Discussion Forums - Hidden Gems Hidden Gems

Topic: Books with Recipes - cookbooks or fiction or non-fiction, but centered arou

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Books with Recipes - cookbooks or fiction or non-fiction, but centered arou
Date Posted: 6/12/2012 10:23 AM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2011
Posts: 6,260
Back To Top

My sister and I tend to read cookbooks like novels.  We read recipes, think about recipes, discuss recipes and anticipate cooking more than we actually execute cooking.  What's your favorite cookbook?  I love cookbooks that have ancedotes and I like funny ones, like the Ruby Boxcar series or White Trash Cooking with the wacky photos.

I loved the Sweet Potato Queens Big-Ass Cookbook and Financial Planner.  I could go for something more serious as well.  But, I want real recipes nothing too frou-frou.  What would you recommend?

What's your favorite?

Date Posted: 6/15/2012 1:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2007
Posts: 3,237
Back To Top

I really like Laurie Colwin's books Home Cooking and More Home Cooking. They're collections of essays about food and cooking, with recipes included.

Clara's Kitchen is a terrific book by an elderly woman who lived through the Great Depression, with recipes her family used in that time.

I just bought a book called Eating Royally by a man who was a chef at Buckingham Palace and later, Princess Diana's personal chef. The recipes sound delicious, and there are a lot of anecdotes and pictures.

Anything by Jane and Michael Stern is a good bet. They've written several books about diner food and road trip food, with funny stories and lots of recipes. I have one called Square Meals...it's out of print but you can probably pick it up used at Amazon.

 

Date Posted: 6/17/2012 12:19 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
Posts: 2,353
Back To Top

I'm like you, love books on cooking and food writing.  I have a book list on my profile of a bunch of great Food Writing books you might like - here

Cookbooks with good anecdotes I have and enjoy -

Best of Gourmet Series - they have a section in the back of each one featuring the "Flavors Of" various countries.  They feature the country and recipes from there.  I linked the search for you.

Jan Karon's Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader - if you like the Mitford series, you'll love the cookbook.

Devid Ruggerio's Italian Kitchen, Family recipes from the old country - interesting stories and wonderful recipes

 

Date Posted: 6/17/2012 9:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
Back To Top

I enjoy reading the humorous stuff in  Looney Spoons, EAt shrink and be Merry and crazy plates..they're lower fat cookbooks It hink - only madea c ouple of things from them(which is mor than I've done from most of my cookbooks since I mostly like to read through them!)

Date Posted: 6/22/2012 8:33 AM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 13,991
Back To Top

"What We Eat When We Eat  Alone" by Deborah Madison is a great example of this kind of book. There is more text than recipes.

Same for "The Pat Conroy Cookbook," which is full of food-related essays by this famous author along with the recipes.

(If you actually have that orginal White Trash Cooking" cookbook, I think that is valuable now as a collectible; it's out of print!!!I've been looking for it forever...I gave it to my mother because I thought it was hilarious. She was insulted and tossed it.....oh well!)

And there's a newer cookbook out by Molly O'Neill, she traveled around the country and pikced up true home-cooking recipes and wrote about the people and areas. The title is "One Big Table". It's always listed as one of the to American-style cookbooks, but the stories are fabulous



Last Edited on: 6/22/12 8:37 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/22/2012 8:38 AM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 13,991
Back To Top

I also read cookbooks as you describe.

DH thinks it's very odd and rolls his eyes, but says he at least gets some enjoyment out of the eating---when I do get around to actually cooking something!

Date Posted: 6/23/2012 1:34 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2009
Posts: 3,789
Back To Top

Have you read Ruth Reichl's books? They sound right up your alley.  I enjoyed Tender at the Bone and Comfort Me with Apples; some fun recipes in them, too!

Date Posted: 6/23/2012 6:46 AM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 619
Back To Top
If you like cozies, there's a whole series that centers around a caterer by Diane Mott Davidson.
Date Posted: 6/24/2012 8:50 AM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2011
Posts: 6,260
Back To Top

You all ROCK!  Great ideas.  I'm so excited.

Yeah - I do have White Trash Cooking (and More White Trash Cooking) - huh - I had no idea it was out of print.

Not only would I love to have the Tru Blood cookbook I know exactly whose Christmas present that should be.  My bff and I are huge Tru Blood fans.



Last Edited on: 6/24/12 8:53 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Subject: Cookbooks/Mysteries
Date Posted: 6/25/2012 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
Back To Top

For cookbooks, there's an older one called Wild in the Kitchen, by Will Jones, who is/was a journalist in (?)Minneapolis.  The anecdotes about the recipes are funny, and some of the recipes are ones I still use.  Calvin Trillin's Tummy Trillogy (American Fried/Alice, let's Eat/Third Helpings) are available in a one-volume version or as separate books; They have no recipes, but he really likes food and is hilarious in writing about it. If you like Mexican food, try Zarela Martinez's' Food from my Heart. She tells about growing up as a tomboy on a ranch in northern Mexico, then getting sent to a ladylike school in Guadalajara, eventually opening a catering service and becoming a big-name chef in New York City, all accompanied by the recipes she found and perfected along the way.

The Katharine Hall Page books featuring Faith Fairchild also have recipes. There are quite a few other mystery series that have several recipes each - I'm just drawing a blank on authors at the moment. Sorry.



Last Edited on: 6/25/12 3:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/27/2012 6:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
Back To Top

Try Caramel Knowledge: Chocolate and Other Strange Food Writing, by Al Sicherman....ISBN 0-9614241-0-9.  Al is/was a Minneapolis newspaper writer on Food, who says he learned how to eat while working on the International Herald Tribune in Paris, France in 1978.  He returned in 1979 to  Minneapolis and the Star-Tribune, and began writing those idiosyncratic articles for the Food Section in 1981.  Besides his stay in Paris, his culinary credentials include a monumental sweet tooth and a degree in electrical engineering.   Each piece in Caramel Knowledge has not only a recipe, but usually, recipes for an entire dinner, plus remarks from Al's panel of tasters, friends who serve as his guinea pigs.  There is actually one essay, entitled Chocolate Dinner (page 193) with the recipes for a chocolate appetizer, salad, rolls, first course, second course, dessert, and an accompaniment for the coffee that concludes the meal.  (The dinner includes "various non-chocolate vegetables and sherbet, to ease the agony")

Once, I made Al's Mocha Fudge Cake, and it was Extreme Chocolate, for sure.  Members of my family who ate this decadent concoction, with 18 squares of chocolate, 4 1/2 sticks of butter, 9 eggs, and 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream (and a couple-three 'normal' ingredients), remember it still!



Last Edited on: 6/27/12 6:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Love this topic
Date Posted: 6/28/2012 11:28 PM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2012
Posts: 1,491
Back To Top

I'm a newbie and I hope you don't mind if I chime in. I also love to read cookbooks. At one time, my collection of cookbooks and recipe booklets totaled almost 700. I was heartbroken when I had to put most of them in storage and they were ruined by water and mildew. I lost my White Trash cookbooks in amongst those boxes. I did, however, kept my favorites safe from harm. My favorite, an 1857 Miss Leslie's Cookery is one I will read time and time again. I love where she warns the ladies to "be sure to sweep the hearth well, lest your bread taste of ash," or "having thoroughly cleaned a nice plump rabbit...". She evens explains how to cook a calf's head so that it doesn't lose its shape! Ewwwwww.

   For the best recipes, I like buying the community cookbooks that are often sold as fundraisers. I think if someone is going to submit a recipe and put their name on it for all their friends and family to see, they'll give their best.

Date Posted: 7/6/2012 10:11 AM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2011
Posts: 6,260
Back To Top

'Course not, LJ M. - welcome to PBS.

I've just received Tender at the Bone and plan to check out more these good recommendations.

Date Posted: 7/6/2012 1:57 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
Posts: 2,353
Back To Top

I just got Tender at the Bone too!  I hope to get to it sometime in July.

Date Posted: 7/8/2012 12:18 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
Posts: 5,301
Back To Top

I love this thread!  Loved the Ruth Reichl books, esp the one where she wore disguises (?#3).

LJM, welcome to PBS.  Welcome to the forums, where you just might find Hidden Gems the best of them all.

I just put some cookbooks on my WL, thank you very much, and yes, I love to read them...like I love to read a good dictionary.  Not so unusual.  My sister is one of those with a wall full of cookbooks, tons of recipe boxes and envelopes, and she does not cook...AT ALL!  Frozen pizza, oodles of noodles, with a salad being her most ambitious recipe.

Also, check this out!  I just may order one of these white trash books.

 



Last Edited on: 7/8/12 12:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/9/2012 9:56 AM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2007
Posts: 6
Back To Top

The Aunt Dimity series by Nancy Atherton feature one recipe per book. The story circles around family life and involves the joys of eating. The main character, Laurie Shepard, has a fabulous appetite. I have it on my list of things to do, bake her raisin bread recipe. The recipes are posted on the website in case the series doesn't appeal to you. I love her books. A short, complex story with all problems resolved at the end. All about how to solve long standing family problems and try to live in community.

Have you read Julia Childs book? I think it's title My Life in France. Excellent read. Her cookbooks read wonderfully as well. The Art of French Cooking. Perhaps I have cooked 3 or 4 recipes from the two set volume to date. Some day, I hope to do more.

Enjoy!

Date Posted: 7/19/2012 12:20 PM ET
Member Since: 3/28/2010
Posts: 3,023
Back To Top

I'm confounded.  Why isn't everyone discussing Like Water for Chocolate?

I acutally made the dove in rose petal sauce (or I cheated and used chicken).  The final product was intereting and amusing, it's clear why rose petals do not appear on many menus.

I'm hoping some angel will speed up my wishlist for The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, I've got 3 weeks until vacation and an estimate of 11 weeks until my wish is granted.

Date Posted: 8/30/2012 2:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2009
Posts: 3,789
Back To Top

I just finished Ruth Reichl's "Garlic and Sapphires".  Great book!  Though I don't know why I torture myself with such mouthwatering descriptions of food I'll never have or cook myself!  I could practically taste those dishes, with her amazing descriptions.  Some really great recipes in this book, too, for those less lazy than me to try.



Last Edited on: 9/11/12 2:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 8/31/2012 5:45 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
Back To Top

Okay, you know about The Sweet Potato Queens' Big-Ass Cookbook and Financial Planner,  but don't forget that chaper in The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love entitled What to Eat When Tragedy Strikes, or Just for Entertainment.  It gives you wonderful recipes for "Chocolate Stuff", "Armadillo Dip", " New Allison's Mambo Margaritas", "Fat Mama's Knock You Naked Margaritas", "Oh, God!",  "Come Back Sauce", "Danger Pudding", "Mimi's Butterfinger Cookies",  and includes some notes on "Funeral Food--The Brighter Side of Death". 

 

 



Last Edited on: 8/31/12 5:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 9/24/2012 7:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2007
Posts: 3,237
Back To Top

I read another really fun book this week called Talking With My Mouth Full by Bonny Wolf, who is a food commentator on NPR. Fun essays with recipes.

Jam Today by Tod Davies is another book of essays with recipes that I really enjoyed.



Last Edited on: 9/24/12 7:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/8/2012 1:08 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2009
Posts: 3,789
Back To Top

I just finished Nora Ephron's "Heartburn".  Humorous book (which seems like an anomaly given that the subject matter is the breakup of her marriage, while she's 7 months pregnant, due to her unfaithful spouse) and has lots of great recipes sprinkled throughout.  I'm wanting to try her bread pudding recipe -- it sounds fantastic.  I haven't read her other books, and she says there are more recipes in those than in this one, so worth lookiing into more of her books.  (My copy is listed in the multiple wishlist thread in the Book Bazaar, if someone is interested!)

Subject: French Women for All Seasons
Date Posted: 11/15/2012 8:37 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2009
Posts: 14
Back To Top

This is really fun book for those looking to increase her (his!) joie de vive! This is Mireille Guiliano's second outing (after French Women Don't Get Fat).. This time she focuses on the Frenchwoman's attitude to food and fashion in each of the four seasons. The book is filled with recipes and tips (even a weekly menu for each season!), written in an engaging and breezy style with plenty of autobiographical details... Highly recommened, for the coffee mousse recipe alone! Bon appetite and happy reading!

Date Posted: 3/6/2013 3:09 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2008
Posts: 110
Back To Top

I agree with the Ruth Reichl books and I LOVED all the Jane and Michael Stern road food books, they are great.

I read a lot of the cozies, and most all have some kinds of food theme and include recipes,...I have just finished ones on cupcakes, there is a food line in most cozies, and recipies in them also.  I have Key Lime Pie I  

I have Key lime Pie author: Swenson on my book shelf, it was great.  Also the Pennslyvia Dutch series, big on the food theme, there are many I did enjoy them ,and have some on my shelf for swap.  the are by Tamar Myers. Also the Savannah reid mysteries, (loved that series) is about a plus sized private eye, ex police woman, who is all about food and recipies from the deep south.  Author Eichler. I have some of these also.

Date Posted: 3/6/2013 6:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2007
Posts: 3,237
Back To Top

I just finished a novel called The Love Goddess' Cooking School, a nice romantic fluffy type of book...with recipes in the back. Lots of mouth-watering Italian cooking taking place all through the story.

Page: