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Cookbooks – How Many Do You Own? (Part 1)


maggiethecat
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181. 182 if you count all of the annual bound editions of Cook's Illustrated as one book. 183 if you count My Year of Meats. I think I'll stop buying at 200. (Yeah, right.)

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Somewhere between 363 (which is what it was when I reorganised the kitchen shelves last spring) and four hundred. I've bought a few more since the reorg, and there are also some oddities (historical and/or literary cookbooks) that don't live in the kitchen.

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Goodness gracious! Welcome, newcomers, and thank all of you for your numbers. Not only did we cross the 40,000 mark, we hit 41,000.

41, 406. Or:7.84 miles.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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The one cookbook I recommend to everyone getting started is The New York Times Cookbook. Every single recipe I've tried is excellent and simple and perfect. It's a good basic starter cookbook, and I use it more than any other. The prettiest cookbook I have is The French Laundry Cookbook.

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A variant question is how many of each genre do you own? I'd say I have more Asian cuisine books and vegetarian or vegetable-focused books than anything else. By Asian, I mean anything from Russian to Indian to the traditional Eastern stuff, to Southeast Asian cooking.

Soba

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I'd say I have more Asian cuisine books and vegetarian or vegetable-focused books than anything else.

Soba, share the veg-focused ones--which are your favorite? do you use Tetsuya's?

Alcohol is a misunderstood vitamin.

P.G. Wodehouse

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Leaving any actual series, the largest theme in my collection is breakfast. Overall, I try to limit myself to themes/cuisines/techniques that I don't already have anything about. To spend less, in theory. Doesn't work very well for that but it makes for a wonderful variety.

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41,722.

I gave the "favorite cookbook" question some thought and realize that I probably don't use one more than another. A new cookbook, like "Zuni Cafe" (Christmas present) or "Way to Cook" (anniversary) will get a good workout for awhile, just to get the flavor of the book and be insprired by new recipes.

But, otherwise: I'll pull out a specific cookbook according to what's on hand, or what I want to cook. The popover recipe from "Joy," Madhur Jaffrey for Indian, "Kitchen Sessions" for caramel-lime ice cream....

Or I'll simply pull a random stack from the shelf and look for inspiration.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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It did seem to me that the more cookbooks I accumulated the less I actually used them for recipes, because, of course, you internalize so much. Hard to recall whether this was always true, but I would much rather read a beautifully written book that tells me something about food than a beautifully done book that tells me how to prepare food.

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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