Thursday, September 29, 2011


I was contemplating cookbooks while making breakfast this morning.  [Four itty-bitty zucchini fried with butter, garlic and salt and four over-easy fried eggs.]  A friend of mine, a former vegetarian, is looking for a new cookbook that incorporates meat-based recipes.  That's what got me thinking.

I keep a regular rotation of library-borrowed cookbooks to sift through for inspiration and new ideas, which is very helpful.  But I have two old standbyes that I reference on an almost-daily basis.

The first: How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman.  This is my all-time, most-used favorite-favorite cookbook.  I used this sucker to teach myself how to cook.  It was a wedding gift from a much-loved Soc. professor in college.  A paperback copy, it is water and food stained, scribbled in, and now exists in three pieces.  I look at this one almost every day.  If you have a piece of food or meal genre that you wonder what to do with, this book will provide 2-3 (or way more) answers.  It awesome, just awesome.

The second: Simply in Season by Marybeth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert.  When eating from a garden or CSA share, this book is extremely helpful in assisting the brain providing various options on how to use it on a daily basis.  I reference this book year-round, but it is particularly useful while the garden is putting out.

All this made me wonder . . .

What is YOUR favorite cookbook?

Please dish.


ms said...

i really like American Classics, by the authors of Cooks Illustrated. no photos so it surprised me how much i like it, but it was a wedding gift too with inscription so i couldn't return it! they give a detailed description about why they use each ingredient in the recipe. "when we used sour cream it ..., but with milk it was....and yogurt tasted more..."
i like to use a recipe as a guide, so this kind of information is helpful for an improvisor like me!

ms said...

and, i just got Bittman based on your good opinion of him.

C. Shirk said...

I use almost exclusively recipes from friends/family. When I have something someone makes and I really like it, I ask for the recipe. (The chicken/rice soup you put on your blog is a regular for us all fall and winter.)

I did get the Betty Crocker cookbook for a wedding gift and refer to it from time to time.

My other technique is to "google it".