Saturday, July 09, 2005

A Cook's Meme - 5 Cookbooks

Meme of fiveMeme of five

Karen at The Pilgrim's Pots and Pans has tagged me for a meme. This meme actually started out there in the blogosphere somewhere and when it hit foodbloggers we shifted the focus a bit. Instead of five books, we specified five cookbooks. So off we go on my cookbook adventure.

Cooking began for me at an early age. We were the dreaded "latch-key" kids of the neighborhood. There were four of us. My brother being the oldest, me, and then the two "littlegirls". We would arrive home from school early in the afternoon, finding my mother just waking up. She worked the late shift at a local hospital and dinner would be something quick. I remember the fast food place down the block in one place we lived had a deal of ten hamburgers for a dollar. There were five of us. The result was pretty simple. So I yearned to do something different. I was given my first cookbook at ten. My culinary skills began to be honed.

1. Total number of cookbooks I own: Currently 83. I say currently because there is always something on the way from! This also does not count all the notebooks full of recipes I've torn out of magazines over the years. I have almost 7 complete notebooks filled with recipes. The oldest one is from 1919. The Searchlight Cookbook. It is an interesting compilation of recipes, most using ingredients most of us wouldn't recognize these days.

2. Last cookbook I bought: It is hard to remember which one was last. I think it must have been Laura Brody's Chocolate American Style.

3. Last food/cook book I read: I am continually reading Shirley Coriher's Cookwise and Harold McGhee's On Food and Cooking. These are primers for me. They have such great information on how simple things can change the effect of a recipe. I have not had a chance to travel, like other foodbloggers, so I must read to find out why certain recipes just don't work in certain areas. Harold and Shirley sort all those things out and give substantial information on being successful in the kitchen.

4. Five (cook) books that mean a lot to me: They're pictured above. As you can see, Shirley and Harold's books are there.
The first book venturing outside of anything I had ever tasted: Cajun cooking. It is one of the best styles of food for me. Justin Wilson is a homey guy that I actually spoke with a time or two for questions. He was the nicest man. I've found the southern Louisiana area to have the nicest cooks, and willing to share secrets and tips on just about everything.

This year's Pure Chocolate. Wow. The love of my life, chocolate! I am enjoying this new book. The pictures are really good.
Last to be listed, but very much my number one choice, in fact I've written a whole post on it, is Flo Braker's Sweet Miniatures. I own two copies. The first one (pictured) is falling apart from use. The pages fall open on my favorite recipes. Flo's ability to write clear and concisely cannot be overstated. She helps you prevent errors. I learned to really stretch myself using her book. I cannot say enough good things about Sweet Miniatures, and its author.

5. Who would you like to see fill this out in their blogs:

I'd be interested in seeing what Amber at Renaissance Culinaire has to say. She's an up and coming pastry chef and has some great photos too!

Also, Tanvi at From The Pantry might have some interesting things to say. She's a med student, food blogger. Tanvi, if you get a minute, it'd be great to see what lurks on your bookshelf.