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On Thursday afternoon (on Twitter, where else?), I got a couple of requests to reveal what cookbooks are on currently-cooking-from shelves. As many of you know, I own close to 1000 cookbooks. Obviously, I'm not cooking out all them on a daily basis. Most of my collection is housed on the second floor; the cookbooks that live downstairs are the ones I use frequently.
Some books stay downstairs permanently, others get rotated out by season. This is not a purposeful cycle, it happens naturally. If I were to photograph these shelves next fall, you'd see a lot more vegetable and vegetarian books, farmers market books, and grilling books than you'll see today.
I'm going to go through the shelves quickly--some of these books were reviewed in previous Weekend Cooking posts, some will be reviewed in the months to come. Some of these may be out of print by now. I bake bread a couple times of week, so you'll see lots of bread books. But enough with the introduction . . . let's look at the books (click on the photos for full size).
Shelf 1. If you can find Michael Field's Culinary Classics and Improvisations, pick it up. He presents a master recipe and then three or four recipes for using the leftovers. I turn to this every time I make a ham, turkey, or large roast. Art Fare was published by the Toledo (Ohio) Museum of Art and includes recipes from that city's chefs. The two Ellie Krieger books are my new absolute favorites. I reviewed Lidia Bastianich and What to Cook earlier. I have all of the Ina Garten books; these are the two that are downstairs at the moment--love them all. I have made almost everything in Marion Burros's Keep It Simple; note how worn it looks. I like both Beatrice Ojakangus (my maple cinnamon rolls are in here; recipe in a future post) and Lora Brody. The last one is Marie Simmons's A to Z Bar Cookies.
Shelf 2. I really like Beth Hensperger's bread recipes, and this shelf contains two of her books. The Londons' Fresh Fruit Desserts cookbook is pretty much my go-to book for fruit desserts. This is another one you shouldn't pass by. I have most of Nigella Lawson's books; I don't cook out of them every week, but I like her style and attitude. Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home is practically falling apart, I use it so often. I reviewed Crescent Dragonwagon's Soup & Bread book earlier. You can't go wrong with any King Arthur Flour book; this is their cookie book. Ken Haedrich's Country Baking has my favorite cracker recipe in it.
Shelf 3. Like I said, the King Arthur Flour baking books are fabulous. This self has a general baking book, their 200th anniversary book, and a whole grains book. I have a few of the Time-Life books I picked up at yard sales; this one is Fresh Ways with Lamb. We buy a whole lamb every year, so I use this book for ideas. The spiral book is from a women's group my mother belonged to. Fish: The Basics by Shirley King is just that: a good, solid book on how to cook all kinds of seafood. Jack Bishop's A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen is a nice one for farmers market season, as is Ruth Spear's The Classic Vegetable Cookbook. The skinny red and blue book is by Quaker Oats and has an oat-raspberry bar we love. Oops! I almost forgot Seasons of Central Pennsylvania by Anne Quinn Corr; this has local recipes and photos.
Shelf 4. First up is another Marie Simmons book; this one is Muffins A to Z. Peter Reinhart's bread books are wonderful (I have several), this one is Artisan Bread Every Day. I love Paula Wolfert, and have most of her cookbooks; here is The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen. Bert Greene is another author I like (he died too young in 1988); his Greene on Greens is downstairs right now. I have three Silver Palate books, and they are all worth owning. I used to give The New Basics to new cooks. Lorna Sass is the queen of the pressure cooker, and I own all of her books (and I love my pressure cooker); here is Pressure Perfect. The title of Deborah Madison's cookbook is all that's needed: Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Of all the Julia Child books, The Way to Cook (it weighs a ton!) is the one I turn to again and again.
Hope you enjoyed this visit to my cookbook shelves.
Thanks to Rebecca from The Book Lady's Blog and Swapna from S. Krishna's Books for the encouraging me to write this post. If someone reminds me in the fall, I'll mention the books that found their way to the current shelves over the summer (and only those books, so it'd be a shorter post).
FTC: I bought most of these books, a couple were review copies, some were gifts. I can't keep everything straight.