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Monday, June 20, 2005

Five Favorite (Cook) Books Meme

Reid tagged me for this meme over a week ago and I've only just gotten around the answering this now. Guilty of procrastination as charged! It's certainly been enlightening reading everyone else's cookbook/cooking memes currently going around at the moment. We know what people are eating, and we know what people are photographing, but memes give an added dimension to my fellow floggers' lives and culinary psyche. This meme version was originally about book tastes in general, but I'm continuing the food bloggers' theme and answering the questions with reference to cook books. Here goes...

1. Total number of (cook) books I've owned:
About 70 (including 20 mini cookbooks from Family Circle, Woman's Day etc etc), a collection which has increased exponentially in the past couple of years.

2. Last (cook) book(s) I bought:
Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Heaven

Great pics, a nice 'essentials' how-to and~~look! There are even pictures of Gordon smiling!

3. Last (food) book I read:
Indulgence: One Man's Selfless Search for the Best Chocolate in the World by Paul Richardson

A fascinating read which had me reaching for the box of Lindt chocolates with increasing regularity. This book tracks chocolate obsessions through history and throughout the world; from Aztec reverence to Spanish chocolate con churros to Parisien artisan chocolatiers.

4. Five (cook) books that mean a lot to me:
This one was a tough one. I mean, I'm not that sentimental! =) But ok...

The 1977 series of Woman's Day All Colour Book of...
It was flicking through these magical reference books as a child that I discovered common household ingredients like flour, sugar and eggs, could be converted to *shriek* yes, cakes, and biscuits, and oh, sugar, glorious, sugar, how I love you so! It was a revelation akin to monks discovering wine. Oh how my weekends were filled with those glorious baking days. The Puddings and Deserts volume, and the Cakes, Pastries and Bread volume were particularly well-thumbed.

Charmaine Solomon's Thai Cookbook was another firm bedtime reading favourite. Charmaine told me the way of the coconut, especially with reference to dessert (are you noticing a pattern here?). And I still marvel over those gorgeous marizipan fruits too.

Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course
I had a long and intimate relationship with Delia during my sojourn in the UK. It was she who taught me the secret of toad-in-the-hole, potato Dauphinois and light-as-air Yorkshire pud. And all her recipes are tried, tested and so easy to follow.

Edmonds Cookery Book
This little book is absolutely brilliant, detailing a comprehensive spectrum of recipes concisely and in a handy little spiral bound format. The "international" section is quite amusing in a post-modern sorta way (chicken chow mein from China? How exotic!). I found this little gem abandoned on our tour truck in Morocco and should I ever be limited to one cookbook whilst travelling, it'd probably be this one. Plus I love the section on what to do with leftover egg yolks and egg whites. Perfect!

A Cook's Companion by Stephanie Alexander
1100 pages of indexed and cross-referenced recipes by ingredient? This is recipe heaven at its most organised with interesting backgrounders and plenty of traditional as well as unusual recipes. Stephanie is who I turn to when I have an ingredient, and I don't know what to do with it.

5. Which 5 people would you most like to see fill this out in their blog?

Julia from AromaCookery
Saffron from Writing on a Paper Napkin
Obachan from Obachan's Kitchen and Balcony Garden
Lynn from To Short Term Memories
Maki from I Was Just Really Very Hungry

Tip! You're it!
6 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 6/20/2005 11:30:00 pm


  • At 6/21/2005 9:55 am, Blogger eat stuff said…

    that chocolate book looks good!
    I like the edmonds cookbook too, my mum brings them back from NZ for me :. The different editions are QUITE different though

  • At 6/21/2005 10:00 am, Blogger Kelly said…

    Ooh AG! You, my mum and I are the only three non-Kiwis I know who own the Edmonds Cookery Book! What a lucky and unlikely find you had in Morocco!

    I also love my copy of A Cook's Companion, but as I only got it for Christmas last year I haven't made it through many of those 1100 pages yet...

  • At 6/21/2005 11:14 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    Thanks, this does cheer me up a bit! Although it also means I have to sort out that big pile of cookbooks hiding behind the cupboard, better get cracking!

    The chocolate book by Paul Richardson sounds fascinating BTW, I am going to see if I can find it.

  • At 6/21/2005 2:45 pm, Blogger Reid said…

    Hi AG,

    Thanks for participating. Cool list...I'm going to have to check out some of those books sometime. =)

  • At 6/27/2005 11:24 am, Blogger R said…

    What an awesome idea!

    I really lilke tyour selection too, and your detailed criteria.

    Do magazines and subscriptions count?

  • At 1/01/2006 2:06 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have finally answered... 6 months late (hides ashamed)


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