What Cookbooks Are Essential To Your Kitchen?

What Cookbooks Are Essential To Your Kitchen?

Hello, and welcome back to What’s Cooking?, the open thread where you get to share your brilliant thoughts, advice, recipes and opinions on all things food-related. This week I want to talk about all of your favourite cookbooks.

Photo by Ritchie.

You can find a lot of recipes online these days, but nothing will replace cookbooks for me. It isn’t just the recipes; there’s something soothing about holding a hefty book dedicated to food (my favourite subject) and leisurely flipping through the pages. I’ve always felt that cookbooks are more than purely instructional. Though recipes are a big part, a cookbook can serve as a historical text, a shiny art book or pure entertainment. Naturally, I want to hear all about your faves, and I have some questions to get you started:

  • What was your very first cookbook? My grandmother gave me the Fannie Farmer Junior cookbook when I was around seven, but I don’t think I ever cooked anything from it. I do remember that there was a recipe for mayonnaise, and I thought that was weird.
  • What cookbook that first got you excited about cooking? Nigella Lawson’s How to Be a Domestic Goddess was the first text to ever get me excited about baking and cooking in general. It was just so warm and inviting and fun, and making chocolate lava cakes did make me feel goddess-like.
  • Purchase any good ones recently? The newest addition to my family is BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts, and I’m currently trying to decide whether to make homemade Oreos or homemade Wonder Bread.
  • What’s the weirdest cookbook you own? My sister gave me this little number a few Christmases ago, but I have yet to make any stud muffins.
  • Have you ever purchased a novelty cookbook, only to find out that it was actually super helpful? Cooking for Geeks by Jeff Potter strikes the perfect balance between entertaining, dorky and informative.
  • What’s your favourite baking book? I can’t currently pick a favourite.
  • What’s your favourite food book that isn’t technically a cookbook? This is mine.

As always, feel free to leave comments that aren’t direct responses to any of the above. I just want to hear about cookbooks. I really enjoy cookbooks.

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