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Saturday, 14 May 2005

Cookbooks Meme

Filed under: cookbooks, etc.,crossblogging,food & drink,meme — ejm @ 01:18 EDT

Anthony, at Spiceblog has created a monster with his Cookbooks Meme.

First of all… post a picture of my cookbooks??!! Hahahahahaha! Even if I had a camera, I’m not sure I can step back far enough to get a picture of all of them. And I suppose you expect me to collect all the cookbooks that are in all of the rooms?? There are three shelves of cookbooks in the kitchen. There are a few more cookbooks on the bookshelf beside the computer. There are several more cooking magazines and a few cookbooks beside the bed. And I’m pretty sure there are a couple on the bookshelves in the living room as well. And of course, the public library has a number of cookbooks that I borrow for extended periods, return and then borrow again. The library books I generally store on the telephone table. edit 15 May: When I read delicious:days – on cookbooks, I was reminded that we too have cookbooks in the bathroom. And now I’m beginning to wonder if we don’t have cookbooks just about everywhere in the house. I just remembered that there is even a Joy of Cooking paperback in with the camping gear in the basement.

1. Rationale behind what we’re seeing?
Okay, I’m only going to deal with the ones in the kitchen. The topshelf of the floor to ceiling IKEA shelf has the cookbooks that are used slightly less often, which include vegetarian, fondue, desserts and squares, wholefoods, barbecue, Saveur magazines. The second shelf has the hardcover pretty picture books, which include: herb&spices, Salsas & Ketchups; Italian (entirely useless book but it has beautiful photos), Food Markets of World, Escoffier (also useless but with lovely photos), French Cuisine, Asian Cuisine. The third shelf has the books we use most often, which include our binder of family recipes – typed, scrawled and jammed in in order of appetizer, soup, maincourse, dessert; Joy Of Cooking; Indian books; Silver Palate; various Bread books; Asian books; French books; Italian books; collections;

2. Most recommended?
Saveur magazine; Joy of Cooking by Irma S Rombauer & Marion Rombauer Becker; The Italian Baker by Carol Field. I just noticed that my copy of The Italian Baker is breaking! The binding is pulling away at the “biga” page….

3. Cookbook that made you what you were?
The Italian Baker, or possibly Artisan Baking Across America: The Breads, The Bakers, The Best Recipes by Maggie Glezer; or perhaps it was Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen by Laurie Colwin, or… or… oh this is really too hard!! One cookbook that made me what I am?? The answer is really one cook (my chef) who made me what I am! (Or is it my mom’s copy of The Dinner Party Cookbook that I leafed through and asked if I could have barbecued chicken with curried fruit for my 15th birthday dinner? I haven’t seen that book in years! But it did open my tastebuds to new flavours!)

4. Porniest cookbook?
Okay, now what exactly does this mean? Is this the sort of book that makes one drool because of the pictures? If so, then I guess maybe Asia – the Beautiful Cookbook by Jacki Passmore

5. Sophie’s Choice cookbook?
What??!!! Now I have no idea what this means. Is this which book do I agonize and agonize about and then in despair throw over a bridge to watch it flutter down and shatter on the rocky rapids below?

edit 15 May: Apparently this question is if I could only save one. This is tricky. I suspect it might be The Italian Baker by Carol Field – or would it be the scrapbook of our family recipes? Rrrrrrrrr!! Too hard! Don’t make me choose!! (When I read “Sophie’s Choice” I thought that *** spoiler alert – highlight to read: that her ultimate choice was whether she should live or die.)

6. If you were a cookbook, which cookbook would you be?
Hahahahahaha!! Well, I want to be the one with only really good recipes and beautiful photos. But in reality, I’m probably the ratty, thumbed through, stained one with notes in the margin and no photos.

7. If your cookbook were extremely valuable, so valuable you might hide it with other valuables, where would that place be?
Well, that’s simple. I’ve read “The Purloined Letter”! Obviously it’s safest if it’s on the shelf shoved in with all the other cookbooks!

  • Your sister

    “barbecued chicken with curried fruit for my 15th birthday dinner? I haven’t seen that book in years! But it did open my tastebuds to new flavours!”

    I remember that dinner – I was 17 and not yet ready to have my tastebuds opened. Now, I would probably find that to be fabulous, but then … brrr!

  • ejm

    I also remember that 15th birthday dinner well. I remember thinking that the curried fruit was very strange but interesting. I suspect now that we would find it to be quite bland. And what do you bet that it called for commercial curry powder?

    The other recipes I remember from that book was “veal birds” and “pumpkin chiffon pie with mandarin orange slices”. Mom made the veal birds for a dinner party (that we children were NOT invited to) but we got to taste them. It was the first time I had tarragon (!) and even though Mom used dry tarragon, it was thrilling. I think tarragon (fresh) is still my favourite herb. The pumpkin pie was made for Thanksgiving (I think) and while everyone agreed that it was delicious, we always made regular pumpkin pie afterwards.

    Even though I know I was there, it’s hard to imagine that time when paprika, tarragon and garlic were exotic.


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