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Your First Cookbook


hjshorter
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My first cookbook was actually a series of books put out by Time Life in the sixties called Foods of the World. These are still my favourite cookbooks. I think looking through these books so young is what made me want to cook more than any outside factor. The torte on the cover of the Vienna book set on an elaborate cake stand next to a silver coffee pot and a bowl of whipped cream is spectacular. If anyone can get theri hands on those books, do. I still use them for research and inspiration. I recently spotted the whole set at a garage sale for $2!

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The first cookbook I received was the NY Times Cookbook, but the first one I paid any attention to was the Frog Commissary Cookbook:

0978094015973_500X500.jpg

This guy introduced me to flavors I had never heard about back in the 80s (Thai, Vietnamese). It was a fun book to read and offered lots of good insight. I still use it today (and it has the best carrot cake and pecan pie recipes).

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I think my first cookbook was The Frugal Gourmet, by Jeff Smith. It was given to me as I headed off to college. I believe the last time I used it was '91, as I am one that always is making notes and dates the dish was served in my books.

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My first cookbook was actually a series of books put out by Time Life in the sixties called Foods of the World. These are still my favourite cookbooks. I think looking through these books so young is what made me want to cook more than any outside factor. The torte on the cover of the Vienna book set on an elaborate cake stand next to a silver coffee pot and a bowl of whipped cream is spectacular. If anyone can get theri hands on those books, do. I still use them for research and inspiration. I recently spotted the whole set at a garage sale for $2!

I love Time Life's Foods of the World, and scoured bookstores for them for years. Finally I found the entire set, including the recipe booklets, at the Goodwill book sale about ten years ago. I snapped them up for $20. I still love reading, and cooking from them.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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I grew up in a house full of cookbooks and I had access to all of them.

I did too. I remember Vincent Price's cookbook being one of them, and a subscription series from the 60's by the Grande Diplome Cooking School. I wonder if my mom still has them?

Edited by hjshorter (log)

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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In 1971, I sent away cereal box tops and waited for the mailman to bring me:

bckbook.jpg

I don't remember any particular recipes from it...

Followed by The Nancy Drew Cookbook ... I still have this one (for nostalgia's sake)!! :raz:

But my favorite cookbook wasn't mine...I loved reading my Mom's Saucepans and the Single Girl by Jinx Kragen (later to become Jinx Morgan of Bon Apetite Magazine & "The Sugar Mill Caribbean Cookbook" fame) & Judy Perry. How to "catch" a man with food!! :laugh:

Luscious smell like love

Essential black milk worship

It whispers to me...

...Chocolate

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Good question! Mine was the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook in a late-80s edition. I was sent off to college with that, Norman Kolpas's Pasta Presto and Killeen and Germon's Cucina Simpatica. But I think the first book I ever cooked out of was a Good Housekeeping cookbook. Chili con carne.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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My mom gave the 1931 Joy that had been her mother's, and I still pull it down occasionally. The German pancake recipe is perfect, and my own pancake/waffle batter is derived from Irma's.

Jim

I bought a 1943 edition of Joy of Cooking that's fascinating, with information about sugar and meat rationing, care packages to send overseas, etc.

My mom never used Joy, so I had never seen it until I was an adult. Is it worth getting a newer edition?

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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I also grew up with "Joy" in the house. I used it mostly for reference - the foods we heat, the foods we cook, the conversion tables, etc. I bought my own copy when I go married 25 years ago. I replaced it when a new version came out, about 2 years ago. I still find it very helpful in learning about the ingredients I use, especially when I need to make a substitution. It has a lot a good basic information that I can rely on. The "new" edition contains many ethnic recipes not popular 25 years ago.

KathyM

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Should I count the instructions on the box of my Easy Bake Oven that told me how much water to add to the packet of cake mix?

Otherwise, it would have been my mom's copy of Betty Crocker's Cooking for Two that she received as a wedding gift. By the time I was 16 I had memorized the recipe for apple pie that I've been making every year at Thanksgiving. I have yet to try an an apple pie I like better.

Another old standby is the recipe for "One-Egg Cake," also from my mom's 1970's paperback edition of The Joy of Cooking. I can always find at least one egg to whip up a cake at a moment's notice.

I'm already on my way to a respectable library of cookbooks in just the few years since I've moved out of my parents home.

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The first cookbooks I owned were a couple of Sunset books -- Cooking with Spices and Herbs, and Breads. I still have both, and use them for a couple of recipes. Shortly after I bought those (some time in college) my mother gave me a book on crepes and omelets -- one of those paperback books that was divided into two, so that if you opened it one way you got the crepe side and if you flipped it over and opened it that way you got the omelet section. I somehow only ever used the crepe side, but I made a lot of crepes back in those days. I don't know what happened to the book; I kept it for quite a while, but hadn't used it in ages and it disappeared in one of my moves.

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I still have a cookbook I got when I moved off campus junior year: The Campus Survival Cookbook #1. Written in 1973, it's a hoot to read today--lots of meat, eggs, butter, etc., and all menus "average out at $1.00 per meal"! I keep it around because it's got good conversion tables, interesting cooking tips, and a killer chicken cacciatore recipe.

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I bought a 1943 edition of Joy of Cooking that's fascinating, with information about sugar and meat rationing, care packages to send overseas, etc. 

My mom never used Joy, so I had never seen it until I was an adult.  Is it worth getting a newer edition?

No. The newer editions take note of different ethnic cuisines, but if I were looking to cook Thai food, for example, I'd get a Thai cookbook. I think I also read that they have "lightened" some of the recipes.

I'd stick with the one you have. It is a classic.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I'm with snowangel about the new "Joy." A good-enough book, but stick with your edition. Thank heaven I bought my daughter a copy before the new one came out. As a foodie mother, my heart went pit-a-pat when my daughter described how she had nade her first-ever Boeuf Bourgignon for a little dinner party with some buddies. "Well, I checked the net and stuff Mommy, but decided to use the recipe in the 'Joy of Cooking.' It turned out really great."

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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My first cookbook was actually a series of books put out by Time Life in the sixties called Foods of the World. These are still my favourite cookbooks. I think looking through these books so young is what made me want to cook more than any outside factor. The torte on the cover of the Vienna book set on an elaborate cake stand next to a silver coffee pot and a bowl of whipped cream is spectacular. If anyone can get theri hands on those books, do. I still use them for research and inspiration. I recently spotted the whole set at a garage sale for $2!

Ahhh...Great minds and such.

My first cookbook was "Classic French Cooking" from that series.

That and "The Cooking of Provincial France" from the same series.

Classic was written by Pierre Franey and Craig Claiborne. I worked briefly in the Time Life bookstore in their building in NYC.

What a world it opened up for me.

Nick

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The Teenage Chef: A Young Adult's Guide to Cooking, by Jonathan Jackson. A gift from my parents. Quite an acceptable book for its time and purpose. (No, they didn't give it to me last week -- shut up.)

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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The Star Trek Cookbook

I bought this one a few years ago, and yeah, it was my first cookbook that I bought.

Yeah. I'm a dweeb.

Holy cow, I thought we were geeks! :laugh:

Seriously, I had no idea there was such a book. We have a friend it would be perfect for, but chances are he already has it.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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..."The Cooking of Provincial France" from the same series. 

That one was by M.F.K. Fisher, and my first introduction to her writing.

This book has had the most influence on my thoughts about feeding our kids, more than any of the "child nutrition" books out there.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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what a neat question.

the first cookbook was the better homes and gardens new cook book my mom gave me for my 14th birthday in 1968. i used it just the other week for their cranberry kuchen recipe i made to send up with my husband when he visited my in-laws.

i also use the shelter island treasure of personal recipes the presbyterian church put out in 1982 - something she gave me as a wedding present.

in between there was the paperback fannie farmer that went to undergrad and graduate school with me; is so ratty that i found another copy in a used book store and had it bound but always head for the beat-up one when i need refreshing on pancakes, potatoes or cornell loaf.

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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I still have and use my first cookbook even thoght I have 30 or so.

The New Good Housekeeping Cookbook 1986

I use it and write comments next to the recipes on how it was

It has everything in it...

I have even broght it to work and gotten use out of it.

One day at my first job at a caterers working late getting my dough ready for the morning , the staff packing for a late party noticed that a sauce was missing from the foodstuff they where taking to a party ( Bearnaise sauce)

the party planner is going nuts and sends them to me,

I told them I had no idea what it was ( I was only 1 month out of pastry school)

Nor had I ever made one, but a quick check in the book and I found it , made it and it was great, ( saved the day so to speak)..

Anything I have ever needed I found in the BOOK... :laugh:

I bake there for I am....

Make food ... not war

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"A Child's Christmas Cookbook", published by the Denver Art Museum, given to me by my parents on Xmas when I was 7, illustrated w/ Victorian prints, contents including 'When Mother feels Brave', 'a Winter Picnic by the Hearth', & 'Gaiety for Grownups'...

Linda

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