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December 2013 Cookbook of the Month Nominations Thread

BigSal Nov 7, 2013 05:19 PM

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!

  1. MidwesternerTT Nov 7, 2013 05:34 PM


    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. Gio Nov 7, 2013 05:34 PM

      Dipping my toe in. Thanks Big Sal!

      1. s
        stockholm28 Nov 7, 2013 05:41 PM

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

        3 Replies
        1. re: stockholm28
          Caitlin McGrath Nov 7, 2013 06:17 PM

          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
            delys77 Nov 7, 2013 07:19 PM

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

            1. re: delys77
              JoanN Nov 8, 2013 04:57 PM

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

          2. emily Nov 7, 2013 09:27 PM


            2 Replies
            1. re: emily
              herby Nov 8, 2013 11:41 AM

              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
                emily Nov 8, 2013 02:52 PM

                Oops, I did not think of that...

            2. L.Nightshade Nov 7, 2013 11:14 PM

              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. LulusMom Nov 8, 2013 03:25 AM

                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. honkman Nov 8, 2013 06:54 AM

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

                  1. jpr54_1 Nov 8, 2013 10:10 AM

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

                    ALL ABOUT ROASTING

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: jpr54_1
                      delys77 Nov 8, 2013 11:01 AM

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


                      1. re: delys77
                        LulusMom Nov 8, 2013 12:43 PM

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

                    2. herby Nov 8, 2013 11:56 AM

                      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
                        LulusMom Nov 8, 2013 12:44 PM

                        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
                          herby Nov 8, 2013 04:34 PM

                          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
                            LulusMom Nov 8, 2013 04:38 PM

                            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
                              herby Nov 8, 2013 08:54 PM

                              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
                          L.Nightshade Nov 8, 2013 01:20 PM

                          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
                            JoanN Nov 8, 2013 04:55 PM

                            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
                              L.Nightshade Nov 8, 2013 08:25 PM

                              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
                                herby Nov 8, 2013 09:04 PM

                                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
                                  L.Nightshade Nov 8, 2013 09:21 PM

                                  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
                                    herby Nov 8, 2013 09:32 PM

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

                                    1. re: herby
                                      L.Nightshade Nov 9, 2013 10:58 AM

                                      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
                                    JoanN Nov 8, 2013 09:39 PM

                                    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
                                      LulusMom Nov 9, 2013 03:08 AM

                                      Is Fancy Pantry just preserves?

                                      1. re: LulusMom
                                        JoanN Nov 9, 2013 06:28 AM

                                        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
                                          JoanN Nov 9, 2013 07:23 AM

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


                                          1. re: JoanN
                                            L.Nightshade Nov 9, 2013 02:08 PM

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

                                          2. re: JoanN
                                            LulusMom Nov 9, 2013 10:39 AM

                                            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
                                          L.Nightshade Nov 9, 2013 10:53 AM

                                          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
                                            sedimental Nov 9, 2013 10:56 AM

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

                                            1. re: sedimental
                                              L.Nightshade Nov 9, 2013 11:18 AM

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

                                            2. re: L.Nightshade
                                              JoanN Nov 9, 2013 12:32 PM

                                              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
                                                MelMM Nov 12, 2013 07:53 AM

                                                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
                                                  L.Nightshade Nov 12, 2013 10:29 AM

                                                  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
                                                    MelMM Nov 12, 2013 11:14 AM

                                                    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
                                              Caitlin McGrath Nov 11, 2013 07:15 PM

                                              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
                                            MidwesternerTT Nov 9, 2013 06:49 AM

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


                                            1. re: MidwesternerTT
                                              sedimental Nov 9, 2013 09:30 AM

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

                                              1. re: MidwesternerTT
                                                L.Nightshade Nov 9, 2013 12:51 PM

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

                                                1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                  L.Nightshade Nov 9, 2013 01:55 PM

                                                  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
                                                    herby Nov 9, 2013 03:07 PM

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

                                                  2. re: MidwesternerTT
                                                    lesliej Nov 9, 2013 06:18 PM

                                                    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. l
                                              limoen Nov 9, 2013 02:14 AM

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

                                              9 Replies
                                              1. re: limoen
                                                Gio Nov 9, 2013 04:39 AM

                                                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
                                                  limoen Nov 9, 2013 10:35 AM

                                                  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
                                                    LulusMom Nov 9, 2013 10:40 AM

                                                    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
                                                      limoen Nov 9, 2013 11:56 AM

                                                      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
                                                        LulusMom Nov 9, 2013 12:55 PM

                                                        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
                                                  jpr54_1 Nov 9, 2013 11:04 AM

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

                                                  1. re: limoen
                                                    Westminstress Nov 10, 2013 10:02 AM

                                                    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
                                                      herby Nov 10, 2013 04:11 PM

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

                                                      1. re: herby
                                                        Caitlin McGrath Nov 11, 2013 07:16 PM

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

                                                  2. herby Nov 9, 2013 05:17 PM

                                                    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
                                                      MelMM Nov 13, 2013 04:51 AM

                                                      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. BigSal Nov 13, 2013 05:47 PM

                                                      Nominations close tomorrow at 7PM Central Time.

                                                      1. BigSal Nov 14, 2013 05:07 PM

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

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