?
                                                                                                  According to one review, it's written in "admirably lurid detail" oh, wait--that's *lucid* detail :)
                                                                                                  Here's her blog: http://www.vietworldkitchen.com/

                                                                                                  1. re: blue room
                                                                                                    blue room RE: blue room Jun 22, 2012 10:55 AM

                                                                                                    A thread for "Asian Dumplings" is now here
                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8552...

                                                                                                  2. re: herby
                                                                                                    BigSal RE: herby Jun 20, 2012 06:51 PM

                                                                                                    If everything goes as planned, I will try making Nguyen's version of tofu this weekend. I'll report back on it if/when I do.

                                                                                                    1. re: BigSal
                                                                                                      herby RE: BigSal Jun 20, 2012 07:16 PM

                                                                                                      I would love to hear about your experience!

                                                                                                      1. re: BigSal
                                                                                                        BigSal RE: BigSal Jun 23, 2012 06:36 PM

                                                                                                        Silken Tofu from Asian Tofu by Andrea Nguyen

                                                                                                        This was not my first time making tofu, but it was my first time making silken tofu. At first blush, the recipe seems daunting, but it really isn’t. Ms. Nguyen does a great job at very thoroughly describing the process. You can also spread this out over several days so it is not as time consuming.

                                                                                                        The first step is to soak the soybeans (I did this a couple days in advance) in spring water. The beans are then ground up in a blender with spring water (the quality of the water is important in tofu making). The mixture is then cooked until it foams and then you strain the lees (okara) from the liquid. I once tried this using cheesecloth and it was a disaster. The okara wasn't kept separate from the milk. Very frustrating. I am now using butter muslin.

                                                                                                        The strained liquid is soy milk (this can be refrigerated for a few days until you are ready to make the tofu). Gypsum (I found this at a local home brewer store) and water is added to the soy milk. The mixture is poured into a container (I used ramekins) and steamed until cooked. The tofu is cooled and then refrigerated for several hours.

                                                                                                        This was quite simple to make- easier than the block tofu- a good one to start with.

                                                                                                        I used this tofu to make Fuchsia Dunlop’s silken tofu and avocado. The texture of the tofu was velvety smooth and delicate. I will use it in hiya yakko next. I also made the block tofu, but haven’t tasted it yet. I’ll report back when I do. Looking forward to trying more recipes from the book.

                                                                                                        1. re: BigSal
                                                                                                          BigSal RE: BigSal Jun 24, 2012 10:39 AM

                                                                                                          Block Tofu from Asian Tofu by Andrea Nguyen

                                                                                                          The process is similar to Silken Tofu, but you make a light soy milk (uses more water). I’ve attempted block tofu a few times, but with mixed results (tofu was too soft and fell apart or the tofu never coagulated). I’m happy to say that this was my most successful effort.

                                                                                                          One makes soy milk and then adds a coagulant (liquid nigari) to the heated milk (I used a thermometer). When the curds form, you place them into the mold and press. My only regret is that I only used 6 oz of soybeans instead of 12. I wanted a thicker block of tofu than what I made. In reading through the book again, in an earlier section, Ms. Nguyen recommends 12 oz of tofu for those using the wooden mold.

                                                                                                          The tofu had a wonderfully pure taste and gorgeous texture (momen tofu-style). I ate this with the dipping sauce from Fuchsia Dunlop’s avocado and silken tofu (wasabi, light soy, water and sesame oil) and hiya-yakko (chilled tofu with minced green onions, grated ginger, katsuobushi and a touch of soy). Both were very good. I will definitely make this again when I want to enjoy pure tofu flavor. My husband isn’t much of a tofu eater, but I plan on making some to eat with my mom when she comes to visit in August.

                                                                                                          Although both the block and silken tofu were delicious, my personal preference is for the block tofu, because it is what I grew up eating, but you can't go on with either recipe. I made more soy milk this morning. I plan to make tofu pudding (yose dofu) and tofu skin (yuba) next.

                                                                                                          1. re: BigSal
                                                                                                            q
                                                                                                            qianning RE: BigSal Jun 24, 2012 01:51 PM

                                                                                                            Wow, I am impressed. Your notes, especially on the cheesecloth vs butter muslin are totally confirming what we thought the last time we tried to make Shan Tohu. Have since bought better straining cloth, but haven't tried the recipe again yet. The last attempt was such a fail that I need to build up courage.

                                                                                                            I don't have the book, but I looked at the index on Amazon, so I'm pretty sure the answer is "no", but if you have a chance would you let me know if she has a recipe for Shan (burmese) Tohu? it is "Tofu" made from chickpeas not soy.

                                                                                                            1. re: qianning
                                                                                                              BigSal RE: qianning Jun 24, 2012 02:23 PM

                                                                                                              qianning, There is no recipe for Shan Tohu, but I'm curious to learn more about it. Is the process of making it the same as soy tofu? How does one eat it?

                                                                                                              1. re: BigSal
                                                                                                                q
                                                                                                                qianning RE: BigSal Jun 24, 2012 05:06 PM

                                                                                                                The process is more like the one you described for making silken tofu. But in truth we've tried several recipes (verbal from a friend, from a book on Shan cooking, and one from the web that so far is the most promising) but our technique still needs lots of work, so I'm hardly one to comment.

                                                                                                                Here's a wikipedia entry on the subject
                                                                                                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burmese_...

                                                                                                                Mr. QN strenuously objects to the "Burmese tofu" title, "It should be titled Burmese Tohu!" says he.

                                                                                                                Anyway, it is eaten as the base for a mixed salad, and also deep fried (Burmese version of agedshi tofu, if you will). It has a richer nuttier flavor than soy tofu, and a deep golden color, and a smooth texture similar to a soft soy beancurd, that develops a crisp crust with an almost pastry cream smooth/soft center when deep fried.

                                                                                                                1. re: qianning
                                                                                                                  BigSal RE: qianning Jun 24, 2012 06:48 PM

                                                                                                                  Sounds delicious. I'll have to see if I can try some soon.

                                                                                                  3. re: Karen_Schaffer
                                                                                                    Blythe spirit RE: Karen_Schaffer Jun 20, 2012 12:49 PM

                                                                                                    Ohhh the books that look good that haven't been cooked from... Isn't that the truth. That could be a separate thread unto itself for me :-).

                                                                                                    1. re: Karen_Schaffer
                                                                                                      herby RE: Karen_Schaffer Jun 20, 2012 04:30 PM

                                                                                                      I took Jack Bishop's book out of thelibrary at someone's suggestion (Karen's?) and it did not speak to me; the same with Tender but Vegetable Love was so appealing that I ordered it from Abe's (used) - it is on the way to me and I cann't wait:)

                                                                                                      1. re: herby
                                                                                                        r
                                                                                                        Rella RE: herby Jun 20, 2012 06:18 PM

                                                                                                        Same here with Jack Bishop's Italian Vegetables, if that is the one you are speaking of. It is focused, but looking thru Vegetable Love, it is so comprehensive, I would recommend it for everyone's shelf - if vegetables are not their love, perhaps they will grown into loving them from this book.

                                                                                                        I have a number of vegetarian theme cookbooks, but one could probably keep right on track very easily with just two books, Bittman's Vegetarian and Vegetable love.

                                                                                                        1. re: Rella
                                                                                                          herby RE: Rella Jun 20, 2012 06:48 PM

                                                                                                          What about Victory Garden - have you cooked from it? It has been my go-to for years. I think that Vegetable Love will share the go-to status with Victory Gargen:)

                                                                                                          1. re: herby
                                                                                                            r
                                                                                                            Rella RE: herby Jun 20, 2012 06:58 PM

                                                                                                            If this is the book
                                                                                                            http://www.amazon.com/Victory-Garden-...

                                                                                                            You know, I can hardly remember anything, except buying it about 1988 (yep, I can remember the year because we were living on an island off Seattle, and watching PBS Victory Garden and DH was doing the first-time gardening thing in an overcast June.

                                                                                                            But the book has long gone by the wayside, and I don't even see The Victory Garden on our shelves any longer. My, though, how time flies.

                                                                                                            1. re: Rella
                                                                                                              herby RE: Rella Jun 20, 2012 07:19 PM

                                                                                                              Yes, Rella, this is the book. I acquired it at about the same time as you but hanged onto it and enjoyed cooking from it - it never failed me and I had some fabulous meals from this one and her Fish and Vegetables.

                                                                                                              1. re: herby
                                                                                                                r
                                                                                                                Rella RE: herby Jun 21, 2012 11:28 AM

                                                                                                                Yes, I wonder where my book is now :-)))

                                                                                                      2. re: Karen_Schaffer
                                                                                                        Breadcrumbs RE: Karen_Schaffer Jun 20, 2012 05:03 PM

                                                                                                        Oh a big YES to Mission Street Food Karen! I was so excited by this book when I first looked through it at Christmas then I tidied up, put it on the shelf and I'd forgotten all about it! Thanks for the reminder.

                                                                                                        I've been pleased w any dishes I've made from Jack Bishop's books too.

                                                                                                        As for the USA Cookbook, I've made 2 recipes and both have been great.

                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                                          L.Nightshade RE: Breadcrumbs Jun 20, 2012 05:10 PM

                                                                                                          I'd love to get into Mission Street Food. I was a little surprised when I got it, how few recipes there are (I think fewer than 50), but I don't know why I didn't plunge into those few recipes.

                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                            Breadcrumbs RE: L.Nightshade Jun 20, 2012 05:22 PM

                                                                                                            I know LN, I remember thinking the same thing at the time. With a few of us cooking from it we'd likely have it covered in no time.

                                                                                2. blue room RE: L.Nightshade Jun 16, 2012 10:41 PM

                                                                                  Even in an informal group with an informal process there should be some understanding that is IS a group, and it IS a process.
                                                                                  If you nominate, you're narrowing everybody's choices. Ditto if you vote. Seems fair at that point to abide by the outcome, make an effort, etc.

                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: blue room
                                                                                    The Dairy Queen RE: blue room Jun 17, 2012 07:46 AM

                                                                                    I agree with everything but your last sentence. I really only expect people to make an effort to cook from a book they nominated and/or voted for. If your chosen book loses, I think you need a good sport about it (of course) and maybe try a recipe or two for the spirit of it, but I don't think you need to subject your family, your pocketbook and your waistline to cooking from a book that doesn't interest you. Maybe you have religious or other dietary restrictions. Maybe your husband just won't eat X cuisine for 4 weeks in a row... Maybe you live in a region where you have limited access to ingredients for reasons of climate or whatever. Maybe you hate fish (or spice). Maybe you can't get a copy of the book through your library and you're on a budget and/or are selective about your purchases. Maybe the chosen book is too complicated for you. Maybe the recipes are more time-consuming than your schedule permits. Maybe you already know and dislike this particular book/author/cuisine.

                                                                                    I think requiring everyone to cook from whatever book is chosen is too much. If you don't want to cook from the book that wins, it's okay to quietly wander off and do your own thing for a month.

                                                                                    COTM is not supposed to be a forced death-march.

                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                      blue room RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 17, 2012 09:18 AM

                                                                                      "If your chosen book loses, I think you need a good sport about it (of course) and maybe try a recipe or two for the spirit of it..." --Yes, that is abiding by the outcome and making an effort.

                                                                                      Of course circumstances will affect plans, but in general a nomination and/or a vote means "OK, I'll play." Doesn't it?
                                                                                      No amount of cooking from another book will detract from the value of the current COTM, of course. But I enjoy order and purpose (most delicious meals benefit from them!)
                                                                                      There is a poster here on Chowhound "ipsedixit" -- ipsedixit states "...recipes are a serious impediment to the skills of the homecook." So opinions differ, no news there. (Haha I think "ipse dixit" is Latin for "because I said so".)
                                                                                      Death-march? no no no Just minimal Golden Rule-type cooperation among strangers.

                                                                                      1. re: blue room
                                                                                        The Dairy Queen RE: blue room Jun 17, 2012 09:39 AM

                                                                                        You know, I completely understand where you're coming from, but I think if we put too many requirements and obligations on the participants, then casual participants and newcomers may feel less inclined to participate for fear of not being able to live up to expectations. It took me a long time to dip my toe into COTM for that very reason.

                                                                                        I'd rather have it be less intense than that. Let people float in and out as they can and have interest. Even one post from someone in a month is helpful.

                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                      2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                        lilham RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 17, 2012 11:28 AM

                                                                                        Well said TDQ. I wont vote for a fish book because I don't cook fish much. To me spicy food is all year round, and summer definitely doesn't say fish to me. I see bbqs, salads, icecreams instead.

                                                                                      3. re: blue room
                                                                                        r
                                                                                        Rella RE: blue room Jun 17, 2012 07:46 AM

                                                                                        I may not abide, but I will accept the outcome.

                                                                                        Re, "if you nominate, you're narrowing everybody's choices."
                                                                                        I feel sometimes for that reason, I should not nominate.

                                                                                        "Ditto, if you vote." IOW "you're narrowing everybody's choices."
                                                                                        I feel sometimes for that reason, I should not vote on the nominations, as in July's two books, I will not be contributing - well, maybe a fish or two :-))

                                                                                        I, as a member of a nominating group and voting group, do not want to be responsible for narrowing anyone's choice(s).

                                                                                        1. re: Rella
                                                                                          blue room RE: Rella Jun 17, 2012 09:27 AM

                                                                                          Yes, I think most COTM posters feel this way-- "as a member of a ...group..."
                                                                                          I'm certainly no outstanding cook or COTM contribution icon! But I do root in my heart for my book when participating. Others must do the same for their choices, so it's nice to respect that.

                                                                                      4. Goblin RE: L.Nightshade Jun 17, 2012 05:02 AM

                                                                                        FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT. Just because it's summer and it feels right to cook a whole lotta fish! I like the recipes I've skimmed and the genial and relaxed tone of the writing.

                                                                                        I'm a newbie to the protocol of reporting on a new Chowhound thread about a book that also has its own previous thread. Does the moderator create a link on each one, referring to the other thread, so cooks can refer back and forth?

                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Goblin
                                                                                          Gio RE: Goblin Jun 17, 2012 05:24 AM

                                                                                          Historically, when we revisit a former COTM participants post in the original thread from waybackwhen...

                                                                                          1. re: Gio
                                                                                            Breadcrumbs RE: Gio Jun 17, 2012 05:32 AM

                                                                                            That makes good sense Gio, then we can take advantage of the reviews and info already recorded. If this does get picked, I think we'll see a lot of new dishes made though because last go round this was selected for March whereas now folks will likely have an interest in the grilled dishes, salads, burgers and other casual fare.

                                                                                            Goblin I totally agree w you about the writing style in the book. This book is easily as good to read as it is to cook from.

                                                                                          2. re: Goblin
                                                                                            JoanN RE: Goblin Jun 17, 2012 05:32 AM

                                                                                            It seems to be the agreed upon preference that in the case of a revisit, people should add to the already existing threads. It makes sense to keep all reviews of a single recipe in a single place so we can all benefit from each others' experience.

                                                                                            1. re: JoanN
                                                                                              d
                                                                                              dkennedy RE: JoanN Jun 17, 2012 06:20 AM

                                                                                              FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT (and Lobster at Home).

                                                                                              Like Goblin said above, a fish-centric month just feels right during summer. I am looking forward to discovering this book for the first tile.

                                                                                          3. BigSal RE: L.Nightshade Jun 17, 2012 01:58 PM

                                                                                            FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT, but it's a win-win either way. I'd love to cook along with an adjunct veggie/farmer's market book (I have Veggie Love) as suggested by Breadcrumbs.

                                                                                            1. g
                                                                                              grubstreet RE: L.Nightshade Jun 17, 2012 03:31 PM

                                                                                              I've been lurking on these boards for quite a while, but I'd like to vote for Fish Without a Doubt. I'd like to improve my repertoire of fish dishes (and my fish-loathing daughter will be away in July, so it's a good opportunity). I live in NZ, so some of the recipes won't work for me (no good fresh prawns here, ever), but it looks like the book has a good range of recipes, with many suggestions for substitutions.

                                                                                              Looking forward to playing!

                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: grubstreet
                                                                                                Breadcrumbs RE: grubstreet Jun 17, 2012 03:46 PM

                                                                                                Hi grubstreet and welcome to our virtual kitchen...looking forward to cooking with you. FYI, in order for your vote to count, it needs to be in block capitals.

                                                                                                1. re: grubstreet
                                                                                                  herby RE: grubstreet Jun 17, 2012 03:53 PM

                                                                                                  Grubstreet, you need to put the name of the book you are voting for in CAPS to make it count:)

                                                                                                  1. re: herby
                                                                                                    g
                                                                                                    grubstreet RE: herby Jun 17, 2012 04:31 PM

                                                                                                    Thanks for the welcome, and sorry for the newbie mistake. I vote for FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT.

                                                                                                  2. re: grubstreet
                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                    smtucker RE: grubstreet Jun 17, 2012 05:03 PM

                                                                                                    Grubstreet- Welcome! You will find Fish Without a Doubt to be a book that offers numerous options for every single recipe. As good as the recipes are, and they are good, it also offers techniques for cooking fish and shellfish that are transferrable to any sea creature. So read the prawn recipes, and grab the sauce components for a fish you can get.

                                                                                                    1. re: smtucker
                                                                                                      d
                                                                                                      dkennedy RE: smtucker Jun 17, 2012 08:18 PM

                                                                                                      Hi Grubstreet! I don't think we have any other COTMers from NZ, so yours will be a new and welcome perspective.

                                                                                                      1. re: dkennedy
                                                                                                        g
                                                                                                        grubstreet RE: dkennedy Jun 17, 2012 08:30 PM

                                                                                                        Thanks, @dkennedy and @smtucker! There are always challenges when cooking from North American cookbooks here, since produce availability is much more seasonal that it is in the States (where I'm from originally). But I think I've become a more creative cook as a result of the constraints.

                                                                                                        1. re: grubstreet
                                                                                                          Goblin RE: grubstreet Jun 18, 2012 04:51 AM

                                                                                                          Let me add my welcome to you, Grubstreet, and I really look forward to your participation from New Zealand! That's one of the fun things about cooking from a COTM with Chowhounds who hail from diverse cooking-locations--we all get to hear about using different ingredients and possible substitutions, which only makes reading the recipe-reports more interesting, IMHO. Kinda like enjoying mini culinary-travelogues! ;-)

                                                                                                    2. re: grubstreet
                                                                                                      Gio RE: grubstreet Jun 18, 2012 05:40 AM

                                                                                                      Welcome to You, Grubstreet. As I type this it's 12:38 AM,Tuesday, June 19, 2012 in your little corner of the world. It's going to be fun having you with us in, as Breadcrumbs said, "our virtual kitchen."

                                                                                                      1. re: grubstreet
                                                                                                        j
                                                                                                        JaneEYB RE: grubstreet Jun 18, 2012 07:31 AM

                                                                                                        Welcome grubstreet - and lucky you to have all the wonderful fish and seafood you have there. My sister lives in Auckland so I have visited quite often. I have exactly the same reason as you for choosing FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT since my fish-hating daughter is away at camp for July.

                                                                                                        As someone who flits in and out of COTM, depending on my interest in the book, I was interested in the discussion here. I find that COTM is a good way for me to focus on one book as the rest of the time I tend to move between different books, which with my huge collection is easy to do. And COTM does sometimes take me outside my comfort zone, as with this month's book. But I'm not good at reading past threads or remembering to post reviews there which I should get into doing, . With time limitations, once a COTM is past, it is usually lost to me.

                                                                                                        Because I only joined COTM a couple of years ago, what some members are calling a revisit, will be a first time visit for me, and I suspect for many other COTM posters. I appreciate that it is annoying to have a repeat when there are so many great cookbooks out there to be explored but for all members who joined in since March 2009, Fish Without a Doubt will be a first-time visit. In fact I just had to buy it today (I know, shock horror, a cookbook I don't own). So even if it isn't chosen I plan to cook from it next month and I promise to post my reviews to the old thread.

                                                                                                      2. Gio RE: L.Nightshade Jun 17, 2012 11:42 PM

                                                                                                        Casting my proxy vote for LulusMom:

                                                                                                        MIGHTY SPICE

                                                                                                        1. g
                                                                                                          greeneggsnham RE: L.Nightshade Jun 18, 2012 09:51 AM

                                                                                                          I will be very happy whichever book wins. And to be honest, I don't know which one I would prefer having cooking 0 recipes from both. So I will abstain from voting, since I'm sure there are those with strong feelings on both sides. Looking forward to fun in July!

                                                                                                          1. s
                                                                                                            smtucker RE: L.Nightshade Jun 18, 2012 09:56 AM

                                                                                                            FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT

                                                                                                            p.s.
                                                                                                            I had really hoped that this book would be coupled with a primarily vegetable book. If I created a thread to "vote" on a non-COTM vegetable book, would others join in? Just more fun when we work from the same book.

                                                                                                            28 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: smtucker
                                                                                                              The Dairy Queen RE: smtucker Jun 18, 2012 10:01 AM

                                                                                                              In another thread, Gio mentioned she'd be cooking from Tender alongside FWAD in July and JoanN liked that idea. Would you want to cook from Tender, which would be another re-visit, or something new?

                                                                                                              I do like the idea of cooking from Tender as we'll hit different vegetables in July compared to when we did Tender in September...

                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                smtucker RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 18, 2012 10:03 AM

                                                                                                                Not a bad idea. I remembered something about Vegetable Love which I don't think was a COTM. I will take a look and see if my library has Tender in stock.

                                                                                                                1. re: smtucker
                                                                                                                  The Dairy Queen RE: smtucker Jun 18, 2012 10:06 AM

                                                                                                                  Vegetable Love has never been a COTM... I own it and sometimes cook from it.

                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                    r
                                                                                                                    Rella RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 18, 2012 06:51 PM

                                                                                                                    I picked up Vegetable Love today as a result of a mention here on Chowhound. As someone said, the discussion around nominating and voting is informative, too (and he/she probably said exciting, I agree!) Definitely, I just wouldn't have looked at this book twice, and still haven't had time to look inside it - nor FWAD.

                                                                                                                    However, too, I would've never known about Fish Without A Doubt had it not been for this COTM, and found myself today taking pics of all the fish at the market that was available for any recipes that might come up this month in FWAD if it were selected. I've been in that market quite a few times and see people buying, buying, buying. I just can't stand the site of whole fish under ice (I've been to the Tokyo market early morning, too and loved it.)

                                                                                                                    I don't know, but I wonder if any nomination I've ever made, made it to the voting, or to a run-off - I can't remember except I do remember being disappointed a few times. But it doesn't matter one way or another in the long run.

                                                                                                                    This COTM in its present form, is fine with me; however, I'm not a longtime subscriber. I can jump in or opt out, but enjoy the posts no matter what.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Rella
                                                                                                                      The Dairy Queen RE: Rella Jun 18, 2012 07:50 PM

                                                                                                                      I agree with your point that it doesn't matter in the long run. Eventually, the great books will be chosen. And in the meantime, I am pushed to explore some great books. When I first started COTM I would be really disappointed if my book didn't win, but now I'm just happy to be along for the ride.

                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                  2. re: smtucker
                                                                                                                    The Dairy Queen RE: smtucker Jun 18, 2012 11:03 AM

                                                                                                                    Here's a link to that comment of Gio's about Tender and JoanN's reply to it: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8541...

                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                      r
                                                                                                                      Rella RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 18, 2012 06:56 PM

                                                                                                                      Thanks for the link. I enjoyed the conversation.

                                                                                                                2. re: smtucker
                                                                                                                  Breadcrumbs RE: smtucker Jun 18, 2012 10:44 AM

                                                                                                                  Agreed smtucker and I'd happily participate. FYI, I'd suggested Vegetable Love.

                                                                                                                  1. re: smtucker
                                                                                                                    herby RE: smtucker Jun 18, 2012 11:35 AM

                                                                                                                    I am in! Tender and Veg Love are available at the library - I will take them out and will let you know if I have a strong preference.

                                                                                                                    1. re: herby
                                                                                                                      The Dairy Queen RE: herby Jun 18, 2012 12:11 PM

                                                                                                                      I'll be interested to see what you think. I own them both, but have only ever cooked from VL, albeit not extensively.

                                                                                                                      I was just too swamped to cook from Tender when it was COTM.

                                                                                                                      VL is a very encyclopedic and useful book, but I've never made anything from there that was really crave-worthy or wow'd me. It's a great resource, though, when you're stumped on what do with a vegetable. It seems like it has a ton more recipes than Tender.

                                                                                                                      On the other hand, I find Tender a little hard to dip into. It's huge, but doesn't feel as useful as VL from that comprehensive/encyclopedia perspective. But, it's one of Gio's "10 Essential" cookbooks.

                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                        d
                                                                                                                        dkennedy RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 18, 2012 03:18 PM

                                                                                                                        Wow, the discussion has become rather heated above. I have mixed feeling about re-visits but quite honestly any complaints I may have about how and which books are chosen are far outweighed by the benefit I derive from my getting to participate in COTM. I would be devastated if COTM disbanded, so please find a way to agree to disagree.

                                                                                                                        On another note, re coupling FWOAD with a veggie book, there was also discussion re pairing it with Raising the Salad Bar. At the risk of raising another controversy, maybe we could have an all inclusive vegetable adjunct thread so we could all cook from our various veggie books.

                                                                                                                        1. re: dkennedy
                                                                                                                          pikawicca RE: dkennedy Jun 18, 2012 03:39 PM

                                                                                                                          Very unusual for a HC thread to become "heated" (unlike some other boards that will remain nameless). I don't like it. COTM is one of the most brilliant aspects of CH, even if I don't always like the chosen books or cook along (who does?) As others have mentioned, the nominating threads are invaluable, and have led me to purchase many great cookbooks that never went on to become a COTM. It ain't broke, folks, so don't try to fix it.

                                                                                                                          1. re: dkennedy
                                                                                                                            Blythe spirit RE: dkennedy Jun 19, 2012 02:01 PM

                                                                                                                            I am not actually voting this month - due to the fact that I may not be able to participate as much I'd like - but I am hoping very much that I will be able.
                                                                                                                            It has been so much fun to participate in COTM ( I'm relatively new). There were many books from the last few years I didn't own, would never have considered buying etc. So having missed out (especially on the gems) I actually like the idea of revisits, but can see where others do not. Thank you to those who recently explained a little of the history on how contentious this has been in the past. Honestly, I had no idea.
                                                                                                                            BTW, an adjunct all-inclusive vege thread is a great idea as it sounds like everyone has personal favorites when it comes to vegetable cookbooks.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Blythe spirit
                                                                                                                              The Dairy Queen RE: Blythe spirit Jun 19, 2012 02:05 PM

                                                                                                                              You know, I regret using the word "contentious." Perhaps "the subject of healthy and passionate debate" would be a better way to describe it... Really, as far as I recall (which means back as far as Feb 2008--there are people who go back two years even earlier than that...), it's always been pretty friendly, even when folks have disagreed...

                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                                Blythe spirit RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 19, 2012 02:35 PM

                                                                                                                                TDQ,
                                                                                                                                I'm glad you did use the word , because I was a bit bewildered by some of the initial feedback, and am glad to know the history on the issue - and that we're all still friendly at the end of the day :-)

                                                                                                                                1. re: Blythe spirit
                                                                                                                                  Caitlin McGrath RE: Blythe spirit Jun 19, 2012 02:50 PM

                                                                                                                                  I'm not assuming that you (or anyone) wants to read a whole other long thread debating the preferred future of COTM, but this one from a couple of years ago is further evidence that it's something that keeps coming up as things ebb and flow and develop over time: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/700819

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                    Blythe spirit RE: Caitlin McGrath Jun 19, 2012 05:16 PM

                                                                                                                                    Thanks Caitlin. It was actually an interesting and enlightening read ( haven't finished the whole thing yet). And - wow- issues discussed sounded like they could have been posted this last week!

                                                                                                                          2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                            herby RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 18, 2012 04:34 PM

                                                                                                                            I got the Tender out of library tonight (Veg Love is at the other branch and I will be there tomorrow night for a book club meeting) and at a first glance I am not too taken in. I have one of Slater's earlier books and though I looked through many times over the years, I was never inspired to cook - never made a single dish! A curious fact: in the library system there is one copy of Tender and 13 of Veg Love:)

                                                                                                                            My go-to veg book is Victory Garden. It is like an chatty encyclopedia:) It talk about growing, buying, storing, cooking and pairing individual vegetables in alpha order. Do you have it, DQ? Have you used it? Everything I made from it was either good or outstanding.

                                                                                                                            1. re: herby
                                                                                                                              The Dairy Queen RE: herby Jun 18, 2012 05:12 PM

                                                                                                                              I have the same problem getting drawn into Tender. I know I really need to give it a chance one of these days because people do think really highly of it.

                                                                                                                              I have heard a lot about the Victory Garden book. I keep hoping to stumble on a used copy on of these days but people must hang onto theirs or something. Your recommendation renews my interest in this book. Good or outstanding sounds pretty good! Have you seen the 40th anniversary edition of it?

                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                                herby RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 18, 2012 06:32 PM

                                                                                                                                I have not seen the 40th addition - mine is old but in good shape. I also have Fish and Vegetables and like their fish recipes (i.e. crab cakes) but prefer VG for vegetables. Just looked on Abe and VG is about $17 including shipping.

                                                                                                                              2. re: herby
                                                                                                                                jen kalb RE: herby Jun 18, 2012 07:16 PM

                                                                                                                                I have never seen a veg book (except maybe Plenty) that inspired me. Id rather cook veg dishes from my italian, spanish, middle-eastern, indian and asian books - most veg focussed books just lack the seasoning that for me brings vegetables to life.

                                                                                                                          3. re: smtucker
                                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                                            smtucker RE: smtucker Jun 18, 2012 04:52 PM

                                                                                                                            My nature is pretty non-confrontational, and I am feeling uncomfortable with my own suggestion. We have had some wonderful vegetable cookery books as COTM's in the past. Plenty, Ottolenghi, Olive & Caper, Slater, all of the Indian books, etc... plus Fish has quite a few. So, I will add to existing threads, and pull all those books to the front of the shelves.

                                                                                                                            For me, this will be a new way to approach COTM books, and it is rather exciting.

                                                                                                                            1. re: smtucker
                                                                                                                              The Dairy Queen RE: smtucker Jun 18, 2012 05:55 PM

                                                                                                                              That's kind of a fun idea!

                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                              1. re: smtucker
                                                                                                                                Breadcrumbs RE: smtucker Jun 18, 2012 06:29 PM

                                                                                                                                I'm totally flexible. I'll also throw out there that last year I started a thread about cooking from the Farmer's Markets as a place to share my experiences cooking from non-COTM books and to learn whats other folks had on their tables. We shared some delicious meals there and I have some recent dishes to post. I've now made 4 dishes from a new book called The Farm and they've all been great and another book I've enjoyed cooking from is Eating Local by Janet Fletcher. Tomorrow I'm making my second meal from Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes and hope for better results than I did from the first. I'd love to hear about everyones current favourite books and dishes. FYI, I also shared a link in there to a thread about favourite seasonal books (which resulted in a few purchases...oh the shock!!)
                                                                                                                                ; - )

                                                                                                                                Here's the link to that thread in case anyone wants to join in that discussion:

                                                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7995...

                                                                                                                                1. re: smtucker
                                                                                                                                  herby RE: smtucker Jun 18, 2012 06:55 PM

                                                                                                                                  The first week of July I will be cooking on an island in Georgian Bay with one very basic shop for four adults (one is gluten intolerent) and two boys - 4 & 6. Further on in July I will have access to farms, fresh produce. I will be cooking for the same group minus one adult and plus one 6-YO for a part of a week. Fish is not going to be on the menu often but vegies will be for sure; as well as BBQ.

                                                                                                                                  This is why I really want to find new and fun veg book to cook from. I still love Victory Garden, Molly Katzen books, Complete Vegetarian by C. Solomon (the best spicy potatoes I ever made!), Vegetarian Epicure, Plenty and probably other ones that I cann't recall just now.

                                                                                                                                  Hopefully, Tender will inspire me once I cook from it and I intend to push myself to do it:)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: herby
                                                                                                                                    Breadcrumbs RE: herby Jun 19, 2012 05:33 AM

                                                                                                                                    Herby you might want to take a look at Jane Rodmell's wonderful summer weekends/cottage life books. She owns the fabulous All The Best Fine Foods store in Toronto. Her recipes are reliable, practical and inspired.

                                                                                                                                    http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library#q...

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                                                                      herby RE: Breadcrumbs Jun 19, 2012 11:10 AM

                                                                                                                                      These books look very interesting and I never heard about Jane Rodmell - is she Canadian? BC, if I am to buy one book, which one would you suggest? Too bad they are not indexed but not many people have them.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: herby
                                                                                                                                        Breadcrumbs RE: herby Jun 20, 2012 06:45 AM

                                                                                                                                        Yes herby she's Cdn & owns that shop I mentioned up-thread. As for which book, for the cottage and summer generally I'd go w her Best Summer Weekends - on sale @. Amazon.ca btw:

                                                                                                                                        http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/Best-Summer-Weekends-Cookbook-Jane-Rodmell/9780969692249-item.html?ikwid=jane+rodmell&ikwsec=Home

                                                                                                                                        ETA: Amazon link!

                                                                                                                                        http://www.amazon.ca/Best-Summer-Week...

                                                                                                                              2. jen kalb RE: L.Nightshade Jun 18, 2012 12:32 PM

                                                                                                                                FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT. Mighty Spice is not available in my library system.

                                                                                                                                35 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: jen kalb
                                                                                                                                  r
                                                                                                                                  Rella RE: jen kalb Jun 18, 2012 07:02 PM

                                                                                                                                  Funny that Mighty Spice is not available here in my library system, but I can see the recipes on EYB.

                                                                                                                                  Also, there are not Nigel Slater books, nor any Gordon Ramsay books - not that I am looking for any Ramsay books; but. I'm trying to understand this; is there some connection? :-)))

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Rella
                                                                                                                                    herby RE: Rella Jun 18, 2012 07:14 PM

                                                                                                                                    Rella, my understanding is that the libraries in the US have a power to buy the books they have chosen; sometimes the boards impose buyind decisions on them but mostly they have free hand as long as they stay within the budget. This is why different libraries will have different books. The exchange between librarries is also restricted for the new books - a library can keep and not share a new purchase for six months!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rella
                                                                                                                                      jen kalb RE: Rella Jun 18, 2012 07:17 PM

                                                                                                                                      they are all English books....have a limited audience here so far

                                                                                                                                      1. re: jen kalb
                                                                                                                                        r
                                                                                                                                        Rella RE: jen kalb Jun 18, 2012 07:38 PM

                                                                                                                                        I'm not quite sure what you mean - they are all English chef/cooks? But there are plenty of other English chefs, but I can't come up with their names at the moment, that they probably have - Nigella is one of them, that I think of right away. I know that there are cook book authors - all of Hazan's of another country. I'm trying to understand why the English cokbooks would be of less interest.

                                                                                                                                        Is it perhaps - sort of like - Irish Cooking books/authors or - just don't quite understand. I'm stuttering, I know.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rella
                                                                                                                                          herby RE: Rella Jun 18, 2012 07:50 PM

                                                                                                                                          I know the director of the local library here in NY state - she makes all buying decisions. When I recently complemented her on the library cookbook section (which is very good and considering the size of the community it is serving, could be rated excellent) she replied that she recalls buying particular books but never cooked from them.

                                                                                                                                          I am thinking about starting a cookbook-something event at the library to raise awareness of cookbooks, farmers markets, and different cuisines, maybe once a month - maybe a "healthy cooking club"?.

                                                                                                                                          Another one I want to start is teaching people on limited income to cook whole foods. A friend volunteers at a church that runs a food pantry and people won't take beans, rice, etc. Very sad...

                                                                                                                                          I know this is not the right place to ask, but do any of you have ideas how to teach poor people to eat well? Do you think I should start a thread?

                                                                                                                                          I am also very disturbed by the number of poor elders in the NYC and my inability to right the situation - there are days in the city when I just want to go home... Not that we do not have the same issues at home; it is on so much smaller scale that one can completely miss it if not paying close attention...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: herby
                                                                                                                                            The Dairy Queen RE: herby Jun 18, 2012 08:08 PM

                                                                                                                                            Your food pantry quest reminds me of this story I read awhile back: http://www.oregonlive.com/foodday/ind...

                                                                                                                                            L. Nightshade, I hope you'll be able to count our votes. without too much difficulty.
                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                                              herby RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 19, 2012 02:49 PM

                                                                                                                                              I replied before - where did it go?! Many thanks, DQ! Great article that I forwarded to my friend. All recipes are on the web - a bit too many ingredients but would be interesting to try and see how they taste.

                                                                                                                                              My children's house where I am right now, came with many books including a couple of handwritten notebooks of recipes most likely by the lady of the house. I should look through them again because she was very focused on economy according to some notes among recipes. And I remember that many recipes had short list of ingredients.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: herby
                                                                                                                                                The Dairy Queen RE: herby Jun 19, 2012 04:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                Oh how neat to "inherit" hand-written recipes like that!

                                                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                            2. re: herby
                                                                                                                                              k
                                                                                                                                              Karen_Schaffer RE: herby Jun 18, 2012 09:31 PM

                                                                                                                                              Herby, I think that would be a very interesting thread to read. Surely there must be others doing work along those lines.

                                                                                                                                              One possible idea for the food bank might be to give out recipes with the 'problem' ingredients. If it would allowed, it would be great if someone actually cooked up a batch and served samples, a la Costco. Although that will only work for the folks who have enough cooking skills to follow a recipe.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Karen_Schaffer
                                                                                                                                                herby RE: Karen_Schaffer Jun 19, 2012 10:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                Great idea, Karen! The recipes need to be simple, affortable without too many ingredients/spices. I will talk with my friend about it and will gladly cook up a batch if allowed. I am now thinking that we could put together a kit - say a bag of beans, a can of tomatoes, a spice pack or whatever.

                                                                                                                                                Your idea reminded me that there were a couple of threads about cooking on a super tight budget - I will search for them.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: herby
                                                                                                                                                  k
                                                                                                                                                  Karen_Schaffer RE: herby Jun 19, 2012 01:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Glad it helped! I don't want to get too off topic here, but if you start a thread, I'll be happy to post some more thoughts. I think there are more factors than just budget at play here -- skills, time, energy, quantity, habits, culture, and probably more.

                                                                                                                                            3. re: Rella
                                                                                                                                              jen kalb RE: Rella Jun 18, 2012 08:11 PM

                                                                                                                                              some English cooks have become TV personalities (Jamie, Nigella, etc) but not all are as well known here but to some degree the US and UK cookbook publishing worlds seem to be parallel universes. metric is one issue but its more than that, just in terms of different culture, visibility and availabliity.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: jen kalb
                                                                                                                                                r
                                                                                                                                                Rella RE: jen kalb Jun 18, 2012 08:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                I am being semi-serious, but still jokingly, I continue to think of English cooking as just a cut above boiled bacon and those half-raw eggs in the porcelain cups and not much further adventurous than a 'pudding' or two. Actually I didn't care much for Jamie, just seeing him off and on with his play friends in some sort of apartment, until I bought a season of DVD's and found I actually liked what he had to say. etc. etc. etc.

                                                                                                                                                I suppose I am one of the people who have a bias, too. However, no objection to metric. I can do that - got calculator.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Rella
                                                                                                                                                  greedygirl RE: Rella Jun 19, 2012 07:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                  English cooking has evolved so much. I have just been to France for a couple of days but honestly, I've eaten much better recently in England.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                                                                                    r
                                                                                                                                                    Rella RE: greedygirl Jun 19, 2012 08:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                    I don't know where I read it - maybe a day or two ago - an recent article re French food of late not being that good, as far as preparation, I believe might have been a main objection.

                                                                                                                                                    I would've posted it, but lately I've been trying to keep away from articles that may seem confrontive to others, when they are not meant to be.
                                                                                                                                                    Maybe someone did post it already.

                                                                                                                                                    When I was in France, decades, and our tastes were not at all refined in any way, we ate in places we were just 'walking by.' But at that time, we weren't impressed - we had been living in San Francisco, might have been a problem ==

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                                                                                      lilham RE: greedygirl Jun 19, 2012 08:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                      My only experience eating in Paris have been really great. Just simple things like baguettes, cheese, etc. London is very good too. But outside of London, in local pubs and tea rooms, there are many places where all the choices are dreadful. My OH and I have at times struggled to find anything acceptable to eat. Often we ended up at a pub where nothing seemed to be seasoned. For example, my most recent one was a steak sandwich which was literally two pieces of white bread, butter, and pieces of beef. I'd expect some mustard or chutney at least.

                                                                                                                                                      Edit: And jacket potatoes with heniz baked beans are a common sight too.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Rella
                                                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                                                      sarahcooks RE: Rella Jun 19, 2012 10:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                      I never liked "young Jamie" but I really really like him now. Watch Jamie at Home on youtube and tell me you aren't impressed!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sarahcooks
                                                                                                                                                        r
                                                                                                                                                        Rella RE: sarahcooks Jun 19, 2012 11:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Jamie really turned me around with this set of DVD's "Jamie Oliver's Food Escapes"
                                                                                                                                                        sort of like the old days of Floyd's adventures wtthout the 'high' adventure of Floyd.

                                                                                                                                                        Disc 1. Andalucia (Spain)- In Adalucia Jamie joins trainee bullfighters practicing in Spain's oldest bull ring and cooks paella for the whole village.

                                                                                                                                                        Disc 2. Midi-Pyrenees (France)- In the Midi-Pyrenees Jamie goes truffle-hunting with a pig and boar hunting with dogs.

                                                                                                                                                        Disc 3. Stockholm (Sweden)- It's off to Stokholm where Jamie tries to avoid skinny dipping at a traditional crayfish party.

                                                                                                                                                        Disc 4. Marrakesh (Morocco)- In Marrakesh, Jamie explores the alleyways of the old Medina and the wildly exotic Djemaa el Fna square as he dodges snake charmers and tooth sellers to try out the street food of the city.

                                                                                                                                                        Disc 5. Venice (Italy)- Venice sees Jamie going off the tourist track to meet aristocrats in a palazzo and the lady prisoners who are growing vegetables behind bars in Giudecca.

                                                                                                                                                        Disc 6. Athens (Greece)- In Athens Jamie tries his hand at spear fishing and meets bee keepers with plenty of stories to tell.

                                                                                                                                                        Actually, the description doesn't do justice to the programs. In these episodes, Jamie came across as someone a bit humble learning cusines and skills in other countries. DH and I both really enjoyed it, not being a fan of his previously.

                                                                                                                                                        P.S. I just looked at the price on Amazon and it's between $15-16.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rella
                                                                                                                                                          lilham RE: Rella Jun 19, 2012 12:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Have you seen his 30min meals? I think it's his best show. He's just so enthusiastic, and it's one of the few tv shows that actually inspired me to cook many of the dishes from the series.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lilham
                                                                                                                                                            The Dairy Queen RE: lilham Jun 19, 2012 01:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Which channel airs 30 minute meals in the US?

                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                                                              herby RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 19, 2012 02:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                              I've seen it on the Foodnetwork channel in Canada - must be the same in the US.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: herby
                                                                                                                                                                The Dairy Queen RE: herby Jun 19, 2012 04:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                I'll have to poke around for them!

                                                                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                                                                  herby RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 22, 2012 05:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I found this:
                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.foodnetwork.com/jamie-at-h...

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: lilham
                                                                                                                                                              r
                                                                                                                                                              Rella RE: lilham Jun 19, 2012 01:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                              No, I've not seen it. I don't have TV any longer, and I looked for it in DVD's, but it is not there yet - if ever. Hopefully someday.

                                                                                                                                                              However, I just now looked at youtube and there are quite a few segments of 4+/- to satisfy me for now.

                                                                                                                                                              Thanks so much.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Rella
                                                                                                                                                                lilham RE: Rella Jun 19, 2012 02:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                TDQ, I am in the UK, and it's on TV here maybe a year or two ago. There are a lot of episodes, and was on for 30min every day for a few weeks. I thought it'd be aired in the US too since it was so very popular here. The accompanying book is still a top 10 cookbook on amazon.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: lilham
                                                                                                                                                                  The Dairy Queen RE: lilham Jun 19, 2012 02:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I've got the book (US version). Never seen the show (any version)!

                                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                                                                    lilham RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 19, 2012 02:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    I wonder if you can see the online catchup episides outside the UK. I'm thinking not as they would want to sell those DVDs!

                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.channel4.com/programmes/ja...

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lilham
                                                                                                                                                                      r
                                                                                                                                                                      Rella RE: lilham Jun 19, 2012 03:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      I'd buy -
                                                                                                                                                                      As I said above, I've not seen any for sale. Too bad.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                                                                      sarahcooks RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 19, 2012 07:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      I can't imagine making one of the meals without seeing the show! It so helps to see how he does it. There are a bunch of episodes available on youtube. For the time being anyway. The book is #1 on my list of cookbooks I want to buy.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sarahcooks
                                                                                                                                                                        The Dairy Queen RE: sarahcooks Jun 20, 2012 03:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        I'll tell you, the recipes in the book are pretty complex in the sense that it seems you have to do the complete meal or choose a different book, but i all looks pretty intimidating. I should probably watch youtube.

                                                                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                                                                          lilham RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 20, 2012 04:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          I usually skip the pudding. It's quite easy to skip some of the steps, and it'll make more sense if you have seen the show. I know there aren't any timing on how long to simmer or roast something, but it's easy to tell if you just apply some common sense. It also makes the whole thing less hectic if you skip a dish from the meal.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lilham
                                                                                                                                                                            The Dairy Queen RE: lilham Jun 20, 2012 05:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            Good to know! I, too, would want to skip the pudding. We don't need pudding most days... Just on special occasions.

                                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                                                                                            sarahcooks RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 20, 2012 10:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            I made the mustard chicken meal very successfully - about 35 minutes after I got everything I needed out. I burnt my hands twice, one really badly, so next time I'd do it in 40 minutes and skip the burns :)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sarahcooks
                                                                                                                                                                              The Dairy Queen RE: sarahcooks Jun 20, 2012 10:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              Sorry about the burns, but thanks for the report back! Maybe I'll start with mustard chicken! Why not?!

                                                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                                                                                sarahcooks RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 20, 2012 12:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xn4x-g...

                                                                                                                                                                                Just remember the skillet you put in the oven will have a very hot handle after you take it out and you should be fine. I used strong cocoa for the dessert instead of coffee.

                                                                                                                                                2. q
                                                                                                                                                  qianning RE: L.Nightshade Jun 19, 2012 07:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                  FWAD

                                                                                                                                                  And, fwiw, for me a successful COTM is any month when I learn a little more about food, cooking, techniques, sources, authors and etc. So far whether lurking, posting, have the book/don't have the book, like the theme/don't like the theme, lots of activity on the threads/lower activity, successful cooking/out right disasters & etc, this crowd has never let me down.

                                                                                                                                                  Thanks all! (with a special hat tip to LN for corralling this month's endeavor).

                                                                                                                                                  1. greedygirl RE: L.Nightshade Jun 19, 2012 07:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                    I've just remembered we'll be in France for a week in July, staying at a friend's house with a brilliant kitchen and not far from the sea. So for that reason, and because I got a copy as a gift the other day from a wonderful Chowhounder, I'm voting for FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT.

                                                                                                                                                    1. L.Nightshade RE: L.Nightshade Jun 19, 2012 05:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Voting for the July 2012 Cookbook of the Month is now closed.
                                                                                                                                                      Stay tuned for the announcement thread.

                                                                                                                                                      Wow, are you folks ever a riley bunch!

                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                                                        smtucker RE: L.Nightshade Jun 19, 2012 05:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                        :-)

                                                                                                                                                        And you are the ring-leader! Haven't looked at the announcement yet, but your pay should be doubled this month.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: smtucker
                                                                                                                                                          r
                                                                                                                                                          Rella RE: smtucker Jun 19, 2012 07:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                          DH and I didn't look at the winner post until we bet what the winning cookbook would be.
                                                                                                                                                          We both said "Mighty Spice." I hadn't been counting, so it was a surprise.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Rella
                                                                                                                                                            The Dairy Queen RE: Rella Jun 20, 2012 04:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                            I keep a running tally and it gets very nail-bitey at times!The good news is, I'd be happy to cook from most COTMS (or guiltily not cook as the case has been recently). I own FWAD and my library has MS. I try to keep in mind that no matter which book wins, the winner has been chosen by the very people whose opinions about cookbooks I most value. So, it's probably going to be a good month no matter what. We've only chosen a few duds over the years. I think the key is, as long as the chosen book is one that at least one of us has cooked from and for which that person can vouch, we'll be okay. I think the duds are when no one has really cooked from a book before and we go on reputation alone.

                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                                                              q
                                                                                                                                                              qianning RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 20, 2012 04:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                              "I think the key is, as long as the chosen book is one that at least one of us has cooked from and for which that person can vouch, we'll be okay. I think the duds are when no one has really cooked from a book before and we go on reputation alone."

                                                                                                                                                              As usual TDQ, you make a very astute point.

                                                                                                                                                      2. L.Nightshade RE: L.Nightshade Jun 19, 2012 05:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                        The announcement for the July COTM is up here:
                                                                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/854831

                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for voting everyone!

                                                                                                                                                        1. L.Nightshade RE: L.Nightshade Jul 10, 2012 07:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                          FYI, the nomination thread for August is now up here:
                                                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/857970

                                                                                                                                                          1. Father Kitchen RE: L.Nightshade Jul 11, 2012 07:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Mighty Spice

                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Father Kitchen
                                                                                                                                                              blue room RE: Father Kitchen Jul 11, 2012 08:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Father Kitchen, the voting is over for July, I'm afraid. The process for each month begins quite early (like 2 1/2 weeks ahead) so that everyone has time to acquire the book. However, the *nominations* for August have now begun. If you want to nominate a book you must put the title in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. Here is a link to August's nominating thread

                                                                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/857970
                                                                                                                                                              Also, here's a thread for people who are already cooking from Mighty Spice--
                                                                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/805269

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