5.14.2009

to read.

i am a fan of cookbooks. new ones, yes, but especially old, quirky ones. dated. full of weird recipes that one cannot imagine anyone ever used. i have cookbooks for ice cream, pickling and canning, dedicated to cold dishes, and even corn. it's hard to use many of them on a regular basis. the big, comprehensive ones are best for that purpose.

this year, the james beard cookbook award went to fat: an appreciation of a misunderstood ingredient, by jennifer mclagan. i have perused this book more than once, oddly obsessed, but fully understanding that, as a vegetarian, i will never use the majority of the recipes. i love that there are sections on duck fat, pork fat, marrow.

but i digress.

i just read an article about the popularity of cookbooks and the winners of cookbook awards. the best-sellers are rarely cookbook genius, it claims. i don't necessarily even see why this article exists. we have different cookbooks for different purposes. why a person would only have one is beyond me. and if that were the case, i would choose the joy of cooking. it's so perfect; it has everything you ever wanted, and weird things, too.

but, in case you were wondering, here is my ultimate favorite:
but, i also love:
of course i have mastering the art of french cooking, by julia child. and the art of simple food, by alice waters. and one of the fanny farmer books. and a variety of others.

but usability wins. the fat cookbook might be spectacular, but i still LOVE the ones that i can easily understand, get messy in the kitchen, and use all of the time. and those are probably the reasons why i haven't bought the alinea book yet.

2 comments:

Courtney said...

I know i am completely missing the point of your entry, but i did not know there was an Aliena cook book. I MUST get it before I leave Chicago, and i will share :).

Lindsey said...

I've heard that duck fat or goose fat french fries are the best french fries. Maybe we could split an order somewhere?

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