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What cookbooks have you bought recently, or are you lusting after? August 2013 edition! [through August 31, 2013]

Okeydokey, here we go, first day of my Birthday Month (I have always felt very proprietary about August). I am expecting to be rather less impecunious this month, and am hoping for a nice sale (are you listening, TGC???) to come along...have a few things in mind. How about you?

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  1. Waiting for my copy of Jerusalem to arrive (yep, I'm a TDQ-come-lately) as well as "Keepers," which hasn't been released yet. And, oh! Mighty Spice Express has been dispatched to me from Amazon UK. As I mentioned in last month's thread, I'm just flipping through Smoke & PIckles now...

    P.S. Happy birthday month!

    ~TDQ

    20 Replies
    1. re: The Dairy Queen

      Thanks! Did you see the coverage on Jerusalem in the NYT yesterday? Cryptic mention of "cookbook clubs" on Chow was made, I presume either these threads or COTMs -- or both -- were meant.

      1. re: buttertart

        Yes, I saw it, which is what made me realize I was really going to regret not owning a copy of it. :)

        We're practically famous!

        ~TDQ

        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          I don't own it either. I "really shouldn't"..........

          I love Plenty though. Uggghh. Self control is difficult.

          1. re: sedimental

            It IS really difficult! I haven't indulged in much, lately, so a handful of cookbooks I really might use should be okay... I hope.

            ~TDQ

            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              (gently patting you on the back) "it is, TDQ, it definitely is."

      2. re: The Dairy Queen

        I am also late to the Jerusalem party. I am a reformed cookbook hoarder, so I will be taking a test drive of Jerusalem via my local library (I am on the waiting list) before purchasing.

        Ditto for Plenty. I see Plenty mentioned a lot on Chowhound. I am in the middle of full-bore CSA season so I could use the veg inspiration.

        1. re: mels

          You know, I'm finding right now that taking books out of my library is pretty stressful. I know that sounds stupid, having the stress of having to return them, but I'd almost rather buy them and look through them at home and then return them if I don't want them.

          Sad but true but 1) cookbooks I buy from Amazon come right to my door and can be returned by putting them on my doorstep, 2) if I lose the Amazon book, I will eventually find it and can re-sell it if I have decided I shouldn't keep it whereas the stress of worrying about whether I'm going to end up having to "buy" a library book is too great.

          I once ended up buying a couple of library books due to water damage. I paid an astronomical price for them. Yes, I now own them, but it makes me mad whenever I look at the price of them.

          ~TDQ

          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            You can check a lot of books out from your library online and they return automaticaly.

            1. re: Savour

              You know, it's a good suggestion. I actually did that with Jerusalem awhile back, but I didn't find the book very inspiring that way, unfortunately. I think I need to hold it in my hands.

              ~TDQ

          2. re: mels

            I have Plenty, and it's plenty gorgeous, but I have made exactly two recipes from it in the year plus I owned it. I've already made two recipes from Jerusalem, and I just bought it yesterday (Obv. I made those two recipes before I bought it, but within the past month).

            1. re: Savour

              It sounds like you might like Jerusalem more? Could you describe the difference?

              1. re: sedimental

                Well, I've had Jerusalem for 1 day, but aside from the fact that Plenty is vegetarian and Jerusalem is not (though it has vegetarian recipes) I think Jerusalem's recipes are a little more accessible for the home cook. Every time I read through Plenty, I'd think "I want to taste that but the idea of cooking it seems exhausting." (And I have a very well stocked kitchen with most of the "hard to find" ingredients, like sumac and za'atar. Jerusalem has some more involved recipes, but I thought "I love Middle Eastern food and don't have a Middle Eastern Cookbook - there are all sorts of things I want to cook in this." There are more basics in Jerusalem - hummus, mejadra (or mujadarrah), shawarma, kibbeh, kofte - all of which I love. And being an Ottolenghi cookbook, there are interesting variations and some more challenging recipes - like the lamb stuffed quinces which have me eagerly waiting for quince season, or the chicken salad with fennel, or the chocolate babka (which is called krantz, I think)

                1. re: Savour

                  Thank you for that review! I will give it a look in the bookstore first.

                  1. re: sedimental

                    Now that I've had Jerusalem a week I've made an additional 3 recipes and all three were ones that not only tasted great, but that I'd definitely make again, probably on a regular basis.

                    1. re: Savour

                      Would you consider adding your recipe reviews to the COTM threads? I know I'm still cooking out of this book and would love to hear about your experience with particular recipes.

          3. re: The Dairy Queen

            I just bought Jerusalem. (as in yesterday). Started to mark recipes I wanted to make but it was about every other page.

            I recommend the Open Kibbeh - relatively easy (even with a toddler) and relatively kid friendly (depending on said toddler).

            1. re: Savour

              I'll have to note that in EYB! Thank you!

              ~TDQ

              1. re: Savour

                Thanks for the head up on the Open Kibbeh. I see that it uses ground lamb and tha'ts probably why I didn't notice it. I'll have to try it with ground turkey.

                My toddler's favourites in Jerusalem are the pasta with yoghurt, peas & chilli and the barley risotto with feta. She prefers carbs, so YMMV.

                1. re: lilham

                  I made it with ground beef. Not sure turkey would work, but the beef was good.

              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                I love Jerusalem. Much more than Plenty.

              3. Happy Birthday Month bt!!

                While it's not exactly a cookbook, I thought I'd report:

                EAT LONDON2 by Peter Prescott & Terence Conran

                With another visit to London coming up I couldn't resist purchasing this book that I only had a chance to flip through when I visited there last year. This book highlights the best food shops, markets, gourmet counters, delicatessens, restaurants, gastropubs and essentially all things food-related. In addition to the fabulous photography and wonderful information, 60 recipes from the city's top chefs are also included. This book seems like it will make for an interesting read and, an excellent resource.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                  We used that book as part of planning for a visit to London last fall, and really found it helpful. Can't remember if I ever got around to cooking anything from it though. Pretty sure it got "cataloged" & shelved with the travel books. If you get around to trying any of the recipes, I'd love to hear more.

                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                    Oh BC, thank you so much for bringing this book to my attention. We will be traveling to London next summer, and this book is just what I needed to jump start my planning. Just popped it in my cart. It doesn't count as a cookbook if I am using it for other purposes, right?

                    And of course Happy Bday BT!

                    1. re: dkennedy

                      Definitely shouldn't count at a cookbook dk...it's all in the name of research!! You'll be delighted with the book. It's really heightened my excitement about the trip. I haven't checked yet but I'm thinking it might make sense to add this to my ipad library so I could have it with me in London. It's a hefty book to schlep along so the alternative is to photocopy or scan some pages.

                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                        Hmm.. I wonder if the library will have it here. I am overdue for a trip to see friends in London..

                  2. I ordered Bouchon Bakery today. I've been holding off for several weeks and haven't bought anything in a couple of months... but I just couldn't stop myself any longer.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Njchicaa

                      I have it. It's a nice book but very detail oriented, understandably, or it would be like any other book.
                      I just never have time to make things and find the Ingredients.
                      I made the oh-ohs - they were good and not too hard but I did just use melted chocolate instead of some hard to find chocolate sheet covering

                      1. re: Njchicaa

                        It finally arrived yesterday. So many things I want to make but I don't have all of the equipment I need. I really am a novice at making desserts so I don't even have cookie cutters or muffin pans or stuff like that.

                        1. re: Njchicaa

                          Always check places like Home Goods and TJMaxx, which generally have highly discounted and very good quality baking pans. A lot of the major retailers like Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table are having big sales now too. You should be able to kit up your kitchen relatively inexpensively this way.

                          1. re: roxlet

                            Thanks. I'm planning to stop by Home Goods this morning on my way to pick up my organic produce delivery. I am going to try very hard to ignore any Le Creuset that I may see on the shelves there.

                          2. re: Njchicaa

                            Wow, you sure picked an epic way to get your feet wet with the dessert-making! Be sure to let us know how the recipes work out for you.

                        2. Not fully a cookbook, but on beetlebug's recommendation I put Relish (http://www.amazon.com/Relish-Life-Kit...) into my amazon wish list. The day the oven/stove fiasco happened my husband felt so bad for me that he asked me for the names of a few things on that wish list, and I gave him this. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but basically it is a graphic novel by a woman who tells the story of her life through the food she ate (hope I'm not getting this totally wrong) and gives a recipe with each chapter. It sounds like something I can share with Lulu, and bb's recommendation carries a lot of weight with me.

                          18 Replies
                            1. re: LulusMom

                              ;-)

                              I hope you find it as charming as I did.

                              1. re: LulusMom

                                Thought I'd report back on this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you like graphic novels at all, and you love food (and I think it is fair to say you do), then this is worth a look. I left it sitting out and Lulu walked by, saw it and started leafing through and asked me a couple of questions about it. And then " can I read it Mom?" Bull's eye!

                                1. re: LulusMom

                                  Thanks bb & LlM, I just ordered it! I'm always on the lookout for some light reading for a flight and this sounds perfect. Many thanks!!

                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                    I hope you enjoy it. I'm recommending it to my food/cooking loving sister in law too.

                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                      I'll report back here LlM but I'm sure I will. I can think of 2 people for whom this would make a lovely Christmas gift as well so I well order a couple more.

                                      Both ladies are food lovers so I'm thinking the book would be perfect paired with a nice bottle of wine, a jar of homemade chutney and some homemade savoury shortbread. They can pick up some cheese on the way home then put their feet up and enjoy their book, wine & snacks!!

                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                        Wow, you're a great gift giver! That sounds like a perfect afternoon right in a gift bag/box.

                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                          Thanks LlM. I find it's never difficult to come up with gifts for food lovers; it's those "other" people I struggle with!!!

                                2. re: LulusMom

                                  Lulu started reading this book (Relish) yesterday and is loving it. She said (in a shocked voice) "Mom, this girl is like me!!"

                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                    Because of this...I got it for my Kindle. That Lulu of yours is quite the gal.

                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                      So glad that Lulu is enjoying it. Below is my report from the Media board with more of a description about the graphic novel.

                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/908935

                                    2. re: LulusMom

                                      Not really to do with this book exactly, but on the subject of L thinking she's like this writer, and being a great eater. Today we were driving to our annual "congratulations on going back to school" sushi dinner and L started complaining that she'd heard another mother at school bragging about all the foods her kid eats. Lulu was *quite* put out by this, insisting that she was sure she eats a lot more daring stuff than this other girl. Atta girl, I thought, and I plan to use this to my advantage. I can remember trying to prove myself to my family by eating fish eyes (what did I prove? That I was the one who ate fish eyes in our family.).

                                        1. re: roxlet

                                          Thanks roxlet. I have to say, this is the only group that I knew would get why I thought this was such a great story. Other moms of Lulu's friends (except, possibly, the mom Lulu was talking about) would think this was an odd thing for a kid to be upset about.

                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                            That conversation would make me interested to meet the other girl's mother, too.

                                            Happy eating (and cooking) adventures to your Lulu!

                                            1. re: ellabee

                                              Somehow the Dad is the one who always comes to events.

                                        2. re: LulusMom

                                          I hope my little one grow up to be like Lulu on food.

                                          As for fish eyes, my mum and brother both love them.

                                      1. Anyone know of a good SOUTH Indian cookbook with pictures?? A friend explained the differences between south and North Indian food and all my books are North Indian heavy and I would like to try South Indian

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Siegal

                                          One that has a number of cuisines is Madhur Jaffrey's "A Taste of India" but I don't have a specifically south Indian one either.

                                          1. re: Siegal

                                            The "with pictures" part makes it a bit tough....but "660 Curries", while strictly speaking is a pan-Indian cookbook, might be worth looking at. The author is from the Tamil Iyer community, and we had great luck with his dishes when it was COTM (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/871611) The index is great, because it includes cross-references by community/geography, which really helps when trying to put together a coherent meal.

                                            Also, if you look through some of the older of bt's "what cookbook have you bought recently" threads, there have been a few suggestions on Kerala, Tamil & etc. focused books, but many are published outside the US and a tad hard to get here.