Like Tea, I have read of other bloggers loathing of the ubiquitous memes while thinking "Pick me! Pick me!" So thanks, Tea, for inviting me into the cool kids club.
How many cookbooks do you own?
I'm scared to actually count. The bookshelf in the picture is the main stash with one more shelf in my room and usually a modest stack next to my bed. If I wasn't as frugal as I am I'd have at least twice as many. Instead I tend to get new ones out of the library, read them, drool and return them.
Which cookbook did you buy most recently?
That would be Homebaking by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. Its kind of a given that when I have a gift card to a bookstore that I will buy a cookbook. This last time though, I decided to buy a knitting book since I only have two of those. I spent probably an hour combing through the knitting books trying to find the one with the most patterns that I would actually use. I had narrowed it down and stopped by the cookbook section on my way to the register. Homebaking was on one of those tables where they pile the new releases to taunt you. I flipped through it for approximately 2.3 seconds before putting back the knitting books and going home with my new favorite cookbook.
Which is the cookbook that you read most recently?
The cookbok I consulted most recently was The Joy of Cooking this AM for the buttermilk waffle recipe. I ate them with banana coconut preserves that I made from Christine Ferber's amazing book Mes Confitures, As far as actually reading a cookbook, I have cut back considerably since I got sucked into food blogs!
Name 5 cookbooks that mean a lot to you.
1) Eat More, Weigh Less by Dean Ornish
This was the first cookbook I ever bought for myself. I was probably 19 at the time, vegetarian and always looking to drop a few pounds. Who wouldn't want to eat more and weigh less? The funny thing is that I remember choosing this particular book because it had a lot of eggplant recipes in it. This was the height of the low-fat craze and Dr. Ornish had discovered that you could reverse heart disease if you ate a diet of 10% fat instead of closer to 40% which is SAD (Standard American Diet). I was sabotaged in my efforts because I was also an ice cream truck driver at the time. This wasn't the kind of ice cream truck that sold popsicles. We had soft serve and made sundaes, shakes and cones. I used to stop and pick wild blackberries and make myself milkshakes. Could you diet under such circumstances?!
2) World Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey
This is probably my favorite and most used cookbook. If I could only have one cookbook, this would be it. I could cook out of this book for years and never get bored. I love the chick pea Doubles (a Trinidadian sandwich of chickpea curry between golden fried breads served with peach chutney) and panisses (chick pea flour "french fries").
3) All the Chez Panisse books by Alice Waters and others
For anyone interested in seasonal eating, these books cannot be beat. When I worked as a cook on a farm one summer, these were a constant resource. With Alice by my side, I even had the confidence to try cold beef tongue salad from the Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook. The dish was surprisingly delicious.
4) Home Cooking and More Home cooking by Laurie Colwin
Laurie Colwin is my favorite food writer. If she is new to you, run to the nearest bookstore and buy these books. They are essays that she originally published in Gourmet ( I think) and are full of love for food and life. She is charming and funny and makes you want to cook everything she writes about RIGHT NOW. You also wish she could be your friend but it is a sad wish because she died of heart failure in 1992. She was only 48. I am not one to read books more than once (so many books! so little time!) but I have read these two over and over and over...
5) All the books by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
I loved Homebaking so much that I looked into what else they had written and was soon consumed by Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet, Seductions of Rice, Flatbreads and Flavors and Mangoes and Curry Leaves. These two met on the roof of a teahouse in Tibet and have been traveling together and writing fabulous cookbooks ever since. Their books are a pleasure to read from and to cook from. Part travelogue, part recipe book and the pictures are beautiful too. I want to be them.
I'll tag Allison who's a knitting blogger who also posts recipes and The Foppish Baker who is one of the few Madison food bloggers that I've been able to track down. (If you know of others, please let me know in the comments.)