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Jul 28, 2013 10:18 AM

Another side-car thread re: cookbooks - which ones do you now wish you'd kept?

there are a couple of recent threads on here -

1. most obscure / odd / etc cookbook -

2. absolute worst cookbook

so it made me think about the ones i have tossed / recycled / given away to thrift shop etc ---- and now wish i'd kept!

(I know i could re-find them at a used book place or maybe at the library - but some things are just hard to let go of - like being the best entertainer / chef / wonder-spouse ever - see my regret books below and you'll know what i mean ;


What cook books (or clipped out recipes - or hand-written recipe cards frorm Aunt "Mary" et al) do you now regret tossing out / recycling / giving to the thrift store ... mainly cuz you had to move homes or downsize for some other reason (or you were from now on, going to cook healthy! no more baked goods or red meat. ha!)


i had a couple ... just for the photos alone - Lee Bailey's Country Weekends. It was from the era of the glossy coffee table cook books (eg Martha's first big book - Entertaining? etc)

Michael Chiarello's Napa Style - I rec'd as a gift and a couple yrs later - due to moving - i gave it away. again, i liked the photography and the styling.

... and some of the cookbooks we had as kids - i wish i had kept some of them - mainly for sentimental reasons - but actually they were practical - like Better Homes & Gardens children cookbook- i felt so grown-up (my mom had the "real" version in her kitchen) --- safety, step-by-step with photos, some decent ingredients that could be updated easily w/o a big fuss about "it doesn't say to use whole wheat hot dog bun!" --- you know the age - when everything is EXACT.

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  1. I had a roomie move out with my Tassajara cookbook.
    I was so happy when I found one of the same printing a year later. It's on my shelf now.

    I passed along most of my cookbooks, think a full four shelf book case down to one shelf.

    I probably should have kept Sundays at Moosewood, because I keep going to the library to look up a recipe that I vaguely remember.

    Oh, editing to add, Julie Sahni's Indian cook books. At least my son has it and uses it.

    1. My mother gave away her copy of Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls to my cousin, who never used it and ultimately threw it away. It was the first cookbook I ever used, under supervision from my mom, and I wish she had saved it for me.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ratgirlagogo

        awwwwww... i still have my copy: i love it! It's quite mangled, especially on the chocolate chip cookie page which is really all i remember cooking out of it, but made them so often i'm surprised the page is still legible. I remember looking at the 'stained glass window" cookies and thinking how difficult they would be. I never managed the effort to make them, but they were so pretty.

        I'll have to look through it again - I have no idea what else is even in that cookbook, except for the best chocolate chip cookies! it's probably just a copy from the back of the chocolate chip bag!

        1. re: rmarisco

          "t's probably just a copy from the back of the chocolate chip bag!"
          If only to provide some contrast from the many recipes taken from the back of the Betty Crocker cake mix box. I afraid I was less interested in a normal useful recipe like chocolate chip cookies and was more fascinated by the many sculptural dishes - Clown Cupcakes, the Drum Cake, the Zoo Cake, the Raggedy Ann Salad. Oh, and S'mores which I learned about from this book, and which we never made even when we did go camping because both my parents thought they were disgusting.

      2. my grandfathers uncle ( I dont know what that makes him to me) was a hunter and guide with Abercrombie and Fitch in Africa they use to have a cookbook about how to cook wild game... when my grandparents moved and downsized it got tossed with a bunch of other cookbooks...Mom did rescue a copy of The Glory Of Womanhood and a few other vitage housekeeping books

        1. I bought a grey spiral cookbook at a yard sale it was written by a chef who worked on the Canadian railroads way back when. I did not feel I would make anything from it, most of the recipes were elaborate and rich. I have a friend who is interested in the history of railroads including food service and would love to be able to give him this book, alas it was given away before I knew this.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Ruthie789

            your RR friend might enjoy this book - i also had this one in my personal library - it's gone too ; )


          2. i'm adding to my earlier post -

            i had a few of these ones from Time Life - Foods of the World - and there were some regional USA ones - wish.
            (Look at who some of the contributors were!


            and ... sitting on the fence about these ones, also from Time Life (Great Cooks) ... which i still have - but truthfully never use so really should further them to someone? - but we like the instructional photos - kind of obscure recipes - but overall, nice production of books - i saved up money in college to acquire these one at a time thru the mail!

            4 Replies
            1. re: Georgia Strait

              I left a few of the hard bound Foods of the World at my brother's during a time when we were moving around a lot and he callously tossed them. I have all the spirals but want to complete the set of the hard onus ones again.
              I didn't really love the Good Cook series but have rebought a couple of them recently -- candies and cookies, and should have snapped up breads when I saw it. WAAH

              1. re: buttertart

                we have a store called Half Priced books.. they have a set of those lesiure america books that are sent out by season by mail order.. I love them... the people are so dated in them that their clothes are coming back in style...

                  1. re: Tam38

                    OOOH now to figure out which ones I'm missing. Thanks!