Thursday, May 12, 2005

The cookbook shelf meme

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.


Eileen said...

I enjoyed your post. I remember my mother and grandmother's cookbooks :)

Thank you!

pinkcocoa said...

hiya suebob,
oh wow. you have lots of cookbook. Mine is probably just one-tenth of yours! I like the idea of the Davis Family cookbook. I think I should start one myself when I have kids :)

Cate said...

Thanks for playing along, SueBob. Never heard of that Indian cookbook, and I have quite a few. Another one to add to my Wish List! ;)

Suebob said...

Hi Eileen, Pinkcocoa and Stephanie,

Thanks for the comments. Unfortunately Keiko of the gorgeous Nordljus isn't playing, so I need to find another person to tag.

Cate said...

SueBob - how about Jennifer at Tell her I sent you. ;) She's new to the blogging world, a teacher IRL and has a fun blog. During the Amazing Race show, she did meals coinciding with the countries the racers were in ... loved that idea. Hope this helps!

Jennifer said...


I'd love to! Thanks for thinking of me. It might take a few days or so.


Anthony said...

The Davis Family cookbook is a wonderful idea and your Mum's inscription shows that maybe thoughtfulness is genetic.