Saturday, September 23, 2006


Recently, a friend of mine sent me an email:

I realized the other day that I have all these fancy schmanzy cookbooks, but for anything basic I always resort to the net, which bugs me, because I prefer to have a giant, ingredient-stained tome on the table behind me when I cook, rather than an ingredient-stained laptop.

What's your favorite basic cookbook?

She also called the CC useless, but the CC refuses to succumb to bitterness.

I'm going to give a non-answer in a Zen sort of way.

I don't have a favorite basic cookbook. There, I've said it!

The CC's shelves are lined with regional cookbooks. Everything from Afghani to Haitian cooking is included. There are regional cookbooks from just about every region of India, and translations of books from the 17th century to the present.

So the CC is really unable to recommend a specific cookbook.

I don't like The Joy of Cooking (too bland!) I do like Julia Child but only when I'm in the mood to be a perfectionist. I prefer Patricia Wells if I just want to put together a quick French bistro-style meal.

So what is the CC good for?

What the CC can do is to recommend a basic cookbook for any given cuisine. For Italian, I'd pick Marcella Hazan, for Mexican, Diana Kennedy, for Greek, Diane Kochilas, and so on and so forth.

How's that for a non-answer?

1 comment:

ShockingSchadenfreude said...

I'm posting an amendment. Right after I wrote this, I got a late birthday present of recipes from the ancient to medieval times.