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Nomination thread -- January 2013 Cookbook of the Month

Hello and good cheer, it's soon a new year.
(And it's 20 *thirteen*, how lucky can we get?)
Celebration and preparation = exhilaration (mostly) but please take a break from baking that cake and make instead
...a nomination.
I'd love to see a street cart / food truck book find its way here.
Or maybe something sparse and specific, like cooking with cheese, or a sauces-only book. Learn new things, eat new things.
Here is a link explaining the process which also shows all the past books http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

Everyone is invited to participate -- put your nomination(s) in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. This is also the place to discuss these nominations. Defend yours with conviction and certitude!
Nominations will be open until Saturday, December 15, at 9 pm, EST.
Thanks to all of you, and enjoy yourselves as much as possible this month!

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  1. I can't believe I get to be the first one to nominate after 7 hours!

    I'd love to do a soup book.

    THE BEST SOUPS IN THE WORLD

    300 SENSATIONAL SOUPS

    19 Replies
    1. re: pagesinthesun

      Great Idea - a soup book! I will think on this, and reply back again....

      Happy nominating!

      1. re: gingershelley

        I like a soup book too. Not sure if NEW ENGLAND SOUP FACTORY COOKBOOK by Marjorie Druker has been COTM in the past but I have a copy and have loved everything I've ever made from it. Of course I am prejudiced living in the same town where Marjorie started her restaurant. Wish my office was still on that side of town!

        1. re: Berheenia

          New England Soup has not been a COTM Beheenia. I have the book and love it too... The sides are good too.

          1. re: Gio

            You would love the restaurant . So I wrote it in caps so I guess I nominated it!

      2. re: pagesinthesun

        I've never participated in a COTM but I was planning on doing the January one, depending on the book. I like the idea of a soup book too, especially since soups are so great when it's cold.

        1. re: juliejulez

          Please do join us!

          ~TDQ

          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            I will if the book is something I can 1) afford 2) afford to buy the ingredients for :) I'm on a pretty limited budget so I tend to not be able to cook a lot of asian foods because of the extra ingredients they require, and I don't have access to an asian market....just the basic supermarkets. I couldn't even find rice wine!

            1. re: juliejulez

              You know, I understand how expensive specialized ingredients can get. A lot of authors will recommend substitutions, (sherry for shaoxing wine, that sort of thing) which can be a good way to go.

              As far as the book itself, you might consider taking the book out of your local library, if possible, to save on the expense of buying the book outright. Sometimes, if you're lucky, you might be able to pick up an affordable used copy of a book on Amazon.

              But why wait until January to jump in? The current book, How to Eat, has a good chunk of the book available via google books and lots of recipes available online. And many of the ingredients are available at your typical grocery store. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/879965

              Why not join us now?

              ~TDQ

              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                How To Eat is pretty much up my alley, I even have it on my Amazon wishlist. I haven't had the time to go sign up for a library membership when they're actually open... I just moved to this area at the beginning of summer....I know, lame excuse :) I've been enjoying reading the reviews in that thread though!

                1. re: juliejulez

                  Here's a link to How to Eat's Google book: http://books.google.com/books?id=Qni7...

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    Ohhh thank you!

                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      Thanks TDQ for encouraging JulieJ to join in. Great encouragement through helpful information!

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        Looks like I can't view the whole book, just the first part about the different sauces/dressings, and the index. I was interested in making the grilled chicken with pesto that is on page 165, as I already had chicken and pesto on my menu for Monday night. I found the ingredients list on eatyourbooks though and it just has like chicken and pesto... not a very exciting recipe most likely LOL

                        1. re: juliejulez

                          Oh bummer. I read quite a bit of it via Google books, but I suppose it was the introductory "Basics" section.

                          Do you want me to paraphrase the recipe for you?

                          ~TDQ

                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            Sure, although if it's just grilled chicken with pesto on top of it or something super simple like that I don't think I'd bother writing up a "review" of that :) I'm still somewhat of a beginner cook and even that is too easy.

                            1. re: juliejulez

                              It pretty much is that easy (which, I think, is part of the difficulty people are having with the book...)

                              Slash 4 chicken cutlets (skin on). Mix 3 tbsp bottled pesto with 5 tbsp of softened butter and press this onto both sides of chicken. Cook 10 mins, perhaps longer, each side under broiler. The pesto will darken but take care not to let it burn. She says, "Cook with a less fierce heat"--I'm not sure how one does that with a broiler...

                              ~TDQ

                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                Oye yeah, that's a bit too basic. Well, we'll see if I get the book for Christmas, it's been on my wishlist since September. If I do I'll squeeze something in before the end of the month!

                      2. re: juliejulez

                        JulieJ; I am not commenting on your not having a library card - just trying to encourage you to not let cost stop you.

                        I am on a very limited budget myself since July - most of the COTM books I have ordered through reservations from my library. Sometimes they don't have them, and the Google books help is great!

                        Please know alot of us just want to cook new things, and ideas and substitutions will be part of the fun!

                        1. re: gingershelley

                          Cool thank you! I do need to make it to the library soon as I'd like to start getting books on tape to listen on my hour long commute too. I didn't know that google books feature even existed, so that is super helpful!

            2. My goodness, this was IMPOSSIBLE to find. I was even looking for it.

              I would love to consider Stir, or any Thai or Cambodian cookbook this month. I need a new and exciting cuisine, which COTM does so very well.

              15 Replies
              1. re: smtucker

                <"I need a new and exciting cuisine, which COTM does so very well.">

                Me too. That is if I can cope with this horrible redesign. I like the Charles Phan "Vietnamese Home Cooking". Another I'd be interested in is "The Big Book of Noodles: Over 100 Delicious Recipes from China, Japan, and Southeast Asia" by Vatcharin Bhumichitr.

                http://www.amazon.com/Vietnamese-Home...

                http://www.amazon.com/Big-Book-Noodle...

                1. re: Gio

                  Those both sound delicious!

                  (P.S. posting in this thread right now in case I can't find it again. Still getting used to the new software...)

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: Gio

                    I'd love to cook from the Phan book, but I do worry that it is too soon. That Big Book of Noodles one sounds fantastic. No problem eating noodles every night in this house!

                    1. re: LulusMom

                      I'd like to cook from Phan too, but have the same concern. I'd also love to cook from Burma (and I assume it's too soon for that one too).

                    2. re: Gio

                      Oh Gio. I've been SO good about not buying new cookbooks and you know what I just did? I clicked into that link for the Big book of noodles and ... bought it.

                      1. re: LulusMom

                        HA! Now you are practically required to nominate it. Not in my library, alas, but super cheap used on Amazon!

                        ~TDQ

                        1. re: LulusMom

                          LOL LLM... I have made a pledge Not to buy any cookbooks in Dec. We've been so inundated by repairs & replacements lately that I can't even buy a shoe lace right now. I haven't cooked anything from the book yet so I need the push.

                          THE BIG BOOK OF NOODLES by Vatcharin Bhumichitr

                          1. re: Gio

                            Guess I better do the same. THE BIG BOOK OF NOODLES by V. Bhumichitr.

                            PS - been insanity around here too, with me waiting around the house for some different repair man every day. What on earth is going on?

                            1. re: LulusMom

                              If it wins I plan to augment it with another Asian book for sides...but IIRC he includes those as well. I'll check later as it's not yet indexed on EYB. (Hello, Jane, are you there?).

                              In my case it's that we live in a 112 y/o money pit.

                              1. re: Gio

                                Ours turned 80 this year. But there really wasn't any excuse for the washing machine. Or the alarm system. We won't even talk about the snake ...

                                1. re: Gio

                                  Checked the Noodle Book and No, there are no side dishes. The Noodles seem to be a stand alone dish, as far as I can tell. Although, the recipes are chock-full of ingredients, most fairly easily procured.

                              2. re: Gio

                                I'll get on board with THE BIG BOOK OF NOODLES too. Have had it for a while and not used it much.

                            2. re: Gio

                              This redesign is going to take some getting used to for sure. I feel adrift even though I speak the language.

                              Both of those books looks wonderful. So do the Thompson books.

                              1. re: Gio

                                My library doesn't have a copy of The Big Book of Noodles, and I just came across (and passed by) the very same in a thrift shop, darn it! But a book all about Asian noodles sounds positively wonderful.

                                I have "The Noodle Shop Cookbook" by Jackie Passmore, which is in a similar fashion, but haven't cooked anything out of it....anyone have experience with this one?

                                1. re: Gio

                                  THE BIG BOOK OF NOODLES sounds great! I have 2 of Vatcharin Bhumichitr's books and his recipes always turn out really well.

                              2. I lost track of this thread myself for a while! We'll get used to the changes soon, I'm sure.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: blue room

                                  I took me ages to find how to reply on the phone! The reply arrows are hidden until you tap on a post.

                                2. I'd like an excuse to buy Charles Phan Vietnamese Home Cooking. I've heard nothin but raves on this board. Will it be too new to be considered?

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: lilham

                                    My guess is that it is too new, but then again a bunch of us may have gotten it for Christmas/holidays, etc. I just checked, and my library doesn't have it yet (and it doesn't seem to be on order either).

                                  2. No nominations yet. Among the books I'm excited about for this year are Jerusalem, Burma and the new Fuchsia Dunlop once the U.S. edition comes out. I thought the Diana Henry proposed for last month (plenty) looked good too. I'm going back to work next month though so I'm not sure how much I'll be able to participate.

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: Westminstress

                                      I know "Burma" is new, but I think quite a few of us already have it (or will be getting it for X'mas?). Show of hands?

                                      1. re: JoanN

                                        Yup, I've got it.

                                        According to Amazon, Burma came out on Sept 25. The Charles Phan book was released on the same date.

                                        1. re: MelMM

                                          Didn't realize the Phan book was that new. I have too many new books I haven't cooked from yet so I'm selfishly going to nominate one I do have.

                                          BURMA

                                        2. re: JoanN

                                          i caved and bought it.

                                          1. re: qianning

                                            I'd rather get the Phan or Hakka book for Christmas, though my arm is easily twistable...

                                            ~TDQ

                                          2. re: JoanN

                                            It is a happy addition to my collection as well.

                                            Last month someone had suggested doing a pairing of Burma with The Elephant Walk Cookbook.....I'd be on board for that one, too.

                                            1. re: JoanN

                                              I don't have it, but had a library copy for a month & cooked a few dishes. I liked the food well enough, but nothing really jumped out and wowed me, and my family was divided about the things I did cook so I don't think I would buy it. My daughter's occupational therapist has gone home to Thailand for a month to visit her family & promised to try and bring me back some tua nao, and if she does, I'll request the book from the library again and give it another go.

                                          3. My first choice would be "The Hakka Cookbook", but I think that's too new, and maybe too arcane. So second choice would be these two as a combo:

                                            "THAI IN MINUTES: OVER 120 INSPIRATIONAL RECIPES"by Vatcharin Bhumichitr.

                                            AND

                                            "THAI FOOD" by David Thompson

                                            16 Replies
                                            1. re: qianning

                                              Yes! THAI FOOD. Oh I've been longing for a Thai month for ages and January seems the perfect month for warming and spicy tropical dishes....how accessible is Bhumichitr's books, or McDermott's?

                                              1. re: Allegra_K

                                                I think Bhumichitr's are pretty approachable, but the only one I've really cooked from is the Thai in Minutes; a good mix of recipes, relatively quick, but not too dumbed down. I think it would make a great counter-point to "Thai Food". But there are probably other combinations of books out there that would make sense too.

                                                1. re: qianning

                                                  Okay, so my library has "Gourmet Thai in Minutes and "Stylish Thai in Minutes" by the same author.....presuming these are different that the one you speak of?
                                                  Oh, and btw, I would also totally be on board w/ The Hakka Cookbook.....

                                                  1. re: Allegra_K

                                                    hmmm, I don't know! The one I am referring to has an ISBN of 1592232787 and was published in 2004...it looks like he has several others with similar titles, no idea if they are different books or re-works. If I remember correctly, several others on this board also have some of his books....could well be that another one is a better choice.

                                                    1. re: qianning

                                                      "Stylish Thai in Minutes" from 2004, I've found out, is the UK title of the same book...so I'll check it out. Definitely want a Thai month, and agree about having a pair, preferably with Thompson's work.

                                                2. re: Allegra_K

                                                  I would like to do a Thai month too, but I'm not going to nominate any specific books because I'm having terrible luck with my COTMs that I order cheaply on ABE taking forever to arrive -- I'm still waiting for How to Eat, and my Union Square book arrived about two days before the end of November... so I'll wait and see who the frontrunners are and keep my fingers crossed that the book will be in my local library! I notice we do have lots of Vatcharin Bhumichitr cookbooks so any of those would work for me.

                                                  1. re: geekmom

                                                    I posted a link to HTE's google book above... in case that tides you over until your copy of the book arrives.

                                                    ~TDQ

                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      Apparently the postal service heard my pleas, because my copy of HTE was sitting on the front porch this morning along with Bistro Cooking at Home. Yay!

                                                3. re: qianning

                                                  I've got David Thompson's THAI FOOD for years but have never cooked from it. It's like the current COTM How To Eat for me. Another book I owned for years but have never got into.

                                                  Seeing there are multiple people already mentioning Charles Phan VIETNAMESE HOME COOKING, I'll throw it into the ring too.

                                                  1. re: qianning

                                                    Gosh I would love to cook from Hakka one of these days...

                                                    ~TDQ

                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      me too....but I doubt it is in any libraries yet....

                                                    2. re: qianning

                                                      I think the Hakka book is probably too new but definitely not too arcane! I love specific focus books like that - they're so interesting. I'd be into it later in the year. Jerusalem and Burma are very new also but have received so much press that many people already have them and libraries already have copies.

                                                      1. re: Westminstress

                                                        I agree that the Hakka book is very approachable, and is fascinating. I'd love to cook from it once it's been out a little longer.

                                                      2. re: qianning

                                                        YES to THAI FOOD. I have had it for a while but it just seems so daunting, I haven't gotten around to cooking from it. Making it a COTM would definitely inspire me!

                                                        1. re: biondanonima

                                                          just to make sure I was clear, "daunting" possibly being an issue with "thai food", I feel pretty strongly that it should be paired with another book, so my nomination was for both "thai food" AND "thai in minutes" for the same month....others, of course may feel differently. (blueroom, hope the emphatic "and" doesn't add too much confusion....that's not the name of a cookbook, afaik!)

                                                        2. re: qianning

                                                          I could get on board with this - I love Vatcharin Bhumichitr and have cooked from this book quite a bit with some success. It is much more accessible than David Thompson - I have borrowed Thai Food from a friend but not yet cooked from it. As others have said, it's a bit intimidating.

                                                          So I will nominate THAI IN MINUTES and THAI FOOD in the hope that I will get to grips with David Thompson.

                                                        3. VIETNAMESE HOMECOOKING

                                                          JERUSALEM

                                                          THAI STREET FOOD

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: jpr54_1

                                                            I like your suggestions, JPR. I could cook from any of these...

                                                            1. re: jpr54_1

                                                              I have and would love to cook more from JERUSALEM

                                                            2. We had a vietnamese month.
                                                              Id favor THAI FOOD or BURMA. both are totally new topics for chowhound,and books Id like to explore. If either food is chosen, maybe the noodle book as an auxiliary for those who dont want to dive in full bore to a single cuisine. Personally, I dont tend to buy multi-country single topic books (making an exception for Wolfert books) but I can see how someone might be more comfortable with that than making a big single-cuisine commitment to a big fat book like one of those abive.

                                                              Id also love to do Jerusalem and would support Diana Henry again.
                                                              Im sure the former will come up soon enough.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: jen kalb

                                                                THAI FOOD (DAVID THOMPSON)

                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                  Nominating Thai Food because we've never specifically done a Thai month (though we've done SE Asian and Charmaine Solomon)...but also because Thai Food has been out longer: it's in my library and there are used copies available from third party sellers on Amazon. Note though, that even the used copies of Thai Food are at least a couple bucks more expensive than a new copy of Burma. But, we've already done a Duguid (and Alford) cookbook.

                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                              2. HAKKA

                                                                BURMA

                                                                VIETNAMESE HOME COOKING

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: emily

                                                                  HAKKA!

                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                2. Laughing at all the nominations....there are lots of different books floating around, but there's definitely a trend..... maybe we should all just buy a plane ticket and meet in Singapore!

                                                                  48 Replies
                                                                  1. re: qianning

                                                                    I'm in.

                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                    1. re: qianning

                                                                      Put that in all caps and I'll second it.

                                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                                        Really, who wants a copy of Burma (or Hakka or Vietnamese Home Cooking) for Christmas when what we really want is a plane ticket to Singapore? I'm sure cooking from any of those books would be a (very very) distant, but delicious, consolation prize.

                                                                        I'm not very familiar with Burmese food. Can someone familiar with Burma the Cookbook talk about the book a little? I know it's been discussed elsewhere, but, I could use a teensy little recap here on the spot.

                                                                        I notice that Thai Food and Vietnamese Home Cooking are indexed in EYB. Burma is "Index Soon". Hakka apparently isn't on their radar yet...

                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                          While I am not familiar with Burma (either the book or the country) I love Burmese food! In Philadelphia, the most amazing restaurant, Rangoon, is Burmese. How authentic it is, I do not know. But, I know I love it. YUM. Now I want to check out the book ...

                                                                        2. re: JoanN

                                                                          Hah! I can just imagine that conversation with my spouse!

                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                            Specifically Vietnam ...

                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                              would that I dared put it in caps....if it won, I'd really be on the hook!

                                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                                Burmese food....lots of fermented flavors (fermented soy beans, fish sauce, shrimp paste, & etc); very little sugar/sweetness in the savory dishes; much less use of coconut milk than some other SEA foods, ditto lemongrass & chillies although they are used occasionally; lots of "hand tossed" dishes, a sort of salad like dish, a bit similar to the "yums" of Thailand-but not sweet like the Thai versions; most soups are generally very simple meant as a counter-point in a meal, but some of the noodle soups are complex and meant as a stand alone meal/dish; a love of crispy textured fritters/sides to complement other moister curries, soups etc.

                                                                                Duguid has a wide range of dishes, from different regions/ethnic traditions of Burma. So far I've had decent, but not perfect, success with the things I've tried.

                                                                                1. re: qianning

                                                                                  Thank you for this info about Burmese cooking. How specialized are the ingredients? Can they be found at your "typical" Asian market (if there is such a thing). For instance, I did pretty well finding what I needed during Dunlop month and during Vietnamese month. Also, I've cooked a fair amount of Hmong dishes. Is there a lot of overlap ingredients-wise with those cuisines and Burmese?

                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                    Most of the ingredients are pretty available, and she usually gives an option for substitution if not. Think shrimp paste or dried shrimp powder, or occasionally culantro (which she calls something else, can't remember what offhand). One that I might have a hard time with is banana stems, but then I've never looked for it before. Anyway, the number of recipes with potentially hard-to-find ingredients is low. Most are very accessible.

                                                                                    1. re: MelMM

                                                                                      Sounds interesting. But, it seems does it doesn't follow the typical SE Asian Hot Sour Salty Sweet pattern?

                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                        Well, I am sure not an expert on this cuisine, so maybe someone else (QN?) will step in with more information. I think some of the dishes do follow that pattern, but some are more of a hybrid with other types of Asian food (Indian, for example) that have a bit of a different profile. A lot of dishes feature fried shallots, turmeric, and ginger or galangal. Then flavors are added, which might be familiar from several other Asian cuisines... lime leaves, lemongrass, cilantro, shrimp paste, chiles... you get the idea. This will be different from Thai food, or Vietnamese food. It will be a new flavor, but with some familiar elements. At least, that's my impression so far.

                                                                                        1. re: MelMM

                                                                                          Sounds interesting. Not to worry, I'm not expecting you to be an expert. Your impressions from your (vast, I know, from all of the cooking you do) experience is all I'm after. I'm sure it will be a good book to cook from should it win. Is Burma a large unwieldy book similar to Hot Sour Salty Sweet or Mangoes and Curry Leaves?

                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                            It is almost identical in size to this month's COTM, How To Eat. So I would say not unwieldy at all. There is something about this book that appeals to me more than the author's past books with her former partner. I'm not sure what it is. But it seems more direct, more about the food, and while there is still a lot of background info and photos, not as much of a coffee-table book as they were known for in the past. Just my impression at this point.

                                                                                            1. re: MelMM

                                                                                              Sounds good. My primary hesitation at this point is that this book isn't available through my library, so I'd have to buy it. I'm trying to pare down my collection right now, instead of adding to it. But if it wins, I will buy it no problem!

                                                                                              Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                              2. re: qianning

                                                                                I am in!

                                                                                1. re: qianning

                                                                                  When do we leave? Just let me get my hat...

                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                    the hat, too funny, Gio.

                                                                                    It would be fun though, no?

                                                                                    1. re: qianning

                                                                                      Oh Yes, Q. You have no idea how much I'd like to do something like that.

                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                        You know, we *could* organize something ...

                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                          Me to Mr. MM: Honey, I'm going to go to Singapore for three weeks with some folks from an internet forum...

                                                                                          1. re: MelMM

                                                                                            That sounds like a dream vacation to me! Hanging out with a bunch of people who are as food-obsessed as I am....oh, think of the street food! The conversation! The hilarity! A food nerd convention of the best kind.

                                                                                            1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                              Sounds great to me too!

                                                                                          2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                            You know where to find me if you want to go ... remember that you might have to deal with a 6 year old girl coming along. I will say, however, that right now her dream destination is China, so maybe she'd think this was close enough.

                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                              You know me and Lulu get along just fine. xx

                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                Now there's a kid with taste. Good job LM!

                                                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                  I'd say that's a good summary MeIMM. The "hot" and most especially the "sweet" are just not so prominent in Burmese food as some of the SEA flavors that most N. Americans know a bit better. I think the closest cousin to Burmese food is the food from peninsular Malaysia; but that's not so well known in the States either (don't know if it is in the UK, Canada and etc).

                                                                                                  1. re: qianning

                                                                                                    Its funny but our first exposure to Burmese food was at a restaurant many years ago in Boston - the food ranged from a very spicy chicken curry (primarily indian influence) to a sweet-sour-gingery dish of broccoi and squid in a bright red tamarind based sauce which to me had a both chinese and SEA type impact. Ive since had lots of examples of the salads, noodles, curries, fritters, soups etc, but the extreme diversity of the influences in the cuisine, based on geographic location, has stayed with me.

                                                                                                    1. re: qianning

                                                                                                      This is interesting. I don't think I've had Burmese food, but I've loved the Malaysian food I've had!

                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                        Me too. I've been to Malaysian restaurants, which I have loved. Never been to an entirely Burmese restaurant. But I think maybe a Malaysian/Pan Asian restaurant that had a Burmese dish or two or three.

                                                                                                    2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                      Oooh. I would be in as well. I also am really good at planning trips. My homemade itineraries are a bit scary.

                                                                                                      @LLM, Lulu would love China and China would love her back. Pandas, dumplings, noodles and spicy food, and a big dash of history, what else does one need?

                                                                                                      1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                        I'm the same way. I've had people sitting next to me on planes look at my itineraries in disbelief as I read them on flights. The first time I went to Paris the guy scoffed when he saw my list of places to try, and then read it and said something like "but this is amazing - how do you know about these places?" And then he kissed me. No, unfortunately I made that last part up.

                                                                                                        I'd love to take Lulu to China. I also really want to do a whole Sound of Music thing with her. And there is a possible Seville trip, and a possible Provence trip ... travel is my happy pill. Anyway, it's a thought, and I think a kind of fun one.

                                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                          I'm so impressed (and envious) that you take Lulu traveling. I hope to be able to do that with TDP one of these days, though right now even a 20 minute drive across town is a challenge. "Mommy, out! Mommy, down! Mommy, I drive! Mommy, no!"

                                                                                                          Funnily enough for me, travel and chow are very intertwined. I'm not sure if it's love of travel that fuels my love of food or vice versa.

                                                                                                          That's one reason, actually, I'm hesitant about Burma (the cookbook). Because I haven't traveled there, I haven't fallen in love with the food (yet.)

                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                            One of the reasons I'm so interested in "Burma" is that I have been there, although for a very short time. And we didn't get far from the Thai border so the food we had was very similar to Thai. I'm curious to see how it differs in other parts of the country.

                                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                              Funny!

                                                                                                              I'm sure it will be an interesting and delicious month. I just wish my library had a copy. It's an giant leap of faith to buy a book for a cuisine I"m not very familiar with when I've sort of sworn off of buying cookbooks... I've eaten at Burmese restaurants before, but they seemed more generally Southeast Asian to me, so not really helpful in terms of introducing me to the cuisine.

                                                                                                              Nevertheless, should Burma win, I'll go ahead and buy the book so I don't get left behind.

                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                I have similar feelings. My library does have it, but there is a waiting list a couple of months long. Burma is indexed on EYB, however, and the ingredient lists gave me some ideas of what the food might be like. They also show 17 recipes available online. I'm actually not a big Duguid fan, but it looks pretty appealing.

                                                                                                                I'd also buy it should it win. Not sure if I'm nominating/voting, however, as my participation has been so paltry lately, due to the demands of work.

                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                  That's an excellent point about online recipes. 17 recipes is way more than I can do anyway. Of course, I'd be missing out on the part I love, which would be reading about Burma and the ingredient glossary, etc. But, it's still a very reasonable option.

                                                                                                                  OMG! So many fabulous sounding recipes, even of those available online!

                                                                                                                  http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/r...

                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                    These two recipes are calling to me. Burma's starting to sound very intriguing.

                                                                                                                    http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

                                                                                                                    http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/bu...

                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                  I find your comments interesting because it's almost the opposite of my approach. If I find a cookbook for a cuisine that I don't have in my collection, haven't found a restaurant for, haven't traveled to... that's the book I will buy sight unseen. I feel what could be called a compulsion to have at least one cookbook representing every cuisine on the planet. I jumped on the Burma book, because I only had one Burmese book, so this country's food was relatively poorly represented. I feel like, to some extent, I can travel vicariously through cookbooks. But that's not the main reason I seek out unfamiliar cuisines. I just feel like any cooking tradition probably has something valuable to offer, in terms of technique, ingredients, and flavor combinations. So if I want to learn something new (which might - no, usually does - spill over into other cooking), these lesser known cuisines are the place to go.

                                                                                                                  1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                    I feel like that too, MeIMM, and love to have every cuisine represented in my personal library :) Have not been moved enough to acquire Burma but am definitely intriqued.

                                                                                                                    1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                      I have the feeling you are a more confident cook than I am. I am a little uncomfortable with complete unfamiliarity because I just don't have the confidence that I'm going to end up with something that resembles what it's supposed to be, if that makes any sense.

                                                                                                                      Also, I have a do have pan-Asian, pan-South American, and pan-African cookbooks, so I do have at least a glimpse into the cuisines of a lot of countries I haven't visited. But, I've also visited quite a few. Probably at least 40 (I've sort of stopped counting). And have personal connections to many more countries through friends and co-workers, and as a result, I barge ahead with trying to cook those cuisines, too because I that personal connection drives my confidence, somehow.

                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                        Well, to some extent, I don't worry to much about what it is "supposed to be", because I know that this is so hard to define. So I tend to worry more about it tasting good to me.

                                                                                                                        I have traveled abroad into some cultures, and been exposed to others through work and social relationships. I worked at one company where I was pretty much a token American amongst a population that was mostly Indian and Chinese, but literally encompassed every continent. And it wasn't a large company. The thing is, even having these friends from Country XX, or traveling in said country, doesn't necessarily help that much. When I go with a Vietnamese friend to a Vietnamese restaurant, and she complains that the food is not how she, or her mother or grandmother, would make it, what does this mean exactly? It might signify unauthentic food, but it might just mean that the person in charge of this kitchen is from a different part of Vietnam and does things differently. God knows I cook very differently that someone from Maine. And I would hate to think that some foreigner would taste some random American's version of gumbo or chili or cornbread, and think that was a definitive version. But that is what many of us do when our Sri Lankan friend makes us something: She made it this way, so that's the right way!

                                                                                                                        I try not to worry about that and focus on experiencing new flavors, authentic or not, and trust my own taste as to what is or is not good food.

                                                                                                                        1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                                          I know what you mean, that "authentic" doesn't necessarily mean delicious and even if it's authentic and delicious there can be a million variations of any given dish. I could open an "American" restaurant in Europe. It would be authentic because I'm American. But that doesn't mean it would necessarily be good. And even if you opened an (authentic, American) restaurant next door to mine, they could still be very different, even if they had the same menu.

                                                                                                                          So, I understand your point.

                                                                                                                          But somehow, it's the personal connection that gets me interested in a cuisine. For instance, I've never been to the Philippines, but I had Filipino neighbors growing up and ate at their house a lot. As a result, I just have a curiosity about the cuisine and at least enough exposure to draw me in. I don't know if my friend's mother's cooking was typical or even if it was good by Filipino standards, but it was enough of an introduction for me that I'm hooked.

                                                                                                                          It's like pulling a loose thread from a sweater. I just need that little bit peeking out to pique my curiousity. I'm happy to unravel the entire sweater from there.

                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                  2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                    I'm pretty sure your time in Burma covered a lot more than mine. I went there on a visa run from Thailand, haha! We were given an hour to eat lunch and taken back. I don't even remember what I ate :/

                                                                                                  2. re: qianning

                                                                                                    Don't go to Singapore---come meet me in Malaysia where I'll be chowing over Christmas :)

                                                                                                    1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                      Lucky duck (er, gator). If you do a write-up on it, can you link to it here for those of us salivating for that food?

                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                        Will do :)

                                                                                                    2. re: qianning

                                                                                                      If ever a thing like this were to happen, I'm there. I'd just show the man this thread. His reaction would be "if there are others like you who eat and talk about the meal during the eating, you must go. Go for a long time, my dear."

                                                                                                    3. Soup of the Day : 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year by
                                                                                                      Kate McMillan

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                        Rasputina, if you're nominating put the title of the book in caps... or it won't be counted.

                                                                                                      2. I would love to participate this time around. My nomination is for JERUSALEM.

                                                                                                        1. OK, I pulled some books off my shelves in search of foods that I would love to eat when it is cold and dark and overall miserable in Canada; these are my choices:

                                                                                                          JAPANESE HOT POTS by Tadashi Ono & Harris Salat
                                                                                                          FALLING OFF THE BONE by Jean Anderson (made her Swiss Steak with(out) Tomato Gravy tonight and it is seriously delicious even without the gravy)
                                                                                                          SOUP BOOKS - I have three and would be happy to cook from any one:
                                                                                                          THE DAILY SOUP COOKBOOK by Leslie Kaul, et al
                                                                                                          THE BEST SOUPS IN THE WORLD by Clifford Wright
                                                                                                          SOUPS, STEWS & CHILIS by the editors of CI

                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: herby

                                                                                                            I would also like to nominate FALLING OFF THE BONE by Jean Anderson.

                                                                                                            1. re: JulesLP

                                                                                                              I have that book and would love to cook from it. Feels very wintery. I"ve already nominated two books, though, or I'd nominate that, and soups month (I have the CIA's " Book of Soups: More than 100 Recipes for Perfect Soups") and Burma! HA! I want to cook from all the books!

                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                              1. re: JulesLP

                                                                                                                It's unlikely this will get through, but FALLING OFF THE BONE is a book I'd wanted to look into, and none of the other books appeal

                                                                                                                1. re: limoen

                                                                                                                  Unlikely, I agree. Maybe we could set up a separate thread for Falling Off The Bone if enough people are interested in cooking from it. But first let's see which book wins :)

                                                                                                                  1. re: herby

                                                                                                                    Let's not rush to set up a separate thread for this book. We haven't done a Jean Anderson book yet, an oversight that needs to be remedied, and we are coming up on the perfect months for this one. In fact, since I've only nominated one book so far, I'll go ahead and second this.

                                                                                                                    FALLING OFF THE BONE

                                                                                                                    1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                      seconded.

                                                                                                                      FALLING OFF THE BONE

                                                                                                                      1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                        After reading up on this book thanks to this thread I reserved a copy at the library but already voted for the Soup Factory cookbook. Not sure if I get more than one vote at this juncture. Both sound like good January cookbooks to me and winter has not yet begun officially!

                                                                                                                        1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                          This is nominations thread, not voting, and you are allowed to nominate at least two books.

                                                                                                                      2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                        I bought this book, but can't remember if I gave it away as part of my big cookbook purge. I don't think so, but if I did, I will really kick myself!

                                                                                                                        Funny that we haven't had a Jean Anderson book yet.

                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                              2. I'm going to jump on board the soup train and nominate THE BEST SOUPS IN THE WORLD by Clifford Wright. I've had that book from the library before and made a wonderful bean soup from it - would love to explore more.

                                                                                                                I wouldn't mind if Vietnamese Home Cooking made it, however. That book is on its way to my house as I type. Or Burma. Or Thai Street Food.

                                                                                                                1. "THAI FOOD" by David Thompson
                                                                                                                  "NEW ENGLAND SOUP FACTORY COOKBOOK"

                                                                                                                  Two completely different nominations, but that is what I have!

                                                                                                                  61 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                    I have the Soup Factory book too, and Falling Off the Bone. I've nominated the Big Noodle Book, whose author BTW just happens to be Thai tho the book has recipes from all over SEA. Guess I'll just take a back seat now and see what happens. That Thai book intimidates me like the Japanese books did. If I have the winning book I'll cook from it, if not it's either online recipes or lurk...

                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                      Of course Thai Food intimidates you! You are a smart woman.... but my theory is, it is too intimidating to tackle on our own. Strength in numbers.

                                                                                                                      1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                        I totally agree. David Thompson's book really intimidates me. With COTM hounds is the way to approach this book! I have his Thai Street Food. It is similarly intimidating!

                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                          Do you think the street food book would be more appropriate for the intimidated masses? I haven't ever compared them side by side.

                                                                                                                          1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                            You know, I've never compared them side by side either.

                                                                                                                            When the nom for TF came up, I had half a mind to nominate TSF, too, and recommend we do them as a "duo" month. But, then I thought TSF is relatively new --there might not be that many library and used copies out there. And I thought with a complex cuisine like Thai, maybe it's better to not spread ourselves too thing.

                                                                                                                            I took a Thai cooking class awhile back and have done some Thai cooking here and there. The challenges for me have mostly been ingredient sourcing. One curry might call for many many --maybe 10-15--different types of chiles, both dried and fresh. Galangal. Palm sugar. Once you get your ingredients, the rest might be time-consuming, but not difficult.

                                                                                                                            But, honestly, I think TSF has most of the Thai dishes that people are most familiar with. Pat thai, sate, curries, green papaya salad, sticky rice with mango... The main thing TSF does not have is the Spicy chicken soup with coconut.

                                                                                                                            TF has most of the dishes people are familiar with mentioned above, including Spicy chicken soup with coconut.

                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                              I'd love it if Thai Street Food was included alongside Thai Food....at the very least, should the latter win, there should be a companion thread for Street food and perhaps his other book, Classic Thai Cuisine. I'm getting ready to go Thai-crazy for next month!
                                                                                                                              His books, as afaik, don't involve 15 different types of chiles. Maybe 3, at most...but as you mentioned, once you've sourced your ingredients, you'll be laughing. The most annoying thing in my house about cooking Thai on a whim is the very short shelf life of thai basil....I can never get that stuff to last me more than half a week and most of the curries include the herb in abundance. Perhaps I should be calling upon my inner gardener to solve this problem.

                                                                                                                              I absolutely agree about cooking in numbers. It makes the effort much more of a fun and enjoyable experience, and I really hope that I can come to know this book more intimately with the enthusiasm of fellow hounds as encouragement.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                I can rarely find Thai basil, let alone the regular red chilies called for in a number of recipes. So I'm wondering how I'll get 3 different types. Eeek. I tend to just toss the serranos in my cart and hope for the best.

                                                                                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                  If you use ginger instead of galangal, and brown sugar instead of palm sugar, and regular basil instead of Thai basil, and 2 chiles instead of four...your dish will still taste good. It just might not have the depth of flavor you might get with 4 chiles or it might not have that certain distinctive taste most Thais associate with dishes from their homeland.

                                                                                                                                  But, the results will still be very delicious and a reasonable fascimile of authentic Thai food.

                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                    I don't know about the area you folks are in, but when I have a hard time finding fresh ingredients, I can often locate it in the freezer section of the Asian grocer. Not basil, of course, but I cooked for years with frozen galangal and lime leaves before ever having the fresh stuff available. Even things like lemongrass and chiles are available frozen, and although there is always some loss of flavour, it's nothing an increase in amount won't fix.

                                                                                                                                    And even though Thompson is quite the purist, we've found ways to get around it with exceptional results. Canned coconut milk in place of fresh is the biggest example, but there are many more, and it becomes less intimidating with those substitutions and shortcuts in mind.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                      M-SP has the largest urban Hmong population in the world! We have pretty good access to most SE Asian ingredients. Many of the Hmong women who came to M-SP hid seeds for the various herbs etc. in the hems of their skirts when they moved to the U.S.. Many of the Hmong grow the various herbs not only for their own personal use, but for sale at the farmers markets. Our issue this time of year will be what can they sell that will grow indoors. If it can't grow indoors this time of year, or at all in Minnesota's relatively short growing season, it will have to be frozen. :(

                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                        Lucky you! I've been considering a trek to the MSP area to peruse the markets and get hooked up with what I can't find here (plus maybe a visit to TJ's and Whole Foods, not to mention the Mexican and Middle Eastern purveyors....). But then of course, I'd have to get them back across the border.....

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                          They don't let you bring fresh produce in over the border? I know I've brought food back from Canada, but I'm trying to remember if I've ever taken anything in. Any time I've driven into Canada from MN would have been a day trip, so we wouldn't have brought anything in, I suppose.

                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                            You know, I've always just assumed that we could not.....but your question made me look further into this, and oh, glorious day, we can! I don't know where I got this silly notion from.....and I've just never tried. Planning of said shopping expedition with commence promptly.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                              I'll drop you an email.

                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                I do a great deal of cross-border grocery shopping in Washington State and have never had any issue bringing food back. They don't even ask what particular food I've got, only whether I have tobacco or alcohol. However, just in case, do familiarize yourself with the restrictions (ie, no more than $20/person of dairy products, certain types of produce can't be imported etc). Duty is not payable on groceries but it is on non-food items.

                                                                                                                                                Our closest Trader Joe's in Bellingham has a photocopied sheet that explains what you can and can't bring back to Canada with you but I'm not sure that the Minneapolis/St Paul store would have that too.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                          even here in NY, its hard to find these items fresh. Thai basil is rarely available - thats why I ve always plumped to do these COTMs in the summer when I have lemon and thai basil in my garden. But frozen galangal is fine (I remember the first thai restaurants in NY used woody dry pieces in the soups rather than fresh. No reason not to get some palm sugar and look for the other items frozen though - and chiles freeze very well if you want to stock up and not have them rot in the refrig.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                                            Any store that caters to a Viet Namese community (which includes a fair number of Chinese groceries around here) will have the different Thai basils year round. But even the Italian basil that most grocers carry will work in a pinch.

                                                                                                                                            And the frozen roots/rhizomes work fine and have the upside of being easier to mash when making a curry paste.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                              four to on Italian basil to tarragon is what I use

                                                                                                                                        3. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                          I'm lucky enough to have galangal at hand, and I also do the brown sugar thing. In the summer I can usually get the Thai basil at the farmers market, but forget ever finding it in a store.

                                                                                                                                          So you think the differences in the chilies won't be so huge that sticking with what I *can* get will be good enough? We have a great asian store nearby, but fresh produce isn't their strong point.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                            Hard to say because I haven't cooked from any of his books, but, yeah, I think that using what you can find will be fine. I think the key would be to know what the qualities of the chiles he's asking for are, and then get the closest subsititution possible. You know, there are threads going right now for one or both (I think) of the THompson books. It might be worth posting this question in that thread and seeing what people who have actually been cooking from his books think.

                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                              I thnk that any sort of small hot chile - like serrano or the little ones in the asian market - will be fine. If you cant take much chili heat the bigger, wrinkled type chiles in chinese stores can be good as might jalapenos. Pay attention to whether the recipe calls for red or green since the flavor is different If dried chiles are called for, they would be the long skinny type, These are not cuisines that have a big range of chile types like chinese, say.

                                                                                                                                        4. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                          Funny! I was also going to suggest a David Thompson adjunct thread should TF win...but I figured I'd wait until we were farther along because I didn't want to distract from Thai Food!

                                                                                                                                          I also have his Classic Thai Cuisine! What I appreciate about that book (though I haven't cooked from it) is that it's NOT a monster coffee table book like TF and TSF.

                                                                                                                                          All three are indexed on EYB. I think he has a curries book, too...

                                                                                                                                          You're right, from a peek at his online curry recipes, they don't seem to call for more than 3-4 types of chiles:

                                                                                                                                          http://www.penguin.com.au/lantern/kit...

                                                                                                                                          http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl...

                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                            I've already cast my vote, but I agree that Thai Street Food would be a great choice. It would give me a great excuse to buy the book, hehe...
                                                                                                                                            Definitely think about getting your green thumb in gear for the basil. It's very easy to grow, and finding it in the store is not always easy.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                              This isn't really the voting thread, but a nominations thread. In the voting thread you're typically allowed only one vote. The nominations threads are a little more flexible and you can nominate more than one book. Nominating two is pretty standard. I can't recall if blue-room set a limit on the number of nominations (I vaguely recall she did last month), but two would be pretty typical.

                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                How true, I wasn't using my noggin there for a moment... so THAI STREET FOOD :)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                  Oh, heck, I'd like to reform my nomination as well, to include THAI STREET FOOD *alongside* THAI FOOD. If that's okay, blue room!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                    Yes, of course okay!

                                                                                                                                                    This is my next-to-the-last month (of six) doing the COTM threads. By this point in the month, I usually have a big sheet full of titles on my desk by now, with little checks like little chicks in a row next to each book. This month I'm sidetracked by some house re-do projects (gawd I hated those drapes!) Everything coming along nicely here, but over at Chowhound a different story.
                                                                                                                                                    Chowhound site revamps -- was anyone else embarrassed by the immediate insults and spit-in-the-mods-faces response? Jeez, do you really have to use words like vile and HORRIBLE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE and shitty (actual posts!) when what you mean is simply "I prefer black and off-white to dark grey and light grey?"
                                                                                                                                                    Ooh that felt good.

                                                                                                                                                    Now, back to January cookbooks --
                                                                                                                                                    I sure understand not having access to specialty ingredients (and have ordered silly pricey items online)
                                                                                                                                                    but my pleasure from the ethnic-to-me books outweighs the pain (so far!)
                                                                                                                                                    NO problem with changing your nominations or votes (as long as the changes occur within the allowed time, and are in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. I read all posts more than once!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                      Bless your heart. I'll change my nomination for Thai Food to a combo of THAI FOOD and THAI STREET FOOD BY DAVID THOMPSON.

                                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                        I can't believe this is your next-to-last month blue room! The time has flown. You've done a wonderful job, and added so much wit to the nomination and voting threads. Glad we have you for one more month anyway!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                          Aw thank you, L.nightshade.
                                                                                                                                                          I'd swear it was just a few weeks ago that you were sending "how-to" (and encouraging!) emails.
                                                                                                                                                          Couldn't have enjoyed it more.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                        Yes, I agree that United We Stand. Thanks for the reminder. However, I need help from G in the kitchen and if he thinks of it as a scramble for ingredients then an involved cooking procedure it will severely diminish whatever deliciousness could be/would be obtained. Plus, believe me, there'd be no fun in the kitchen at Casa Gio...

                                                                                                                                        I read through the reports of both the Burma and Thai chapters of the Carmaine Solomon month when we cooked from her The Complete Asian Cookbook. I see that I cooked 4 Burmese recipes, only 1 Thai but G & I liked all the dishes so apparently I wasn't too intimidated then. Also there were great discussions about the ingredients and how it's perfectly acceptable to use commercial curry pastes, for example,

                                                                                                                                        But all the talk about how much of a stickler for authenticity Thompson is has me quaking as if I've been sent to the Headmaster's office.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                          As far as I know, David Thompson isn't posting here on Chowhound, so who cares if he's a stickler. ;-) We promise not to report you to the headmaster!

                                                                                                                                          I was trying to figure out, actually, if it even matters to us as cookers from his bookers, whether Thompson is a stickler for authenticity. I mean, if he's being super precise I would think that's good because it gives you the best chance of reproducing the dish as it should be. But, I suppose there's a drawback and that's that he might not provide a lot of suggestions for substitutions because he wants you to cook it "the right way".

                                                                                                                                          I took my Thai cooking class from a Thai man whose wife is British. Together they went through and identified all of the ingredients that may not be commonly found in Western supermarkets and provided a list of substitutions. If Thompson doesn't offer substitution advice in his book, I'd be happy to offer what they told us in my cooking class if anyone would find that helpful.

                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                            That would be super helpful, TDQ! Even if we do not cook Thai in January. Maybe you could post in its own thread and poeple could add to it - what do you think?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                              Sure, why not?

                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                            2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                              Maybe he's lurking....
                                                                                                                                              Helping with substitutes would be great, and we could also all try to work out subs based on our own tastes and experiences and report back on them. I think it's totally do-able.
                                                                                                                                              This will only be the second time I've done COTM, but seeing the direction it's taking makes me excited! January tends to be such a blah month, so a little spice will be the perfect fix.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                Sometimes authors do participate in these threads, but if David Thompson comes in here and tries to drag Gio off to the headmasters office, we will come to her defense!

                                                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                  You guys are making me really, badly want this Thai Food book. I love the idea of tracking down the ingredients and cooking the most authentic recipes possible... and having a list of substitutions will be great. I can get a lot of the ingredients somewhere in Vancouver but don't always want to go driving all over town to find them.

                                                                                                                                                  One of my Aussie cookbooks has finally come in to the cookbook store and if they have this Thai book in stock I'm not sure if I will have the willpower to not buy it.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                    I'm sure I've posted this link a million times already, but just in case you missed it, here is a thread where a few people had a heyday with recipes in Thai Food. There is a lot of information and lengthy discussions on ingredients, preparation methods, shortcuts, etc. Not to mention the glorious recipes!

                                                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/669671

                                                                                                                                                    You'll want it after this.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                      Thank you - I did miss the link before. I haven't been logging on for a couple weeks while I was in Ontario visiting my mum, and this thread got very long very quickly :-)

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                    Not with this new interface he isn't!

                                                                                                                                                2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                  in your gloves and hat ...

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                    Many thanks to all of you for your encouragement. The preceding posts were indeed fun to read, as always. Love you all madly! At this point, though, my other nomination is
                                                                                                                                                    BISTRO COOKING AT HOME.

                                                                                                                                                    I already have 2 Thai books, A Taste of Thailand by Vatcharin Bhumichitr and Simply Thai Cooking by Wandee Young and Byron Ayanogly. I cook from both and enjoy them very much. So I'll just leave it at that for now...

                                                                                                                                              2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                Wow, I thought I was the only one intimated by the Japanese books.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                  I was overwhelmed and intimidated by Japanese books too! But BigSal's encouragement and wonderful reports on dishes that she cooked inspired me to overcome my fears and at least make one dish. I still remember that miso soup with enoki mushrooms that I made - so yummy :)

                                                                                                                                                  So, completely agree with smtucker - "Strength in numbers".

                                                                                                                                              3. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                                I was shocked to discover just now when I went to put the Thompson books on reserve that the NY Public Library system has not a single copy of "Thai Food" and the only copy of "Thai Street Food" must be read in the library--it isn't in circulation. I wonder if they've been have problems with these big, oversize, heavily illustrated books going missing?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                  I noticed the same thing in my local library - we do have a copy of some of Thompson's other books but not Thai Food specifically, so I would have to buy it if I wanted to play along with COTM (assuming that book is chosen).

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                    It seems if Burma, Hakka or Thai Food are chosen, most people will have to buy the book as libraries may not have the newer books yet. Burma and Hakka are more affordable for new copies. The Thompson books are very expensive new, unfortunately. I'm surprised about Thai Food not being available in some libraries because it's an older book, but I'll bet it's a pain because it's so oversized.

                                                                                                                                                    Now I'm kind of torn.

                                                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                      Yes, I feel torn too. I have learned from previous nomination threads that a lot of people are put off by the idea of choosing a new-ish or more expensive book for COTM. I know that our budget is usually pretty tight in January, too, so the cost of the book will definitely be a factor for me. That said, I do love Asian cuisine, and love the idea of a group effort at tackling a large, authoritative cookbook like TF.

                                                                                                                                                      At the risk of beating a dead horse, I got a copy of Hamersley's "Bistro cooking at home" alongside my Nigella book yesterday and it was love at first sight. I have already cooked from it, with wonderful results, and my 17 year old has been through it several times trying to decide between all the things she wants us to try next. I've acquired probably 5-6 cookbooks in the past few weeks and none of them has grabbed our attention in quite the way this one did. I know this book has been up for COTM before, but never quite made it... it would be a lovely thing to cook bistro-style comfort food during the cold grey days of January.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                        Don't let the fact that a book has been nominated and lost previously deter you from nominating it again. Some books have to go through numerous rounds of nominations before finally winning. These nominations threads serve to raise awareness about these books. Sometimes it takes awhile for people to learn about the books, have a look at them at their library or bookstore, etc. before they are ready to take the plunge.

                                                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                          Any favorite recipes from Bistro Cooking at Home? I've had this book for years, but never cooked from it.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: emily

                                                                                                                                                            Well, I am probably not the best person to answer this since I've only had the book two days, but we cooked the winter vegetable stew with cheddar crumble topping and it was *incredibly* more-ish and made great leftovers.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                            And Hamersley's would be a great winter book, I think. I'd put in (probably my fourth or fifth time of doing this) nomination for BISTRO COOKING AT HOME.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                              Ack. EYB only shows four recipes available online, but wow, do they ever look wonderful. I can see how it might be difficult for a COTM win though, being out of print, and fairly pricey even used in good condition. I'm putting it on my wish list though!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                In a previous nomination thread, someone actually went in to the bistro & talked to Gordon Hamersley and he said he has loads of copies available, signed and new, for $25 which is pretty darn reasonable. I got mine used on ABE for $11 plus shipping. Not a $1 book, but also not too too pricey.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks to your tip geekmom, I called the restaurant and they shipped me a book in about two days time. Brand new and signed. Most of the copies I've found for sale said they had highlights and markings. Now I have a perfect copy!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                    Yay! That's awesome, especially that you were able to get it so quickly at this time of year. I do hope you'll enjoy it as much as we are -- so far there hasn't been a recipe I've cooked from it that hasn't gone over well (although my kids didn't care for the strong goat cheese flavour in the penne with walnuts & goat cheese, but my husband and I thought it was fantastic).

                                                                                                                                                          3. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                            My library system must have just gotten Burma and I must have been first on the request list. Just got an email this morning telling me to come pick it up!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                              Lucky ducky!

                                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                          That is shocking!

                                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                            Just checked my library system. 11 available copies right now for Thai Food. 6 copies of Thai Street Food. Once again, I love my library system!

                                                                                                                                                            I hadn't realized just how expensive these two books are.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                                              Lucky you! My library shows one copy of Thai Street Food, which is recorded as "unavailable - lost."
                                                                                                                                                              And it's a funny book price-wise. I've had it on my ebay search list for a long time, used copies seem to sell for more than the new book, as high as $60 - $70. I don't understand that!

                                                                                                                                                        3. OK, I've decided to nominate, and commit to buying a new book, and cooking from it. I don't have any of the following books, but they all sound great:

                                                                                                                                                          BURMA
                                                                                                                                                          BIG BOOK OF NOODLES
                                                                                                                                                          BISTRO COOKING AT HOME

                                                                                                                                                          I'm in for the B books.

                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                            Bravo and bully for you, L.Nightshade.

                                                                                                                                                            I'm SO glad there is still enthusiasm out there, after 2 slow months.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                              BISTRO COOKING AT HOME

                                                                                                                                                          2. I'll nominate BURMA and
                                                                                                                                                            VIETNAMESE HOME COOKING

                                                                                                                                                            I'd be pretty happy with most of what's been suggested so far.

                                                                                                                                                            1. Oh ever patient and good-humored blue room, may I change my Hakka nomination to BURMA? I got a look at this book at the bookstore yesterday and it looks splendid.

                                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                OK!

                                                                                                                                                              2. I didn't think I'd nominate, but what the heck. I've got it, it looks fantastic, and I know I'll be cooking from it anyway, so here goes: BISTRO COOKING AT HOME.

                                                                                                                                                                If this one goes up against a great Thai book, I'll have a tough decision on which to vote for!

                                                                                                                                                                1. After all the holiday celebration feasting, I'm ready for light-fresh-healthy fare:
                                                                                                                                                                  VIETNAMESE HOME COOKING by Charles Phan

                                                                                                                                                                  It has soups, noodles... street foods

                                                                                                                                                                  1. I haven't been participating in COTM much for the past couple of months, but I caved and ordered Burma and Jerusalem as early Christmas presents. They arrived in the mail today and I can't wait to dive into these books. I'm hoping January is a good month for BURMA.

                                                                                                                                                                    Thai month is tempting me as well, but I already have McDermott's Real Thai and another book, so I'm not sure I should give shelf space to a third when I've barely cracked those two.

                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: TxnInMtl

                                                                                                                                                                      Good to have you back in the saddle. Hope the move went well (and hope my brain isn't dripping and that I remembered correctly that you moved).

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks! You remembered correctly. The move went as smoothly as moves ever do and I'm finally starting to feel settled.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TxnInMtl

                                                                                                                                                                          Oh yes -- you're in northern California now?

                                                                                                                                                                          I actually had an apartment for $110 a month on Sutter Street in San Francisco circa 1970. How that (loved) city must differ now!

                                                                                                                                                                          I trust (and envy) that you'll have pretty good access to unusual ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                                            We're settled into the Mission. Sadly, apartment prices are not what they were when you were here!

                                                                                                                                                                            The ingredient and CSA options here are fantastic. I sent my fiance to the store for some ingredients tonight and he came home with a bonus ... fresh turmeric.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: TxnInMtl

                                                                                                                                                                              Ohhh - you live near Tartine! Lucky...

                                                                                                                                                                    2. HAKKA - an interesting concept with very approachable dishes
                                                                                                                                                                      JERUSALEM - had this out from the library but only had time for one dish - definitely want to try more.

                                                                                                                                                                      I took a look at Thai Street Food today, and it was hard to imagine actually cooking from such a huge unwieldy tome.

                                                                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                                                        The Thompson books (TF & TSF) are crazily oversized. Seems like a vanity project. I can't even get TSF to fit nicely on a shelf--it sticks out, which is incredibly irritating. And I don't care about the photos, lovely though they are. The recipes look wonderful though. I wish you could have the option to buy the recipes in book without photos.

                                                                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                          I must have a totally different edition of Thai food from all of you. Mine is normal sized, just very think. It fits nicely on the ikea billy and definitely not sticking out compared to other cookbooks on the same shelf.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lilham

                                                                                                                                                                            Hmmmm, I just looked TF up on Amazon and the dimensions are (as you say), pretty normal 7.1 X1.8 X 9.9 inches, whereas TSF is 10.9 x 1.2 x 13.2 inches. I've only seen TF in the bookstore but I distinctly remember it was the same size on the shelf as TSF. I wonder if it was a special edition or if I'm completely misremembering? I don't see any special editions mentioned on Amazon maybe I'm totally off-base re: TF.

                                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                              FWIW, my bought in a bookstore ages ago edition of Thai Food is "normal" sized, same height and width as Burma and Land of Plenty, just a bit thicker. Thai Street Food is, however, more of a coffee table sized book (it's the only cookbook of this size that I actually leave in the kitchen; and I do cook from it). The size of the book makes it a bit difficult to store, but I find it easy to cook from because any given recipe is on a single page or at most two facing pages, so no page turning involved. the lay-out really works for me.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                there's always February & March...braising season, at least here in NH, lasts a while....

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, Mr. Thompson can't give you demerits so why worry? I've found that if you get past his tone of voice, which can be a bit pedagogical, the recipes are quite flexible, and the results, even with lots of tweaking are very tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                    You're so right. I found his tone entirely too intimidating at first, but there was so much encouragement and help from you and others in the other thread that I eventually started to ignore that somewhat commanding voice of the author, which opened up many new doors.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm getting way too excited about a whole month devoted to Thai food. I should probably at least wait until the nominations are over!

                                                                                                                                                                                    My library, usually very good, only has one copy of Street Food, and there's nearly always a request on it. I currently have it out, and hopefully if I time it right, I can renew it to have it in my possession for part of the month. Or maybe I'll just be 'forced' to buy it, heh!

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                    wow, even my tiny library system in NH has it, and there are a half dozen or more copies state wide.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                      When I told Mr. QN about the Singapore proposal, his immediate reaction "Why Singapore? The food isn't nearly as good there as in KL or Penang". Have a great trip!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                        I have heard amazing things about the food in Penang.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. So many great suggestions. I'd like to nominate BISTRO COOKING AT HOME and THAI FOOD (nominating both, but not suggesting them as a pair). I am very intimidated by the thought of cooking Thai food, but my fears are assuaged when I remember that we will be learning together and that we can leverage the knowledge of those more experienced in Thai cooking like qianning and others. 660 curries did take me out of my comfort zone and am happy for the experience and I hope to feel the same about Thai cooking soon. As for Bistro Cooking...it just looks like very good eats! And we'll need that in the dead of winter in MN.

                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                                                                                  Honestly I don't know that much about Thai food, I just like what I've had and want to learn more.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I also like Mr. Hammersley's cooking, and would love cook from that book sometime too.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. I'll count these nominations tonight, (9 p.m. EST)
                                                                                                                                                                                  and the top three will go on to the voting round.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I hope everyone knows now that a "Quick Links" feature is at the top of the Home Cooking page (in red.)
                                                                                                                                                                                  The links lead to both Cookbook of the Month (COTM)
                                                                                                                                                                                  *and* Dish of the Month threads.

                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                                                    Could you please also post a link to the voting thread in here once it is created? Mobile users don't get the 'quick links' link in their version unfortunately. Thank you!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                      You don't have quick links on the Home Cooking board? That would be too bad, and make us hard to find.

                                                                                                                                                                                      But I'm pretty sure blue room always posts the link to voting.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, I sure will, Frizzle. It will go up tonight, after the nominations close. The site has been changed recently, so it might take a little longer if I have to take some new steps.
                                                                                                                                                                                        I didn't know you have a different version!

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I am always thinking I should cook more Thai food, but I never do so I'm not going to nominate a Thai book, no matter how tempting. I just got BURMA from the library and would love to cook more from it. Also, JERUSALEM is on my wish list for Christmas so will be ready to cook from that in January.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pavlova

                                                                                                                                                                                        Make sure that only your nominations are in all capital letters, otherwise, blueroom will have to work too hard to find it!

                                                                                                                                                                                        Rereading, I guess you already did. My reading comprehension is terrible today. Sorry.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. blue room - Has the nominating been restricted to two books? If so I must have missed that. I nominated three. Should I narrow it down?

                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                          No no, no narrowing necessary. I've used this statement as my "policy" :
                                                                                                                                                                                          “…I won't balk at more than two, but keeping it around that manageable number will be appreciated…”

                                                                                                                                                                                          I just wanted to avoid people listing 8-9-10+. I realize now it's easy to eliminate books nominated only once. It doesn't make counting "hard" if there are lots, it's quick and easy to ignore all but the favorites.
                                                                                                                                                                                          My original thinking was that thoughtful consideration would produce just one or two practical nominations per person, but that's pretty controlling of me!

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. What the hey - since others have expressed interest, and I own it and need very little incentive to cook from it, I will add a second nomination: Ottolenghi's JERUSALEM.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Okay, the nominations for COTM January 2013 are now closed.
                                                                                                                                                                                            A voting thread will be up soon, I'll link to it from here.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Voting thread is here:
                                                                                                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/882214

                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks to everyone!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                                                              Just letting folks know that blue room has posted the February Nomination thread here:

                                                                                                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8856...