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Jul 10, 2012 07:45 AM

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month Nominations are Now Open!

Welcome to the nomination thread for the August 2012 Cookbook of the Month!

This month, while you are thinking of books to nominate, also think about whether you'd like to be our next coordinator. This is the last of my six months, and therefore time for someone new to step in!

Now, on to the August nominations...

Please use this thread to discuss the merits of a book, ask questions, and nominate books you would like to see advance into the voting round. Feel free to discuss as many books as you like. When you are ready to nominate, please write the title of the book or books in ALL CAPITALS.

The nomination thread will be open until 5pm Pacific Time on Sunday, July 15 (8pm July 15th on Eastern time, and 12 midnight GMT). At that time the books with the most nominations will advance to the voting thread.

If you're new, or if you've been lurking, please join us! It's a friendly group and we have a lot of fun cooking together. To view the basics of the COTM, and to peruse the archive of books that have been covered in the past, please visit this link:

Time to bring your old and new favorites to the table and share your ideas!

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  1. Thanks LN. This is just to get the page on my radar. But, I Do have a few notions in mind. More later...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gio

      Thanks LN and echoing Gio's comments though I don't have any ideas percolating at this point.

    2. with harvesting of summer fruits and vegetables- pickles jams, etc

      FOOD IN A JAR by Marisa McClellan
      PICKLED PANTRY by Andrea Chesman
      The JOY OF PICKLING by Linda Ziedrich

      these r just 3 of the better books on subject imho
      there r several others

      1 Reply
      1. re: jpr54_1

        Food in Jars started life as a blog

        It's always nice to be able to cook along using recipes online. Not sure if there will be enough interest in canning though.

      2. I have two books to suggest:


        6 Replies
        1. re: herby

          Have you cooked from any of the Canal House books, herby? I've looked at them a number of times, but was never convinced I needed to own one. They're gorgeous, of course, as well they should be since they're written and published by a food stylist and one of the best food photographers ever, but are the recipes any good? I know a number of people who have the books, but I don't know anyone who's actually cooked from them.

          1. re: JoanN

            I own every one, but haven't cooked a single thing. In one way, that makes me want to have one as a COTM, and in another way, it doesn't.

            1. re: JoanN

              I bought one sight unseen, and returned it. Nothing that really grabbed me, and lots of recipes I have elsewhere.

              1. re: greedygirl

                The only Canal book I own is La Dolce Vita, it may be the 7th book? I bought it to add to my Italian cookbook collection. It arrived, I looked through it, put it in the dedicated Italian bookcase...and there it sits...

                1. re: greedygirl

                  I feel the same way about these books.

                2. re: JoanN

                  I have not cooked from Canal House books yet - I received them a couple of weeks ago - and definitely intend to starting with Vol 4 (farm markets). All recipes look simple with not too many ingredients - which is very attractive for the summer cooking. There are some interesting dishes that I plan to start with:

                  Tomato-cucumber water
                  Avocado-cucumber soup
                  Grilled eggplant with mint
                  Grilled duck breast with prunes and red wine
                  Tomato salad with blue cheese and anchovies

                  Berry cobler and Tuiles look yummy too and so does tomato preserve. I also like that the book is small and light, easy to carry around. I doubt it will gain enough support to become COTM but maybe some of us who have these books would like to cook together and could start a tread.

              2. Hadn't there been some talk of doing Thai or doing a grilling book? I'm new to grilling ( my Baby Q just arrived today!). I've heard great things about the Raichlen books, but not everyone that might be too specialized for a COTM.
                I just got my copy of 660 Curries, but think that might make a better cold weather COTM. Just thinking out loud... No real firm ideas yet.

                33 Replies
                1. re: Blythe spirit

                  Was Planet BBQ ever a COTM? I really-really want 660 Curries! Maybe I'll finally break down and buy it in the fall:)

                  1. re: herby

                    No, but dkennedy started a generic BBQ thread and a number of people posted reviews of recipes from Planet BBQ to that thread.


                    1. re: herby

                      I don't think Planet BBQ was ever a COTM. Yeah, I broke down and got 660 curries (along with an electric spice grinder) last month. Have not cooked anything from it yet but it is getting a lot of buzz on EYB - and looks to be quite a cooking adventure, though probably suited better to colder weather. I wonder though, if my whole place would smell like curry powder if I cooked from it for a month :-)

                      1. re: Blythe spirit

                        I took 660 Curries out of the library a few month ago and enjoyed all dishes that I made from the book. I do have several very good Indian books and do not really need another one but.... I do not think that your place will smell like curry:) I lived in India and Bangladesh for several years and local food was cooked in my apartment every single day - it did not smell like curry at all.

                        1. re: herby

                          Wow, Herby, when was it you lived in India and Bangladesh? I'd love to hear more about what that was like when you have the time. COTMers are sooooo fascinating!

                        2. re: Blythe spirit

                          Blythe spirit wrote: I wonder if my whole place would smell like curry powder if I cooked from it for a month.

                          And this is a problem because?/!!! ;+)

                          1. re: oakjoan

                            Hehehe.. Oakjoan. I love the smell of curry. Just seem to remember when I was apartment hunting in college and one of the units I looked at had been thoroughly cleaned but as soon as one walked in the place the curry smell was predominant. Looking back, it was likely an issue w/ regard to ventilation.

                        3. re: herby

                          I would love PLANET BBQ to be a COTM. I posted several reviews in the thread JoanN linked to. It's a really interesting book that covers grilling from a very international perspective. It would be good to pair it up with a vegetable book.

                          I feel like I hardly deserve a vote, since my participation has been nonexistent this month, but I think my travel schedule will be lighter next month, and a grilling book would be perfect for me.

                          1. re: MelMM

                            I am happy to get behind PLANET BBQ + vegetable book. There are lots of great vegetable books and I just ordered THE GREENS COOKBOOK.

                            1. re: herby

                              Hmmm... a grilling book paired with a vegetable book. Sounds good to me, and those who cannot/don't want to grill out-of-doors probably could use an indoor grill pan stove top or a broiler. We've done that many times with great success. I've been thinking mostly of vegetable books given the that real bounty of the season rolls in at this time of the year.

                              I have ordered and am awaiting arrival of "Mediterranean Harvest: Vegetarian Recipes from the World's Healthiest Cuisine" by Martha Rose Shulman. And, I have Planet Barbeque from which I have only cooked a few recipes. Seems to me they would go very well together. Both are compiled of food from many countries - in MH Shulman visits 14 Mediterranean countries for recipes, including Turkey, North Africa, the Balkans - and PB has already been discussed. Additionally, both are "seasonal".



                              1. re: Gio

                                The weather in the UK is epically terrible at the moment - the jet stream's stuck apparently so you've got all the heat, and we've got all the rain. Worst. Summer. Ever. So not sure about the grilling!

                                However, I'd quite like to do a book someone mentioned last month, and which I subsequently purchased, which is Raising the Salad Bar. Am having the first recipe from it for lunch, and it looks delicious (white bean and asparagus salad). Any interest?

                                1. re: greedygirl

                                  Sounds delicious, greedygirl. What is your impression of the recipes? Are the ingredients fairly accessible ? I took a quick peek on Amazon and it looks like it's gotten more than a few favorable reviews.

                                  1. re: Blythe spirit

                                    So I had a chance to look at the recipe list on EYB - and from what I could see, Raising the Salad Bar definitely has pretty standard -easy-to-find ingredients.

                                  2. re: greedygirl

                                    Why yes, I'd be interested in Raising the Salad Bar. IIRC I was interested enough last month to search it out at Amazon. Didn't do much more than that, though. I love salads and could subsist on them and almost did do when I was young and skinny... Let us know how you liked the asparagus and white beans.

                                    So far Summer here has been a bit psychotic. Hot and dry for spells then monsoon-like at other times. The environment is really suffering these days.

                                    1. re: Gio

                                      It was me that proposed Raising the Salad Bar last month - I think it's a great book. I won't be doing much cooking though in August as I'm in England for the first half of August - gg, can you please fix the weather before I arrive? But if it gets picked I will definitely cook along for the second half of the month. So I will stick my neck out and go into caps already with RAISING THE SALAD BAR.

                                      1. re: JaneEYB

                                        Don't talk to me about the weather, Jane! Off to northern France tomorrow so I hope it improves.

                                        I'll second RAISING THE SALAD BAR. The one thing I've tried (white bean and asparagus salad) was very tasty.

                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                          OK then... I'm in:
                                          RAISING THE SALAD BAR
                                          PLANET BBQ

                                        2. re: JaneEYB

                                          Jane, have you cooked many salads from this book? Some of the reviews on Amazon were less than enticing (although many were raves). My library doesn't have it, so I want to be extra careful.

                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                            Must say, I was a bit taken aback by some of those reviews myself. Luckily, though, there are two copies in our library system and one is available so I put an immediate hold on it. Hope it shows up fairly soon.

                                            1. re: JoanN

                                              I went to Amazon expecting to see very mixed reviews, but actually 39 out of 43 gave it five stars. My library doesn't have it, but it appears to be readily available through interlibrary loan. Having looked through the index on EYB (, I could get behind doing it in August. I don't (can't) grill, but there are lots of options here for main-dish salads, as well as sides. And it'll be prime produce time, of course. Just this week, one of the weekly farmers' markets I shop at relocated - to four blocks from my house. Poor me!

                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                True, but the most negative review, which basically said there's nothing new here and it just wasn't as informative or helpful as it might have been, was convincing enough to me to to not want to commit to it sight unseen. Just reserving judgment until I've had a chance to take a look at it.

                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                  That was pretty much how I felt. There were definitely a lot of raves, but I did find the more negative reviews fairly convincing. The one that commented that the dressings were often too sweet also turned me off.

                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                    Certainly true, and frankly I probably wouldn't spring for a book of salads without a test drive. (I'm not buying anything sight unseen these days, unless by a favorite author and I can't help myself - ahem, Ottolenghi's new book in two months - but that's another subject.) And I did indeed find those two negative reviews helpful. In the one you refer to, it did seem the reviewer was expecting/wanting a different sort book, but it's helpful to know what this is not, as well as that one might want to adjust the sweet and oil to taste (from the review LLM cites).

                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                      Speaking of Jersusalem, article from the LA Times. Follow the link to Ottolenghi's blog for the cover art. Notice a similarity to Dunlop in "conceptual" covers for the UK version vs. a gorgeous food photo for the U.S. version?



                                                  2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                    Caitlin: Is that the one I saw this week on Adeline near Alcatraz? Farmers' Market, I mean.

                                                    1. re: oakjoan

                                                      Joan, that's it. It's the one that was on Derby between MLK and Milvia (by the old Iceland), now moved to Adeline between 62nd and Alcatraz. Tuesdays, 2-6.

                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                        Caitlin: That's good to know. Closer to me, although there was always lots of parking at the old one on Derby.

                                                        Have you been to the new location? If so, how's the parking?

                                                        1. re: oakjoan

                                                          Belated answer, so I don't know if you've been yet, Joan, but the parking situation isn't as good in the new location because it's surrounded by busy streets and doesn't have as easy access to side streets, plus unlike in the old location, the side streets are all residential. You'll probably have to park farther away. On the upside, someone was telling me that they might have or get more vendors, because there is more space.

                                      2. re: herby

                                        herby: The Greens Cookbook (and the other Deborah Madison books) are wonderful. I have 4 of them and use them regularly. There are probably more since the last time I bought one was about 10 years ago.

                                        1. re: oakjoan

                                          The Greens Cookbook that I just ordered seem to include recipes from various chefs - hope to receive it this week and will post on "what cookbooks..." Thank you for the endorsement, Oakjoan; it is always scary to buy without examining the book first!

                                          1. re: oakjoan

                                            I've had Greens since day one, and love it. I keep thinking it will seem passé, but it always comes through. The stacked crepe cake with tomatoes; basil; zucchini; herbes de Provence; Niçoise olives; Parmesan cheese; and Gouda cheese is always a big hit. The roulades both present well and taste great, and summery. A little more hearty dish is a baked polenta layered with tomato, Fontina, and gorgonzola. Mmmm. Time to make that again soon!

                                      3. re: herby

                                        I'd love to do 660 Curries in the fall when things have settled down for me, I have a bit more time to cook and the weather's cooling down again. It's one of my favorite cookbooks and seems well suited to COTM.

                                        1. re: TxnInMtl

                                          I'd also like to 660 Curries, but not in August. To me, a book like this works better when I am not deluged by local produce. In the winter, I'm more like to buy imported produce anyway, so that's a good time to go to an Indian or Chinese grocery.

                                    2. It (logically) seems like there's a lot of interest for all-vegetable, all-salad type books. I have "The Victory Garden" which has been mentioned often. Also, a never-cooked-from "Verdura" which looks really interesting. It's by Viana La Place, and is focused on vegetables Italian style. Also never cooked from, "Vegetables in the French Style" by Roger Vergé, but that one looks a little forbidding. Also from the old Time-Life The Good Cook series, "Vegetables: Techniques and Recipes".
                                      I'm just throwing out names here -- maybe someone will be inspired and nominate a crowd pleaser.

                                      I'd still like to do "Asian Dumplings" by Andrea Nguyen, but it has a dedicated thread here already -- that may or may not make it a good COTM candidate.
                                      Heck, whatever is chosen is always fine, no?
                                      I am just a *little* tired of fish right this minute, and think an all-curry month would have the same effect? Vegetables can be paired with everything.