1st Question: Do you have a favourite cookbook?
As many of you know I not only love to read, I also love to bake. I would definitely never claim to be a stellar cook but I do take pride in baking and decorating pretty treats (If you want to see a few of my creations you can head over to my other site www.evenabratcanmakeit.wordpress.com). Imaginative and creative are also two things that I would never use to describe myself, which is why cookbooks are essential in my kitchen. Do you have a top 4 when it comes to your go-to cookbooks; these are always the cookbooks you would feel a bit panicked if they got lost or damaged? I definitely do and am happy to share mine.
2nd question: Do YOU write in your cookbooks?
Many people love to mark up their cookbooks, putting notes here and there: add more sugar, use less flour, never make again, amazing, my husband said it was just fine, the kids actually ATE it…
The New York Times wrote an article on how collectors of old books actually consider a marked up cookbook to be a relic (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/30/dining/cookbooks-echo-with-the-wisdom-of-chefs-past.html?ref=dining)
I on the other hand still have a hard time taking a pen to any book even cookbooks. Most of my cookbooks do have sticky notes in them though or I have used a bookmark and wrote on the bookmark. Modifying recipes to make them perfect is necessary and at the end of the process it helps you feel proud of your food creation.
Some early cookbook favourites of mine were The Best of Bridge series. I loved “reading” the books, not so much for their recipes but because of the stories in them. Almost every page has a joke or a saying or a life lesson. Some of the comments are pretty hilarious and others give you a quick view of what life was like as a mother in the 1970s and 80s.
“DEFYING ALL ORWELLIAN PROPHECIES (AND SOME OF OUR OWN) 1984 HAS BECKONED US BACK FROM THE WAREHOUSE TO OUR KITCHENS AND WRITING DESKS.
TRENDS AND TIMES DO CHANGE. WE SEE NEARLY 50% OF WOMEN NOW IN THE WORK-FORCE, AND THAT EVER INCREASING NEW BREED – SINGLE PARENTS – INCLUDING FATHERS IN A NEW ROLE, KEEN AND EAGER TO MAKE A STEP UPWARDS FROM BOILING WATER. ONE CAN’T LIVE ON T.V. DINNERS ALONE – THE CHILDREN WON’T ALLOW IT! ” Winners: More Recipes From the Best of Bridge: pg 3 (1984).
Times haven’t changed so much, everyone is looking to squeeze in time for healthier meals for their families. Most of the cookbooks on the shelves right now have the words “quick” or “easy” in their title somewhere.
3d Question: What is it about your favourite cookbook that makes it your favourite?
I wanted to give you a few reasons for WHY these four are my favourite go-to cookbooks right now.
Company’s Coming Breakfasts & Brunches by Jean Paré. This is my all around breakfast book (let’s be honest, it only comes out on weekends and holidays). It will teach you basic recipes for most breakfast meals that your family would enjoy. The two most heavily used pages in my book are the pages with Waffles and Pancake recipes. This cookbook contains tons of egg recipes from basic things like learning how to make Scrambled Eggs to making more complicated things like Eggs Benedict and Egg Enchiladas.
Five Roses: A Guide to Good Cooking by Elizabeth Driver. If you need a cookbook to teach you basic things like what temperature to cook a roast beef to or to find a sauce to go with your pasta or vegetables then this would be your book. It has been well used in my kitchen since I got married. I actually couldn’t really cook much of anything until I got married. My husband liked to try out new recipes and we sort of learned how to cook things together (obviously with many failed recipes along the way). I still reach for this book often just to double-check things or find a sauce recipe. I think it is the perfect book to give any newly weds or really anyone, it should be a must have in your cookbook collection.
Company’s Coming: Most Loved Cookies by Jean Paré. I know I have 2 Company’s Coming books on my list but I can’t leave this one out. This book was probably what ignited my passion for baking delicious treats. I don’t think I have ever made a recipe from it that failed. I keep all my recipe cards for everything inside it and often just pick it up to look at the pictures and get ideas. The picture on the front cover says everything, delicious chocolate chip cookies! Company’s Coming: Most Loved Cookies covers everyday type cookies as well as shortbread and other Christmas treats. Many of the recipes are KID FRIENDLY if you are brave enough to let your kids touch your flour container.
Layered: Baking, Building and Styling Spectacular Cakes by Tessa Huff. EXCELLENT. I highly recommend purchasing this book if you love cakes and baking. The pictures alone make it worth purchasing. I have used recipes from Tessa Huffs cookbook many times all with success. She goes into detail on everything so you can make the perfect icing, cake layers and decorations. I even attempted the cake on the front cover just because it was so pretty I couldn’t resist. My cakes will never be quite so pretty but I appreciate all the wisdom and advice Tessa offers in her book.
Thank-you for putting up with my food inspired Book Blog this week and happy reading (I mean baking)!