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Best Out of Print Cookbooks

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#1 fresco

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 05:09 AM

On Maggie's marathon "how many cookbooks" thread, there's a discussion of Classical Southern Cooking by Damien Lee Fowler, with everyone (including Maggie and Alex) agreeing that it should be republished.
I have a few such books on my own mental list, including Miriam Ungerer's Good Cheap Food, bought many years ago when I was an impoverished student. Like most really good books, its most valuable lessons were not even hinted at in the title. It was reissued in 1997 and widely praised (again) at the time, but seems to have dropped out again.
What are your nominations for cookbooks deserving of a second (or third or fourth) life?
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#2 GG Mora

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 06:15 AM

The Alice's Restaurant Cookbook, by Alice May Brock.

I'll give you all a moment to stop laughing and huffing.

Somebody gave my Mom this book as a joke when it first came out. Pretty good joke, too -- hippie-ethos for the uptight suburban housewife. She passed it off to me when I got my first apartment. At the time, I knew next to nothing about cooking, outside of making scrambled eggs or boxed cakes.

Mind you, the recipes in this book are pretty loose and goofy. Canned and packaged products are frequently called for, and nothing requires any fussy cooking technique. But the book is written in such a warm, easy, free-wheeling style, with so much encouragement towards improvisation in ingredients, technique and equipment, that it breeds a sort of infectious fearlessness in the kitchen. In the wrong hands, I suppose it might foment a lifetime of bad cooking, confidently perpetuated. In my case, it simply got me started on a lifetime of perpetually improved pursuits in the kitchen, as I moved on to Julia, Anne Willan, Rick Bayless, Francois Payard, Andre Soltner, George Perrier, Robuchon. This is the book that every first-time cook should start with. Serious.



Edited so as to spell the author's name correctly.

Edited by GG Mora, 11 December 2003 - 07:58 AM.


#3 mstillman

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 06:52 AM

Jeremiah Tower's New American Classics.

That books kicks ass and takes names...kidnaps your mom and holds her at gunpoint and then asks for a chopper and 50 million dollars to make its getaway to some island where it rules supremely in a white linen suit while smoking cigars.

Also Red Wine with Fish by Rosengarten and Wesson.

#4 Comfort Me

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 07:48 AM

Bernard Clayton's Pastry book. While a difficult one to read as a novel, as I am prone to do with cookbooks, it is so incredibly detailed and an ease to work with.
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#5 Dave the Cook

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 08:08 AM

The 1964 edition of Joy of Cooking.

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#6 fresco

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 08:12 AM

The 1964 edition of Joy of Cooking.

Just checked mine and it is indeed the 1964 edition. Incredible resource, although it does seem to assume most households come equipped with a generous complement of hired help. :shock:
Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"

#7 Pere Hugo

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 08:13 AM

The Good Cook series by Time Life Books in the '80's. "Series Consultant" was Richard Olney. 28 volumes heavy on technique and classic recipes.

Olney himself did the Wine volume. Examples are chateau type vintages which were then somewhat affordable, especially in France. He had a charmed life in France.

#8 JAZ

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 08:56 AM

Cocktail: The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century by Paul Harrington and Laura Moorhead. My favorite cocktail book by far. It's not that old, either -- I'm not sure why it's not in print anymore.

#9 Carolyn Tillie

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 09:05 AM

Salvador Dali's Les Diners de Gala and I suppose Wines of Gala just to have the accompanying work.

Also, Vincent Price's Come Into the Kitchen Cookbook - out of date, recipe-wise, but a great read!

Edited by Carolyn Tillie, 11 December 2003 - 09:06 AM.


#10 Sandra Levine

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 09:13 AM

The Horizon Cookbook, A thick, two-part volume with the sub-title "and Illustrated History and Eating and Drinking Through the Ages." Mimi Sheraton is listed as the historical foods consultant. The recipes are unfussy, but delicious, basic dishes from many cuisines. The front of the book is a copiously illustrated narrative of the history of European cooking and dining. The recipes go a little further afield to include some simple Asian dishes.

#11 budrichard

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 09:17 AM

Pepin's La Technique and La Method in the original large format along with his "Art of Cooking" Vol1 and Vol2 in the original large format. Arguably the best books EVER published that include recipes and step by step technique pictures. Want to see how to break down a whole baby lamb? -Dick

#12 Squeat Mungry

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 09:19 AM

I'd nominate Paula Peck's The Art of Fine Baking. I picked this up not too long ago, and have really been enjoying it. As a novice baker, I find it very clear and helpful, and not at all intimidating.

Squeat

Edited to add that I am definitely among those who wish to see Classical Southern Cooking republished!

Edited by Squeat Mungry, 11 December 2003 - 09:23 AM.


#13 Sandra Levine

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 09:22 AM

I think The Art of Fine Baking is available as a reprint. It'svery good. Straight-forward and unpretentious. I learned to make tarts using this book. The coffeecake recipes are outstanding.

#14 maggiethecat

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 09:37 AM

Sandra, I am so with you on The Horizon Cookbook. I'll add most of the oeuvre of Edouard de Pomiane and Robert Carrier's (original) Great Dishes of the World.

And, of course, The Time-Life international cooking series.

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#15 badthings

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 10:51 AM

Excellent topic.
Any publishers reading this: case-bound please.
No paperbacks. You cannot cook out of a paperback.
E.g., Olney's Simple French Food, David's French Provincial Cooking

#16 SethG

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 11:05 AM

Serving Time: America's Most Wanted Recipes,

by Sara Jane Olson/Kathleen Soliah.
"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;
but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

#17 Anna N

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 12:14 PM

Excellent topic.
Any publishers reading this: case-bound please.
No paperbacks. You cannot cook out of a paperback.
E.g., Olney's Simple French Food, David's French Provincial Cooking

According to this Richard Olney's Simple French Food has been re-released in hardcover.
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#18 Squeat Mungry

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 12:17 PM

I think The Art of Fine Baking  is available as a reprint.  It'svery good.  Straight-forward and unpretentious.  I learned to make tarts using this book.  The coffeecake recipes are outstanding.

I'm glad to hear this, thanks! I know someone that it will make a perfect holiday gift for.

#19 theabroma

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 12:25 PM

Healy & Bugat, Mastering the Art of French Pastry

The entire 54 volume set of CONACULTA´s Recetario Indigena

Theabroma
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#20 badthings

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 12:52 PM

Excellent topic.
Any publishers reading this: case-bound please.
No paperbacks. You cannot cook out of a paperback.
E.g., Olney's Simple French Food, David's French Provincial Cooking

According to this Richard Olney's Simple French Food has been re-released in hardcover.

Excellent. Thanks.
That ed. is not listed on amazon.com, and Grub St. doesn't appear to have a US distributor, but it can probably be ordered direct here -- or at least you can try to get a bookstore to do it for you.

They also have Jane Grigson's Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery.

EDIT: Theabroma, it seems that many of them can be ordered direct from CONACULTA. But some are clearly out of print.

Edited by badthings, 11 December 2003 - 01:01 PM.


#21 edsel

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 06:42 PM

Pepin's La Technique and La Method in the original large format along with his "Art of Cooking" Vol1 and Vol2 in the original large format. Arguably the best books EVER published that include recipes and step by step technique pictures. Want to see how to break down a whole baby lamb? -Dick

This reminds me of a series of step-by-step books published by Simon and Schuster in the early 80s. I have two of them: Classic Techniques of Italian Cooking by Giuliano Bugialli and Chinese Technique by Ken Hom. The latter is my nominee for out-of-print cookbook that should be republished. The recipes are useful enough, but the real value of the book lies in the clear, concise description of the process.

#22 Busboy

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 08:55 PM

Pepin's ..."Art of Cooking" Vol1 and Vol2 in the original large format. Arguably the best books EVER published that include recipes and step by step technique pictures. Want to see how to break down a whole baby lamb? -Dick

Damn. I was going to say that. I stumbled across "Art of Cooking" kind of randomly one day, and ended up learning more from it than any other cookbook, or set, I ever bought. Had no idea who Pepin was.
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#23 Busboy

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 09:10 PM

Excellent topic.
Any publishers reading this: case-bound please.
No paperbacks. You cannot cook out of a paperback.
E.g., Olney's Simple French Food, David's French Provincial Cooking

According to this Richard Olney's Simple French Food has been re-released in hardcover.

Excellent. Thanks.
That ed. is not listed on amazon.com, and Grub St. doesn't appear to have a US distributor, but it can probably be ordered direct here -- or at least you can try to get a bookstore to do it for you.

So, I have a copy of "Richard Olney's Provence the Beautiful Cookbook," part of "The Beautiful Cookbook Series." Acquired it before I knew who Richard Olney was because, as beautiful/cheesy as the series may be, a friend had given me the "Mediterranean" volume and it has some very good recipes in it, and when I went looking for a Provencal cookbook it seemed a logical choice. Cheap, too. I also somehow acquired "LuLu's Provencal Cuisine," supposedly the recipes of the proprietrice of Domaine Tempier in Bandol. This book is also "written" by Olney.

The reason I bring this up, is that the recipes in the two books are almost exactly the same, down to the little tidbits of advice in the intro's to the recipes. So, I wonder if they are, in fact, recycling of "Simple French Cooking," that is, if Olney's heirs or publishers are just repackaging existing material.
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#24 budrichard

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 08:50 AM

Edsel: "This reminds me of a series of step-by-step books published by Simon and Schuster in the early 80s. I have two of them: Classic Techniques of Italian Cooking by Giuliano Bugialli and Chinese Technique by Ken Hom"
I also have Bugialli's book! I will search out Hom's book. I have Hom's "The Taste of China also.-Dick

#25 Comfort Me

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 08:57 AM

Oh! I almost forgot! The Ranch Cookbook from The Ranch at Ojai, California. They had a vegetarian onion soup mix that was great! I've been looking for it -- it belonged to an old employer, so I no longer have access to the book. I should have written it down!
Aidan

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#26 malcolmjolley

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 10:34 AM

Excellent topic.
Any publishers reading this: case-bound please.
No paperbacks. You cannot cook out of a paperback.
E.g., Olney's Simple French Food, David's French Provincial Cooking

I'm pretty sure Penguin did a whole series of ED's books recently. I have a paperback reissue of French Provincial.

I'm in Canada, so it may be a North Aemrican thing, or only a Common Wealth thing.

You can get it at Amazon.ca

http://www.amazon.ca...6492203-0233610
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#27 badthings

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 11:47 AM

The reason I bring this up, is that the recipes in the two books are almost exactly the same, down to the little tidbits of advice in the intro's to the recipes. So, I wonder if they are, in fact, recycling of "Simple French Cooking," that is, if Olney's heirs or publishers are just repackaging existing material.

Lulu's Provencal Table and Simple French Food are different books. Although I haven't seen it, I suspect that if you scrutinize your "beautiful" cookbook's copyright page, it will be revealed to be the same book as Lulu's Provencal Table (still in print, in hardcover), with pictures.

I'm pretty sure Penguin did a whole series of ED's books recently. I have a paperback reissue of French Provincial.



Yes, available in the states, along with a pb. Simple French Food. My point is that a pb. cookbook is almost useless -- if you are going to go through the trouble of reprinting one, do it in hardcover so that we can cook out of it without destroying the binding.

#28 SethG

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 12:24 PM

Although I'm hurt that no one reacted to my non-serious suggestion above, I will perservere and make a serious suggestion:

The French Country Kitchen, James Villas. The prose is as valuable as the recipes.
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but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

#29 fresco

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 12:36 PM

Serving Time: America's Most Wanted Recipes,

by Sara Jane Olson/Kathleen Soliah.

Isn't this one of those books that is best err..."borrowed"?
Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"

#30 SethG

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 12:43 PM

Serving Time: America's Most Wanted Recipes,

by Sara Jane Olson/Kathleen Soliah.

Isn't this one of those books that is best err..."borrowed"?

Did anyone actually buy it? I was tempted, but not out of any sympathy for the SLA. I just thought it was the most audacious, and downright goofy, idea of a fundraiser for a criminal defendant that I'd ever heard of. I asssume it's out of "print" now since the website where it was for sale no longer exists.
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but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"





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