I have quite a few cookbooks. Some because the “idea” of the cookbook sounded good at the time; some because I was in the mood or fell "in love" with it as I was browsing the book store; some because someone I care about gave it to me and I’m just attached to them. Here’s just a sampling:
The Sneaky Chef – about getting more vegetables into what you cook, in a sneaky way; great idea, never made a thing
Betty Crocker’s’ Cookie Book – my friend Christine gave this to me years ago, and there’s a note on the front from my sister when I lent it to her
Paula Deen’s Kitchen Classics – this is a combo of her first two cookbooks and I thought it would be great fun to cook some of her southern recipes; when I went through it one night with HH occasionally peeking over my shoulder, I would exclaim “Ohh!” getting excited about a recipe, HH would ask what it was, I would tell him, then I would read the ingredients and sigh “oh”, “What?!” he would say, “There’s lard in it.” He knew what that meant – the recipe would never see the light of day in Holly’s Diner
Paula Deen Celebrates – my mother-in-law got this for me
Deen Brothers Cookbook and Deen Brothers Y’all Come Eat – one of these is where baked spaghetti came from
Guy Fieri Diners, Drive-ins and Dives – not that I’m making anything from this, but I love the show, and HH and I are excited about trying to see many of them
Any Bozzo Can Cook – by Sakabozo of the Gilroy Garlic Festival
Joy of Cooking Christmas Cookies – from my friends I bake every Christmas with
Frank Stitt’s Southern Table – I fell in love with this one on my last visit to Birmingham to see SS and her family (including my new waitress Miss Audrey Rose), they got it for my birthday, but there’s no fried chicken in it! How is that possible?!
A variety of Crock Pot cookbooks
Vermont Recipe Collections – this was from SS in the mid-80’s
The Frugal Gourmet – remember him? I had these signed at a PBS function, not worth much now
Intercourses, An Aphrodisiac Cookbook – recipes with raspberries and chocolate, etc., interesting photos; I bought this when I was single and there wasn’t much going on at the Diner
The Joy of Cooking – I still use this cookbook the most, with reference guides, sauces and how to cook a turkey
The reality of cookbooks for me, if I find one good recipe that tastes good, gets positive feedback in the Diner and staying in the menu rotation, it’s a good cookbook. I use more recipes from magazines, clippings from the paper, something I saw on the Food Network and recipes that I have tried at friends and family then requested the recipe more than anything else. And I’m not sure why, with all the references at my finger tips. For some reason it is always easier, and more “cozy,” to take down my recipe binder and flip through the recipes protected by plastic sleeves than to open up a cookbook each time.
But I’m still on my quest for a well seasoned copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child that needs to be rescued from someone’s “after thought” pile. I’ve already included one recipe from MTAOFC in my recipe rotation, her potato and leek soup, just image what will happen when I actually have it at the Diner!