Sunday, January 29, 2006

Cookbooks: A Few of My Favourite Things

I've been accumulating cookbooks for quite some time, and it occurred to me a few months ago that I have an affinity for culinary books that is probably far beyond that of the average person. I have not amassed as huge a collection as some, but I have managed to cache some 30 books, give or take a couple (not including magazines and those "Best of ..." mini cookbooks that many magazines offer). What can I say? I have a thing for cooking! When I walk into a bookstore, I instinctively head straight for the cooking section. And I rarely forego an opportunity to skim or at least sneak a peek into a cookbook or food magazine if one happens to be laying about. Occasionally, someone questions my ever-expanding culinary library. The only response I have for such questions is, "If you have to ask why, you probably won't understand the answer."

As a source of inspiration, I find few things greater than the beautiful photography found in many books and magazines. Although I can get a pretty good feel for how a recipe will taste and determine whether or not it tickles my fancy from simply reading its ingredients, there's something about a stylish, well done photograph of a dish that transports me to a euphoric place. Lately, I find myself more interested in reading about food than ever before and within the past three months I've purchased about 15 new cookbooks. I have decided to inventory my collection and share it here with whomever may be interested.

Until about a year ago, my main focus had been on comfort foods and books with great-tasting, homestyle recipes. I've also gathered many delicious and relatively simple to prepare recipes from various friends, family members and the Internet, but I have not purchased many of the books with fancy, complicated, labour-intensive recipes. I expect that will change over time as my culinary knowledge, skills and abilities improve. While I will never abandon the good old down-home recipes of my culture, my taste in food is quite eclectic and I am dedicated to continuously expanding my culinary horizons.

For now, here are a few of my favourite books and magazines. I will continue to update this list as I have the time and my collection grows.

50 Great Curries of India
Culinary Artistry
Daisy Cooks!
Elegantly Easy Crème Brûlée
Fresh Chinese
Fresh Indian
Indian Cooking - Madhur Jaffrey
The Inn Chef
Jacques Pepin's Kitchen
LaBelle Cuisine
Larousse Gastronomique
Lidia's Family Table
McCormick & Schmick's Seafood
Savoring Southeast Asia
Simply Ming
Wine Encyclopedia

Bon Appetit
Cooking Light
Fine Cooking
Food & Wine

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At Sunday, January 29, 2006 2:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At Monday, January 30, 2006 5:55:00 AM, Blogger Miss Rachel said...

I love cookbooks too. I actually find a lot of them make good reading.

Inspired by you, I bought some blood oranges yesterday.

At Monday, January 30, 2006 8:32:00 AM, Anonymous Mixed Masala said...

Thanks, Shasta Girl!

Hey Miss Rachel! :o)

Yes, many cookbooks do make quite interesting reading.

Did you enjoy the oranges? How did you use them? They taste great on their own, but I've run across a couple of recipes to use them in. I'll post about it if I do.


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