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Best Out of Print Cookbooks


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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?

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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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 (log)
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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.

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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"
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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.

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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.

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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 (log)
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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.

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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

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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 (log)
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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.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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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.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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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.

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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 (log)
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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.

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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.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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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.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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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

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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

"Ess! Ess! It's a mitzvah!"

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