Tag, I'm it.
Sweetnicks tapped me to be the next blogger to put my cookbooks on display. I have a modest collection. I got rid of about 100 cookbooks and 9 banker's boxes worth of magazines when I moved 3 years ago.
About a year ago, I sent my nephew Lyal a box of about 20 cookbooks while he was cooking professionally. And I have been trying not to keep magazines or to buy more cookbooks because I don't use most of the ones I have. The most used book on my shelf, besides my Tried and True binder, is Lord Krishna's Cuisine: the art of Indian vegetarian cooking by Yamuna Devi.
Having the internet really helps. I look up recipes online all the time instead of buying books and magazines. I also get recipe ideas from all the blogs I read.
Here are my answers to the questions:
1. Rationale behind what we're seeing?
It is as organized as anything else I own, which means not at all.
2. Most recommended?
That would depend on your taste. I have given away at least 6 copies of Jane Brody's Good Food Book. because I think it has good basic nutritional advice and because all the recipes work.
3. Cookbook that made you what you were?
American Wholefoods Cuisine - 1300 meatless wholefoods recipes, by Nikki and David Goldbeck
It was the first kind of comprehensive vegetarian cookbook I had ever seen, and I cooked obsessively from it for about a year, learning to cook. They have plenty of off-kilter tries at making vegetarian versions of meat dishes, so I learned a lot about what not to do.
4. Porniest cookbook?
I don't have any really big glossy books, probably on purpose. I am such a kitchen spaz that none of my dishes will ever look remotely like food porn.
A lot of my books are just plain text. The closest thing I have to food porn is Dessert University by Roland Messnier, but I bought it because I met him, not for the photos.
5. Sophie's Choice cookbook?
My Betty Crocker cookbook - inscribed from my mom - "Be patient. Good things take time." My first cookbook.
6. If you were a cookbook, which cookbook would you be?
Jane Brody's Good Food book. Packed with good nutritional advice and really tasty low-fat recipes. Not that I take the advice or cook particularly low-fat.
7. If your cookbook were extremely valuable, so valuable you might hide it with other valuables, where would that place be?
My most valuable cookbook is "Tried and True," a 3-ring binder with copies of every great recipe I have ever made, even those that I have in cookbooks. That way they are easy to find (it is the most organized thing I own) and I don't get my cookbooks stained while I am cooking.
It is right out there in the open.
And BTW, I really don't have many physical valuables. I think my real treasures are experiential, not physical. I wouldn't trade 3 weeks in Oaxaca or a walk through the Santa Monica Farmer's Market with Chef Tim Love for diamonds or gold.
My special cookbook is the Davis Family Cookbook. Each year everyone, including the kids, submits a recipe they like in their own handwriting along with a photo. We then make copies for everyone and distribute the updates. It is a fun way to see how everyone grows and changes. We have been slacking off for years, but I think it is time to start again!
This is a recipe of my grandmother's we found after she had passed away. Now all the great-grandkids have a copy.
And now I tag Nordljus. I hope she will go along.