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December 2013 Cookbook of the Month Nominations Thread

Although we are just a week into Marcella Hazan Month, it is time to begin taking nominations for the December 2013 Cookbook of the Month (COTM). Please use this thread to discuss the books you would like to cook from in December. Indicate you are nominating a book by writing the title of the book in ALL CAPITALS.

This thread will be open until 7 pm Central Time on Thursday, November 14th. At that time the books with the most nominations will advance to the voting thread.

To view the basics of the COTM, and to review all of the previous winners, please visit this link: http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

What will we be cooking next month? Will we be baking, braising, or undertaking a compendium? Or perhaps we will be introduced to an unfamiliar cuisine or author. Let the nominations begin!

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    TDQ's excited commentary about the Author has me eager to try this. There's already a "Cooking From" discussion started. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9214...

    1. Dipping my toe in. Thanks Big Sal!

      1. ALL ABOUT ROASTING by Molly Stevens
        because December really is the perfect month for roasting.

        3 Replies
        1. re: stockholm28

          I could get behind ALL ABOUT ROASTING in December.

          I looked at the recipe index on EYB (http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/9...), and there are a good number of recipes I think I'd be interested in, even though I don't eat beef, pork, or lamb - the poultry, seafood, and vegetable sections look good.

          1. re: stockholm28

            For sure, I'd be happy with either ALL ABOUT ROASTING or ALL ABOUT BRAISING.

            1. re: delys77

              I'll fourth ALL ABOUT ROASTING, and would love to add Stir to the list next time we're ready for another Italian book.

            1. re: emily

              I would love for Stir to be COTM some time soon but I do not think two Italian months in a row will appeal to many.

              1. re: herby

                Oops, I did not think of that...

            2. Ack, December? I've barely been able to switch from writing 10/13 to 11/13. Time certainly accelerates as one ages!
              Just grabbing a seat here, as December may well be the last month in which I'll be able to participate for a while. Eager to see what floats up.

              1. Sticking my toe in too. I can well imagine that All about Roasting would be a good book for a cold month. There is so much going on with people in December (at least here) socially that it may be a tough month to fit in much cooking.

                1. BRAISE by Boulud because it's the perfect month for braising

                  1. all About Braising was done COTM 2 times-Oct. 2009 and Oct.2006

                    ALL ABOUT ROASTING

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: jpr54_1

                      Ah sorry I had not noticed the braising was previously done.


                      1. re: delys77

                        Braise is a different book than All about Braising, so would be totally fine.

                    2. What do you think about tackling ASIAN DUMPLINGS in December? I bought this book awhile back and it is sitting on the bookshelf begging to be cooked from.

                      Bill Granger was mentioned several times and though I do not have any of his books, I am intrigued and would like to give BILLS SYDNEY FOOD a try.

                      31 Replies
                      1. re: herby

                        I'd love love love to do either of these books. I'm just worried that December is going to be a month when I won't be able to participate much given holiday stuff going on. January seems like a natural for something light, which an Asian book would feel like to me.

                        1. re: LulusMom

                          And I thought the opposite - dumpling would be good for a busy month because I can spend a day or a few hours making skins and 2-3 or more different fillings and have a bunch of lovely dumplings in the freezer for those days when there is no time to cook.

                          1. re: herby

                            Well, see, that is a great way of looking at it that hadn't occurred to me. I guess my problem is that I'm seeing that free day or hours as time to do holiday cookies, and I realize not everyone does that so what you say makes total sense.

                            1. re: LulusMom

                              Actually a bunch of us are getting together for cookies' exchange - everyone bakes and brings one kind of cookies and goes home with a variety after stuffing herself silly :)

                        2. re: herby

                          I would love to do ASIAN DUMPLINGS, December or another time. One of the most memorable meals of my life was an all-dumpling dinner. I don't have the book, but I'll surely invest to learn how to make them.

                          1. re: herby

                            I'd very much like to see Asian Dumplings as COTM, but am in the less-busy-month camp. January? February? I just can't see taking the time to make dumplings in December.

                            1. re: JoanN

                              I'm trying to think realistically about December. Except for the few days just before Christmas dinner, it's not that busy for me. But I'd certainly support moving Asian Dumplings to another month where there would be more support.

                              Speaking of December, I so wish there was a great book about food gifts: pickles, jams, baking, cordials, etc. I'd love to do something like this in December, but don't really know a good book to suggest.

                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                I love your suggestion of food gifts book! I have a lovely book - Small-Batch Preserving - that has recipes for all seasons and many suitable for gifting. Sadly, I have not made Thing One from the book. Fancy Pantry is my go-to for anything preserving but it is an older book that not many people have - this is an assumption and not a fact :)

                                A friend gave me a jar of incredible home-made Indian lemon pickle - I would love to learn to make Indian pickles or other relishes but do not have a book to recommend.

                                1. re: herby

                                  Oooh, I have the Small Batch Preserving book too, completely forgot about it. I recently made the Asian Plum Sauce because we had a ridiculous amount of plums. It was a huge success. Something else I made also, can't remember what, but I remember that it was very good.

                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                    Do you think it could be good December book? Will you make gifts out of it?

                                    1. re: herby

                                      I'd have to take a closer look at it to see if it would work for COTM, or for gifts. It is about small batch, so if you're gifting a lot of people, you might have to multiply the recipes. It is all about preserving though. I'd love to do a book that had some baking, maybe oil, maybe cordials, and other types of gifts.

                                      I have another agenda for a gift-oriented book also, in that I need to come up with "favors" for a group of guests in March, so I'm ready to explore Fancy Pantry too.

                                  2. re: herby

                                    I have Fancy Pantry. It's a terrific book. And there are plenty of used copies at quite low prices on Amazon.

                                    1. re: JoanN

                                      Is Fancy Pantry just preserves?

                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                        Not at all. One of my favorite recipes in the book (in addition to the ginger jelly and ginger marmalade) is a corn relish. There are potted meats and fish; fresh cheeses and yogurts; pickles, mustards, ketchups; breads and spreads; vinegars and seasoned oils; cordials and syrups; dessert sauces and nuts. Really a perfect book if gift-giving is what people have in mind. And all the recipes I've tried (maybe half a dozen or so) have been spot on. Very reliable.

                                        1. re: JoanN

                                          For anyone interested, I just came across a short thread on Fancy Pantry from early '06:


                                          1. re: JoanN

                                            Thanks for that link; quite a few interesting items mentioned!

                                          2. re: JoanN

                                            Thanks so much - this helps explain it to me. I got myself excited enough about it to see if our local library has it. No such luck. Might be able to find it via intra-library loan though.

                                        2. re: JoanN

                                          So do you know about The Good Stuff Cookbook? It looks like it is, at least in part, an update of Fancy Pantry. Amazon says "the book features 60% all-new recipes. The other 40% have been updated, tweaked, and re-tested."

                                          Fancy Pantry must be a pretty desirable book, as new copies start at $58! Used copies are very reasonable, however.

                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                            Wow, I got mine at a thrift store for a few bucks! I guess I really scored!

                                            1. re: sedimental

                                              Indeed! A new paperback copy on Better World Books is $173!

                                            2. re: L.Nightshade

                                              Hadn't heard of The Good Stuff Cookbook until you mentioned it. I'd be interested in knowing how she's tweaked or updated some of the recipes in Fancy Pantry, but not enough to buy this new book. Too bad it's not in the New York Public Library system.

                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                I can get behind FANCY PANTRY/THE GOOD STUFF COOKBOOK. I have the latter, but it sounds like there is a lot of overlap.

                                                1. re: MelMM

                                                  I think that pairing is a great idea. People might have just one or the other, and, as you said, there seems to be overlap.

                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                    Overlap to the degree that you could consider Good Stuff to be a revision of Fancy Pantry. And far too much overlap to justify buying both of them. Also Good Stuff is available used on Amazon for next to nothing.

                                            3. re: JoanN

                                              After determining that my library system doesn't have Fancy Pantry, I just ordered a used copy for $8 including shipping. Now to make space on my overfull cookbook shelves...

                                              So sure, why not FANCY PANTRY.

                                          2. re: L.Nightshade

                                            I like this idea a lot and based on other's comments I'll nominate FANCY PANTRY by Helen Witty


                                            1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                              I also have FANCY PANTRY and it would be a great book for December!

                                              1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                OK, I just ordered FANCY PANTRY. Sounds like great fun!

                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                  And if nothing else this thread has got me thinking about food gifts, both for the holidays and the favors I will be needing in a few months. I've gone through my shelves and pulled together all the related books: cordials, flavored oils, preserves, pickles, gifts, etc. And only one, slim, volume of cookies.
                                                  Can't wait to start planning!

                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                    Mine is all tattered :) Another nomination goes to FANCY PANTRY.

                                                  2. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                    FANCY PANTRY. For years I've been giving boxes of cookies as gifts, often wishing I had some great savory recipes I could make to pair with the sweet stuff - this would give me the incentive to do that (just ordered it, too!)

                                            2. How about Diana Henry's ROAST FIGS, SUGAR SNOW: WINTER FOOD TO WARM THE SOUL?

                                              9 Replies
                                              1. re: limoen

                                                Now, Roast Figs, Sugar Snow: Winter Food to Warm the Soul appeals to me for December. I'll have to take a closer look. Thanks Limoen.


                                                1. re: Gio

                                                  I've been cooked for form this book and the recipes were just lovely. I love Diana Henry's simple cooking, too, which can be a bonus in a busy month, though this book would be great in January or February too

                                                  1. re: limoen

                                                    I love her Pure, Simple Cooking (has a different name on your side of the Atlantic) so much I'd marry it. Agree that a book with especially simple recipes might fit the bill, but am also intrigued by the idea of a food gifts type book.

                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                      Yes, I'm following the other suggestions and they look good! I do want to make some home-made things this year and recently bought Annie Rigg's lovely Sweet Things (which, with a sweets-only focus, might not be as ideal for COTM)

                                                      1. re: limoen

                                                        I bought Maida Heatter's Great Cookies (or whatever it is called) as my "let's give out cookies this year!" book. I'm pretty excited.

                                                2. re: limoen

                                                  ROAST FIGS, SUGAR SNOW;WARM FOOD TO WARM THE SOUL
                                                  I have this one -trying to save money

                                                  1. re: limoen

                                                    I would endorse Diana Henry, but I would want to cook from Plenty and Pure Simple Cooking, which are the books I own and would love to explore more.

                                                    1. re: Westminstress

                                                      You know about "Cooking from Diana Henry Books", right?

                                                      1. re: herby

                                                        Not to speak for Westminstress, but she's been a regular contributor to that thread.

                                                  2. ROOTS by Diane Morgan - only 125 of us have it according to EYB but Kindle edition is only $3 on Amazon. I quote from EYB review: "this excellent cookbook contains a plethora of out-of-the-box ideas for using fresh ingredients in unique ways".
                                                    Tonight I found a turnip in the fridge - I do not even like turnips and what is it doing here?! Roots has several appealing recipes for turnips and I roasted mine with thyme as instructed - amazingly good :) This is not a vegetarian book - lots of proteins cooked with root veggies in addition to veggies alone. It has chapters on ginger, lotus root and wasabi among many others. It is not beef/pork heavy either and has many recipes with chicken, fish and seafood.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: herby

                                                      I could also get behind ROOTS. I've had it since it came out and haven't made anything, but I have another of her cookbooks and her recipes have all been really solid.

                                                    2. Nominations close tomorrow at 7PM Central Time.

                                                      1. Nominations are now closed. Please join us in the voting thread here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/924335.