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maggiethecat

Cookbooks – How Many Do You Own? (Part 5)

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I have way too many cookbooks and not nearly enough. I have a bunch that I inherited from my mom that I've never used and probably never will that I should get rid of and there are quite a few out there that I don't have but would like to. It just seems easier to call it well balanced as it is and leave it alone.

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I work at a library from which it is far too easy to bring discarded cookbooks home.  After work tonight I got a ride from a kind colleague who asked: "What is your favorite dish?"  I said I don't have a favorite dish.  "OK, what are your top five?"  Chicken Tetrazzini, I replied.  And then I had to think.  I stammered lobster Newberg.

 

During dinner I reflected on how I classify cookbooks.  This being MY apartment, I can leave Dewey at the door.  Many if not most of my cookbooks are of the sort how to prepare X from any corner of the globe.  Think Time-Life The Good Cook.  Useful, but not inspiring.  Then I could classify by heat level:  Stendahl's Spicy Food.  Or by sexual orientation:  Cooking with Honey, What Literary Lesbians Eat.

 

I decided for my purpose it is most useful to classify cookbooks by national origin of the cuisine (I don't include American):

 

Italian 14

Japanese 7

French 3

Indian 2

Mexican 1

English 1

Chinese 1

Spanish 1

Moroccan 1

 

 

Forgive me if I missed any.

 

 

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15 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I decided for my purpose it is most useful to classify cookbooks by national origin of the cuisine (I don't include American):

 

Italian 14

Japanese 7

French 3

Indian 2

Mexican 1

English 1

Chinese 1

Spanish 1

Moroccan 1

 

Now that sounds like fun.  

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On ‎6‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 4:18 PM, liamsaunt said:

The completed bookcase. I now have lots of room for more cookbooks!

 

IMG_4317.thumb.JPG.fddd3079fa539d8f4ebb4bbb3d8f26b1.JPG

How perfect!!!!  And now that I see it finished, I can agree with the mister about the rolling ladder.

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I have too many for the size of my house, and one reason is that there are too many badly formatted (basically, unformatted) Kindle cookbooks. I feel cheated when I open a Kindle cookbook that is just a collection of PDFs, with no links from either the Table of Contents or the index. 

The following kindle cookbooks DO have a functional index - I have many more that are just unusable. Not all of these are good cookbooks, of course - I'm just incurably curious and have a weakness for amateur books. Drink-related books ore notable for their good formatting though!
Ottolenghi's Plenty
Venegas' Taco Feast (because for me, tacos are an exotic food that I don't understand very well!)

Binnur's Turkish Cookbook

Bittman: What I Grill and Why

Duguid: Burma: Rivers of Flavor has only a section index, which I normally dislike, but each section head contains a list of recipes, and even individual recipes have hot links for every reference.

Wilson: The Book of Marmalade (TOC and hotlinked index)

Buhner: Sacred and Healing Herbal Beers (chapter TOC and hotlinked index)

Beranbaum: Rose's Heavenly Cakes

Gee: Sweet on Texas

Lucia: 20 Best Italian Desserts (not very Italian but yes, it does have an index...)

Bobrow: Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails

Holbrough: 100 Years of Cocktails (Chapter TOC and hotlinked recipe index)

Loeb, Garces: Shake, Stir, Pour - Fresh Homegrown Cocktails  (Chapter TOC and hotlinked recipe index)

Brears: Jellies and their Moulds (Chapter TOC and hotlinked recipe index) This even has hotlinked FOOTNOTES and as a cookbook it deserves a shrine more than a mere shelf.

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Well, I have two more cookbooks than I did yesterday. My copies of Feasts od Eden, a book of recipes from the regionally renowned Red Apple Inn on Eden Isle at Greers Ferry Lake, and my Unforgettable Paula Wolfert both came in. And my duck confit and saucisses de Toulouse for her cassoulet are due in today. Cassoulet in the summertime? Why not? I have RG tarbais beans in the fridge...


Edited by kayb To fix the damn autocorrect. (log)
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I have 2.

A Trickier Stage and Practical Magic for the Modern Cook.

Enjoying and learning allot.

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Host's note: this post and the ensuing discussion were split from Hoarding Ingredients - suffering from Allgoneophobia?

 

 

Does anyone else hoard cookbooks? I have over 200 cookbooks that I never use and can't bear to part with. I have spent so many hours reading them and dreaming about things that I would like to cook that they have become like old friends. Most of them called for ingredients that I would never find here. For the most part, I used them to find innovative ways to prepare the things that I could find. I rarely followed a recipe exactly, but I spent hours surrounded by books looking for the perfect one.

Now with all the knowledge and pseudo knowledge on the web and recipes from every corner of the world, available for the asking, my cookbooks have become nothing but dust catchers.


Edited by Smithy Added host's note (log)
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1 hour ago, Tropicalsenior said:

Does anyone else hoard cookbooks? I have over 200 cookbooks that I never use and can't bear to part with.

 

Yes, of course, there are topics on this forum specifically devoted to the subject!

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55 minutes ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

 

Yes, of course, there are topics on this forum specifically devoted to the subject!

 

Especially this one.

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20 hours ago, Tropicalsenior said:

Does anyone else hoard cookbooks? I have over 200 cookbooks that I never use and can't bear to part with. I have spent so many hours reading them and dreaming about things that I would like to cook that they have become like old friends. Most of them called for ingredients that I would never find here. For the most part, I used them to find innovative ways to prepare the things that I could find. I rarely followed a recipe exactly, but I spent hours surrounded by books looking for the perfect one.

Now with all the knowledge and pseudo knowledge on the web and recipes from every corner of the world, available for the asking, my cookbooks have become nothing but dust catchers.

 

Well I got beat to it again by liuzhou with this link to the Cookbooks How Many Do You Own thread. I've never posted there, I don't think, because I only have about forty, most of mine are old and not trendy. I do own Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything". That is about as trendy as I get. I like it fine, but it's not my favorite nor most referred to. My collection is dwarfed by many of the members' descriptions and photos of their cookbook libraries on that thread. We all do realize that forty cookbooks is a lot by "normal" (non-eGullet) standards, right? :)

 

I still do use my cookbooks. The net is invaluable for researching a new dish, technique or ingredient, and I love YouTube videos on how to make dosas, pizzelles or naan or whatever. I've been known to go down a rabbit hole watching Indian street food videos for hours. :wacko: 

 

I still do refer to my cookbooks though frequently. My old copy of "The Joy of Cooking" is quite distressed from my love for it and frequent use. I just hauled it out tonight to make sure I hadn't forgotten an ingredient in my tartar sauce. I hadn't. 

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ThanksfortheCrepes, I also have way too many cookbooks that I don't use (though, like you, not in the same league as those who have hundreds). I am about to dispose of my copy of "How To Cook Everything," because I find it useless, but parting with any of them is hard.

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2 hours ago, BeatriceB said:

I am about to dispose of my copy of "How To Cook Everything," because I find it useless, but parting with any of them is hard

We each seem to have our own personal reason for clinging on to a particular cookbook. I have one old favorite that I'm sure no one here would even give shelf space to. It is called Better than Store Bought and when I moved here it became my Bible. It had recipes and instructions for all those things that we have become accustomed to just grabbing off the shelf. I made things in large batches because I was never able to be sure that I would find the ingredients again the next time that I went to the store. That's probably the Genesis of my hoarding problems, which was difficult to do in our first apartment because my kitchen was 6 by 6. I wound up turning half of my 9 foot clothes closet into a pantry.

Then there was also the language difference. Not being totally fluent in the language I made some very disastrous and hilarious mistakes. Like the time that I tried to make pudding with laundry starch instead of cornstarch. Another time I thought that I had found some great flaky kosher salt. I set about to make a large crock of dill pickles only to find out two days later that I had tried to make them with epsom salts. I can't even describe the smell or the texture of that mess.

Sometimes hoarding has its advantages and sometimes not. My little book is tattered and it splattered and it wasn't in very good of shape when I bought it second-hand, but I know that that's one book I'll never part with.


Edited by Tropicalsenior Self editing (log)
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I don't know if anyone is still keeping some kind of count on the forum, but my contribution is about to go down.  So far I've put 64 cookbooks on the dining room table to dispose of in the next few days: first to friends, then to the library, then to a local charity.  It was time.   


Edited by Darienne (log)
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40 minutes ago, Elizabeth Harrod said:

I have around 2,500 cookbooks

Whoa! Please tell us more. And thanks for resurrecting this thread.

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20 minutes ago, Alex said:

Whoa! Please tell us more. And thanks for resurrecting this thread.

My thoughts exactly....

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Too many. But I organize them as follows, cookbooks which in my mind are technique and dictionary books ,  cuisinebooks that are more internationally or ethnic focused, and then recipebooks which are compilations of recipes from magazines, ingredient (olive oil, meat, etc) driven recipes, or broadly focused on something like BBQ.

Just makes it easier for me to grab what I want.

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Too many!!!    Someone asked me, how do you know which ones have which recipes to follow?   I usually tell them, I don't really copy specific recipes in practice, all of these books I read are really just for ideas, techniques, but I rarely copy a recipe verbatim in practice.

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On 4/18/2019 at 9:10 PM, Owtahear said:

Too many!!!    Someone asked me, how do you know which ones have which recipes to follow?   I usually tell them, I don't really copy specific recipes in practice, all of these books I read are really just for ideas, techniques, but I rarely copy a recipe verbatim in practice.

Glad to know someone else does this. I will sit down with a cookbook and read it like a novel, but when it comes to needing a specific recipe for something, unless I'm going to a tried-and-true in a specific cookbook, nine times out of 10 I'll look online.

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On ‎4‎/‎21‎/‎2019 at 4:34 PM, kayb said:

Glad to know someone else does this. I will sit down with a cookbook and read it like a novel, but when it comes to needing a specific recipe for something, unless I'm going to a tried-and-true in a specific cookbook, nine times out of 10 I'll look online.

Bingo!   That's exactly what I do.  I know I have seen something....but usually will look it up.   Like I said, they are fantastic resources for ideas and techniques.  

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      With heat-tarnished copper, a 350F setting resulted in a wide swinging between 353F and 365F, which I attribute to the copper shedding heat far faster than the other constructions, once the circuit stops the power at temperature. Then, when the circuit cycles the power back on, the copper is so responsive that it quickly overshoots the setting. Aluminum, on the other hand, *undershot*, the 350F setting, registering a cycle of 332-340F.

      I conclude that the IR sensor is set for some particular emissivity, probably for that of stainless steel. If true, the Panasonic, even though it automatically switches frequencies, does not compensate for the different emissivities of copper and aluminum. And even if Panasonic added dedicated aluminum and copper IR sensors, there is enough difference between dirty and polished that the added cost would be wasted. Bottom line here: the temperature setting mode is of extremely low utility, and should not be trusted.
       
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      Given the differences in power setting granularity and maximum power between the two frequencies, it is difficult to assess what X watts into the pot means in, say, a copper-versus-clad or –disk showdown. What is clear, however, is that Setting X under disk and clad seems “hotter” than the same setting under copper and aluminum.

      I will need to precisely calibrate the Panasonic for wattage anyway for the hyperconductivity project, so I will obtain a higher-powered watt meter to determine the wattage of every power setting for both frequencies. Until then, however, the only way I can fairly handicap a race is to apply a reduction figure to the ferromagnetic setting (2400W being 69% of 3500W). Given that we know the wattage at the maximum settings, we can infer that Setting 14 (actually 13.8) on the 20-step ferromagnetic range iis approximately the same heat output as the maximum setting (18) for copper/aluminum.

      The boil times for 4 liters of 50F water in 10” diameter pots shocked me. The 10” x 3mm tinned copper pot’s water reached 211F in 36:41. Not an especially fast time at 2400 watts. The 10” disk-based pressure cooker bottom? Well, it didn’t make it—it took an hour to get to 208F and then hung there. So that left me wondering if the Panasonic engineers simply decided that 2400 watts was enough for copper and aluminum. I have a theory why the copper pot boiled and the SS one didn’t under the same power, but getting into that’s for another time.

      C. Evenness Comparisons
       
      The wires which generate the induction field are wound in a circular pattern; when energized, they create a torus-shaped magnetic field. The wound coil is constructed with an empty hole at its center. As matters of physics, the magnetic field’s intensity drops off extremely fast as a function of the distance from the coil; a few millimeters above the Ceran, the field is so weak no meaningful heat will be generated. This means that most induction cooktops heat *only* the very bottom of pans, and in a distinct 2-dimensional “doughnut” shape.

      All of the above can result in a pan having a cooler central spot, a hotter ring directly over the coil, and a cooler periphery outside the coil. It is left to the cookware to try to even out these thermal discontinuities when cooking. Some materials and pan constructions are better at this than others: the successful constructions utilize more highly-conductive metals such as aluminum and copper, but unless the material is very thick, there can be a ring-shaped hotspot that can scorch food.
      Until the Panasonic arrived to market, hotspot comparisons between ferromagnetic and aluminum/copper pans depended largely on comparing induction’s flat, more discrete heat ring with gas’s more diffuse, 3-dimensional one. Dodgeball-style debate ensued, with few clear conclusions. But now, for the first time, equally-powered flat heat rings in two different frequencies allow us to directly compare evenness in ferromagnetic and aluminum/copper cookware.

      The simplest and easiest way to assess cookware evenness is the “scorchprint”, which does not require infrared or other advanced thermal imaging equipment. I’ve posted on how to conduct scorchprinting elsewhere, but basically a pan is evenly dusted with flour; heat is applied to the pan bottom. As the flour is toasted, any hotspots visually emerge, giving the viewer a useful general idea of evenness.
       
      I will later post the photos of scorchprints I made of 4 different pans run using the Panasonic KY-MK3500: (1) a Demeyere 28cm Proline 5* clad frypan; (2) a Fissler Original Profi disk-base 28cm frypan; a 6mm aluminum omelet pan; and (4) a 32cm x 3.2mm Dehillerin sauté. To make it a fair race, I heated all the pans at 2400W until they reached 450F, and then backed off the power setting to maintain 450F. I did this in order not to compromise my saute’s tin lining. As you will see, both the clad Demeyere and the disk-based Fissler did print the typical brown doughnut, with a cooler center and periphery. By far the most even was the thick, all-aluminum pan, which actually was even over its entirety—even including the walls. The copper sauté was also quite even, although its larger size and mass really dissipated heat; once 450F was dialed in, no more browning happened, even after 30 minutes.
       
      I conclude that the straightgauge pans were far more effective at shunting heat to their peripheries and walls (and also to some extent into the air) than the clad and disk-based pans. The latter accumulated their heat with most of it staying in the center of the pans. Eventually, even the “doughnut hole” blended into the scorch ring because the walls were not bleeding sufficient heat away from the floor. This was especially pronounced in the Fissler, the high wall and rim areas of which never exceeded 125F. The aluminum pan, in contrast varied less than 30F everywhere on the pan.

      D. Other Considerations

      The Panasonic’s fan noise at the cook’s position was noticeable at 63 dBA, higher than with the VMP’s 57 dBA. These levels are characterized as “normal conversation” and “quiet street”, respectively. Interestingly, I found two other, potentially more important differences. First, the Panasonic’s fan stays on, even after the unit is powered off, whereas the VMP’s fan shuts off immediately when the hob is turned off. Second, the Panasonic’s fan steps down from the louder speed to a much quieter (47 dBA, characterized as “quiet home”) level until the Ceran is cool to sustained touch, at which point it shuts off completely. I think the Panasonic’s ability to continue to vent and cool itself is a great feature, especially since a cook could leave a large, full, hot pan on the glass.

      The glowing circle is useless for gauging heat setting or intensity. And while it works to indicate a hot surface, it remains lit long after you can hold your hand in place dead center.
       
      VI. Summary and Lessons
       
      The Panasonic KY-MK3500 is a solid unit, well-conceived and rugged. It is extremely easy to use. It works well with both the common 24kHz frequency used with ferromagnetic cookware, and the 90kHz frequency chosen here for copper and aluminum. It effectively and automatically switches between the two.

      In my opinion, it points the way to expanding the worldwide induction appliance market to include dual frequencies. It also obviates the need to: (a) junk otherwise excellent cookware merely to have induction; and (b) retrofit designs to bond on ferromagnetic outer layers. In fact, in my opinion, my tests indicate that, in a dual-frequency world, adding ferromagnetic bottoms may well be a drag on pans’ performance.
       
      I also consider the Panasonic Met-All to be ground-breaking in what it can tell us about *pans*, because all metallic pans are now commensurable on induction. Clearly (to me anyway), watt-for-watt, the copper and aluminum pans performed better than did the clad and disk-based pans on this unit. Boil times were faster, there was less propensity to scorch, and the conductive-sidewall pans definitely added more heat to the pans’ contents. We may ultimately find that 90kHz fields save energy compared to 24kHz fields, much as copper and aluminum require less heat on gas and electric coil.
      In terms of heat transfer, the copper and aluminum pans came close to emulating the same pans on gas. And at 2400W/3500W it has the power of a full size appliance in a relatively small tabletop package.
       
      The Panasonic is far from perfect, however. It can’t really be considered portable. There are far too few temperature settings, and what few it has are not accurate or consistent in terms of judging pan contents and attaining the same temperature in different pans (and even the same pan unless clean). The luminous ring could easily have been made a useful indicator of intensity, but wasn’t. And it lacks things that should be obvious, including a through-the-glass “button” contact thermocouple, more power granularity, an analog-style control knob, and capacity to accept an external thermocouple probe for PID control.
       
      Most importantly for me, the Panasonic KY-MK3500 portends more good things to come. Retail price remains $1,700-$2,400, but I jumped on it at $611, and I’ve seen it elsewhere for as low as $1,200.
       
      The manual can be found here: ftp://ftp.panasonic.com/commercialfoo...
       
      Photo Credit:  Panasonic Corporation

    • By artiesel
      THE BOOKS ARE SOLD
       
       
      I have Volumes 1 ,2 and 4 of Jean-Pierre Wybauw's Great Chocolate books are for sale.
       
      The books are in great shape!  There is some tape on the corner of the front of volume 1 that I used to keep it together after a drop.  Volume 1 is also autographed by the author (See pics below).
       
      I'm asking $150 for the lot OBO.
       
      Let me know if interested or if you have questions
       
       
       



    • By umami5
      Has anyone come across a digital version of Practical Professional Cookery (revised 3rd edition) H.L. Cracknell & R.J. Kaufmann.
      I am using this as the textbook for my culinary arts students and a digital version would come in very handy for creating notes and handouts.
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