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Aug 15, 2012 01:13 AM

Photos of your Cook Book Shelves

Alright let's have 'em.

Here's mine, most were bought used for around $5-15.

Comments? Suggestions? Jealousies?

Some standouts for me are... From My Chateau Kitchen by Anne Willan, all the James Peterson books, All About Braising, Julie Sahni's books, Moosewood Daily Specials is awesome (what are the other good Moosewood books? Sundays is a new one for me, only made a soup from it so far), Ajanta..

Techniques of Heatlhy Cooking taught me a ton about food and cooking in general.

Oh and most useless books... Lobel's a bit because I can't afford to eat like that, Silver Spoon didn't like it much, Cooks Catalogue is a bit of a headscratcher I guess. Good to see what you might be missing in the kitchen though.

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  1. Hi Socks, oh what fun to take a peek at your cookbook shelves. I really enjoyed looking at your photos. I have a serious cookbook addiction and the bulging bookshelves to prove it! We have a number of books in common and it’s always fun to discover new books and authors.

    Some comments and questions about your books:

    Julie Sahni’s Indian books: This was a new author for me. I immediately Googled her and was really impressed with her background. I have quite a few Indian books but am always willing to consider adding to my collection. Do you get a lot of use out of these books? If so, what appeals to you about the books/recipes? If anyone is interested, here’s the author’s website:

    Green Cookbook – First book on your 3rd slide. I couldn’t make out the title of this book….

    My Vue by Shannon Bennett – This is a new-to-me book and author. Have you cooked from this book socks?

    Ajanta – I’d never heard of this book/author but reading the Amazon reviews and learning of the restaurant, I’ve added it to my Wishlist

    Recipes From America's Small Farms: Fresh Ideas For The Season's Bounty by Lori Stein and Joanne Lamb Hayes – I love produce cookbooks! Is this a good one?

    Thanks so much for sharing your photos, it was fun to look through your shelves!!

    12 Replies
    1. re: Breadcrumbs

      The Sahni book was a COTM so there are lots of recipe reviews from that month. I really like her book tremendously. She was not included in the "Great Cleanout of 2010."

      [EDITED: Here is a link ]

      1. re: smtucker

        Thanks very much smtucker, I don't know how I missed this book as a past COTM. Once I discovered the COTM's here I added all the "pre-Breadcrumbs" books to my Amazon Wishlist and somehow I must have missed this one! I never feel bad about purchasing a book when I know it's a past COTM as I know I'll use it. I have a "Historical COTM" bookmark in EYB and whenever I'm looking for a new recipe to try, I search here first.
        Thanks again for mentioning this smtucker, I've added this book to my Wishlist now!

        Please tell me more about the "Great Cleanout of 2010" ....did you document it here? I'm about to embark on a purge as well and I'd love to hear about yours.

        1. re: Breadcrumbs

          No. Didn't think it was worth a post. Basically, my adult daughter moved home last Fall to start her graduate program. I spent two weeks reorganizing the kitchen area so that we could share the space. I lost a long shelf where I stored cookbooks so I went through my titles, one by one, and eliminated books that just hadn't sparked interest for whatever reason so that the remaining books could fit comfortably on the living room shelves.

          It was a lot of work, and it was hard to give away some books that once upon a time, I had high hopes for. The net result was a friend who is thrilled to have 20 new-to-her books, and I still did all the cooking when the kid was living here. And now, 14 COTMs later, I need more shelf space.

          Funny that several of the books on Socks' list were among the books that I gave away.

          1. re: smtucker

            "....And now, 14 COTMs later, I need more shelf space." ...LOL smtucker, I know that feeling!

            I've been thinking a lot about purging some books. Some choices will be easy, EYB has helped me understand a lot more about how I choose a dish/recipe and which books I favour (or not). Other choices will be much tougher as there are many books I've purchased w high hopes but.. time is the enemy and I realize that with only so much time to cook and, long work days, the likelihood I'll prepare dishes in certain books is remote. I may post a thread as I go through the process as I'd hate to part w a treasure or, keep a dud.

          2. re: Breadcrumbs

            :: "Historical COTM" bookmark in EYB ::

            Brilliant idea which I am stealing this minute...

              1. re: SocksManly

                Eat Your Books - great way to maximize your cookbook usage and know what's in your books.


        2. re: Breadcrumbs

          Its Jill Norman 'The New Penguin Cookery Book' that is in the third slide.

          1. re: suzigirl

            Oh thanks suzigirl, much appreciated. I have one book by Jill Norman. It's The Cook's Book: Techniques and Tips from the World's Master Chefs. Some interesting info about the author from EYB:

            "Jill created the Penguin Cookery Library in the 1960s and 1970s, bringing many first-class authors to the list. She has since become a Glenfiddich trophy winner in her own right, and is a leading authority on the use of herbs and spices. She is the literary trustee of the Elizabeth David estate, and worked with Mrs David for many years."

          2. re: Breadcrumbs

            Thanks! Julie Sahni's books... I'd say her recipes are very authentic, and I like that there's many dishes I haven't found in Indian restaurants. Sometimes simple things like spicy ground beef, what was it called.. Kemi? No... Keema.. "Dry Cooked Spicy Ground Meat" in the book. Works great in many situations, like stuffing other things, or for indian flavoured tacos, etc. Also since 80% of Indians are vegetarian, I always look to their cuisine for the best vegetable preparations. A billion vegetarians over thousands of years can't lead you wrong. Absolutely an essential part of any collection.

            My Vue says "Modern French Cookery" on the frist page, first published in 2004. It's definitely high end stuff, but I love the font, there's lots of pictures, and he writes a lot of background info. I don't think I've made anything from it, but I'm happy to own it. :) The potato section alone was worth it. Mouth watering stuff. I've included some pictures.

            Ajanta I've cooked from many times, it's my go-to chicken curry book, and doesn't disappoint. They break things into "whole meals" ie a meal plan for a big dinner, maybe a curry, a rice, a bread and a dessert - based on a part of India. So there's a section for Hyderabad for example, another for Punjab, etc.

            Recipes from America's Small Farms is a good book, I bought it quite a number of years ago when I had no clue what I was doing (now I have a very small clue...) and it's come in handy many times. Lots of info on buying, storing, preparing, etc of each vegetable family, and most of the recipes are quite simple and easy to tackle. It might be too simple if you have a lot of cook books, not exactly ground breaking stuff, but I like the book.

            Glad you enjoyed, now go get your camera. ;)

            1. re: SocksManly

              Sorry forgot the pics. Here they are, 3 from My Vue, and 1 from Recipes from Small Farms


              Look at those "Pommes Soufflees" on the first page, bottom left...

              1. re: SocksManly

                Thanks for those additional photos socks!! I ended up ordering Julie Sahni's book and Cucina Simpatica. I have a very very large collection of Italian cookbooks including On Top of Spaghetti and I had totally forgotten about Cucina Simpatica. I can't wait for it to arrive...

          3. I enjoyed looking at your cookbook collection-
            I have some of the same books.

            1. SocksManly, I notice your first mention is for "From my Chateau Kitchen". Is it first for it's general gorgeous lifestyle/picture aspects, or for the actual recipes -- ? Or just a random pick?

              1 Reply
              1. re: blue room

                Bit of everything I guess. It has much more story and dialogue than most cookbooks, and I usually don't like that, but it works here. Almost every recipe in the book makes me want to eat it, the photos are gorgeous, just overall a really well executed book. Also the recipes are surprisingly approachable. Says (c) year 2000.

              2. Fun! Thank you for sharing. I'd reciprocate but a) my camera's batteries are dead and I seem to have temporarily misplaced the charger and b) it would then reveal how disorganized I am as I have cookbooks stored in 4 different rooms of the house...

                As others have noted, we have many in common. I've never cooked from my Lobel's either!

                How do you like that Cooks Illustrated Best 30 Minute Recipe? I checked it out from the library, but didn't get around to cooking from it before I had to return it.

                You're missing some of my favorite books: Dunlop's Land of Plenty and Revolutionary Chinese (though I see you have Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking) and Ottolenghi. Also, Andrea Nguyen's Into the Vietnamese Kitchen or Pham's Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table (probably just one will do.)


                1 Reply
                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  Thanks for the recommendations, I'll get some of those. The Cooks Illustrated book is good, though since I work from home it's maybe less useful to me since I do have the time to spend. Some of the tricks they give you really are useful. I'm happy to have it, but I should cook more from it.

                2. Since I've yet to realize my dream of having a room in my home dedicated to a cookbook library, I currently have cookbook shelves (and random cookbooks) strategically located throughout the house. I have a bookcase in my laundry room (just outside the kitchen) that houses whichever books I'm using at a particular time of year. At the moment, this is where I'm keeping my seasonal, farm market and single ingredient books along w books I tend to use more frequently than others. In the late fall, I'll replace the produce, farm market books w my braising, stew & soup books etc. Here are some shots of this bookcase...hopefully they're not too small to make out titles:

                  14 Replies
                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                    Well, The Barefoot Contessa has everyone beat for pretty colors, doesn't she?

                    1. re: blue room

                      So true blue room. Though not on these shelves, I also love the dust jacket of Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume. I have a book stand in my kitchen that I use when cooking so my books stay open. When not in use for cooking, I display that book as it's just so beautiful.

                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                        That IS a beautiful book. Have you cooked much from it? I've used it a lot and really enjoy what I've made so far.

                        1. re: chefathome

                          This book is a relatively new addition to my collection c-a-h so I've only admired it so far and haven't cooked anything. Funny you should ask though as I tabbed an eggplant /aleppo pepper recipe on the weekend jic I can get a nice eggplant at the market this weekend. If there are any dishes in particular you'd recommend, I'd love to hear of them if you have the time.

                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                            Of course. I have the book right here. Starting at the beginning I would recommend:

                            Suzme Rolled in Za'atar
                            Haydari - Yogurt and Feta Dip
                            Tahini, Lemon and Sumac Sauce
                            Lamb and Pistachio Kofte with Tahini and Pistachio Sauce (I dislike currants so leave those out)
                            Toasted Citrus and Nastursium Flower Aioli
                            Avocado and Sumac Whip
                            Chilled Sweet Pea and Watercress Soup with Rose Petal Cream (I used peppergrass instead of watercress as it was what was in my garden at the time) - this is the stunning photo on the cover
                            Tomato, Pomegranate and Sumac Salad with Pom. Dressing
                            Pomegranate Glazed Kebabs with Spiced Pomegranate Chutney
                            Pink Peppercorn and Cardamom Meringues with Mulberries and White Chocolate

                            They really are incredible and look and taste as great as in the pictures.

                            1. re: chefathome

                              Thank-you so much c-a-h! I've created a personal note in EYB and pasted your recommendations. I'm thinking that tomato salad might just have to go on the menu this weekend. I'll have to take a look at the recipe. Thanks again!

                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                You are more than welcome. This book is a pleasure to cook from! This food can make you very, very happy. :) ETA: I liked sumac pre this book but now love its versatility. I find this book very inspiring.

                        2. re: Breadcrumbs

                          :) when I "display" a cookbook, it pretty much always has dessert on the cover!

                      2. re: Breadcrumbs

                        You have a lot of vegetable books it seems, got a favourite?

                        1. re: SocksManly

                          My produce/farm market book collection is getting much bigger, especially over the past few years as local farmers have been growing a greater variety of vegetables. The bottom two shelves of that bookcase used to house grilling books but as you can see, my produce books have pushed those books out (only a couple left!) I'm going to see if I can convince mr bc to take photos of some of my other shelves to post here - he's a far better photographer than I am and those shelves are all longer so I'd have no idea how to capture all the books in one shot.

                          As for the veggie books, I couldn't pick one but here are a few faves:


                          Vegetable Love by Barbara Kafka
                          Smith & Hawken Gardener's Community Cookbook - Victoria Wise
                          Victory Garden Cookbook

                          Farm Market:

                          The Farm (a new favourite)
                          Santa Monica Farmer's Market Cookbook


                          Sur La Table Eating Local

                        2. re: Breadcrumbs

                          I don't know Breadcrumbs...Barefoot Contessa seems to have moved from the kitchen to more racy things, as displayed on the TV:

                          1. re: HeBrew

                            That's great HeBrew!! Too funny! Poor Jeffrey, I wonder if he was in that episode?!! ; - )

                            1. re: HeBrew

                              That's sooooo funny! Maybe it has something to do with (un)dressing the salad. :-)

                              1. re: HeBrew

                                That is a total riot. Thanks for the laugh. Breadcrumbs...I heard Jeffery co-starred.