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Which book is your favourite?

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Showing 1-25 of 25 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 6 Jun 2014 07:45:29 BDT
Last edited by the author on 6 Jun 2014 08:00:06 BDT
Maggie says:
I've just been looking at some of my cook- books by various well known chefs and food writers, and was wondering which book was your favourite in each collection. Some have written so many books, but obviously not all are dipped into again and again. Which are your favourites, and why?is it because the recipes are idiot proof, or because it's style appeals to you , or it triggers your imagination. Or is it because it's just a very good read.

I have an ulterior motive here, I have been looking at used books on Zon, and there are so many I fancy, so your favourites may help me select my next purchases. I was looking at several of Jamie 's books and couldn't decide which to go for.

Posted on 6 Jun 2014 07:59:54 BDT
Last edited by the author on 6 Jun 2014 08:01:18 BDT
The cookbooks I have bought aren't the "reading" sort, which is fine, because what I want are the recipes and techniques. My absolute go-to cookbooks are Indian Food Made Easy
Just Bento Cookbook: Everyday Lunches to Go
and Bento Boxes: Japanese Meals on the Go

And of course the Internet!
I look for recipes that work, and aren't hugely time-consuming with a million steps and "marinade overnight" or whatever. Anjum Anand's recipes sometimes do that, though she does say "marinade for 30 min or as long as possible" so often it's 30 min at our house.

For a "reading cookbook," I like Larousse Gastronomique A lot of the recipes are unrealistic (huge amount, or huge faff) for home cooking but it's a good read.

Posted on 6 Jun 2014 10:07:29 BDT
pixie says:
Bistro Cooking: 21st Birthday Edition

Gordon Ramsay's Healthy Appetite

How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food

Everyday Lebanese Cooking Amazing book!

River Cottage Every Day

The 30-minute Cook: Best of the World's Quick Cooking by Slater, Nigel on 11/09/1995 1st (first) edition

Food You Crave, The: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life FAB!

Cook Up a Feast

I have loads more I love but that will be my begining list! XX

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Jun 2014 13:01:19 BDT
Last edited by the author on 6 Jun 2014 13:01:36 BDT
Ivan says:
I was expecting at least a couple of pages from you :-)

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Jun 2014 16:17:04 BDT
pixie says:
Zon doesn't like more than ten!x

Posted on 6 Jun 2014 19:06:29 BDT
Bearman says:
Larousse Gastronomique
Readers Digest The Cookery Year

Posted on 6 Jun 2014 19:15:01 BDT
Maggie says:
I'm not sure I expressed myself clearly enough. Although I am delighted to know your favourite books,I was really trying to find out from you lucky people who buy practically all of each authors' books which was your fave of each author i.e favourite Mary Berry book, favourite Hairy Bikers book, favourite Nigel Slater book etc. etc

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Jun 2014 21:58:52 BDT
pixie says:
The ones I have posted are from collections Maggie.....the best from each collection.

What kind of food interests you the most?x

Posted on 6 Jun 2014 23:50:31 BDT
Maggie says:
Sorry Pixie, I thought maybe yours were, but I wasn't sure about some of the other replies. Most kinds of food interest me, but not necessarily food I will actually cook, I like reading about and "tasting" it in my mind ....does that make sense?....I will never cook some of the food I read about, because I wouldn't do it just for me, and OH is not interested. Plus as I get older, I run out of energy, and settle for something easy but tasty....but I still like to know what other people are cooking and keep up to date with new trends, and quite often I will come across a new twist on an old favourite and then with any luck OH will be pleased and I will have got out of the rut for a while. I must say I love Italian food, it seems so sociable somehow, and generally seems to be quite forgiving if you tweak the recipes.

Posted on 7 Jun 2014 07:20:08 BDT
We haven't got the money to collect much of anything anymore, so I only buy the books I know I will use. The Bikers' curry book was a disappointment to me, so no more. I'll have to wait and see if by next year Rick Stien's India is going on the second-hand market for a reasonable price from someone who bought it out of curiosity and decided to resell it.

Posted on 7 Jun 2014 07:48:53 BDT
Maggie says:
I'm lucky that I can indulge in a few books that I may not use, but funds are limited,hence my request to know other peoples favourite book in each author's series.i often browse through the used books Amazon, but then dither over whether it is really good or ,as some are, just a passing fancy or just a "jumping on the bandwagon" type of book.

Your comment on not getting on with the bikers' curry book makes me wonder if I should have asked "which book in a series most disappointed you?"

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jun 2014 09:20:57 BDT
pixie says:
I'm the same Maggie, when you have an interest in food it's great just to read cookbooks like novels!...I have some books that I love but have only cooked one thing from them, the content is what gets me going, I ove the history of food too.

When I really love a "cook" I have to have the collection. I must say that Nigel never lets you down same with hugh, Jamie, Delia etc....

I have found the early books of Gary Rhodes too faffy for me. As time has gone on I have found my "style" I prefer rustic social honest food to the "Star" kind. I have no interest in Heston type Jamie said the other day on the TV....the peasant rustic honest food is what most chefs prefer to eat.

I don't like food too messed about with, I remember a friend telling me her Foodie husband spent all day making a sauce to go with dinner he was preparing for a dinner party and she said it tasted of nothing! All hat and no k nickers!
Tapas...antipasta.....that kind of thing.xx

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jun 2014 09:44:52 BDT
Maggie says:
Must admit rustic is the way to go for me. I can't abide recipes that require you to "paint the plate" and stack or place the food in such a manner that makes you feel like a vandal for actually taking a knife and fork to it......and actually eating it...........and it can't possibly be hot by the time you have plated up for your guests!!
Of course there are times you may wish to create something that looks spectacular, but most foods really only require simple but pleasing presentation. Your favourites appeal to me, but although I like chilli, I haven't got the taste for really hot dishes yet, I'm building up very slowly.
I used to like Gary Rhodes when he was a very young chef on TV, but I think he became too much of a fan of intricate clever cooking which is more suitable for fine dining places, not family & friends kind of stuff. ....The sort of food which would turn into an ordeal rather than a pleasure to make.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jun 2014 09:51:29 BDT
pixie says:
Everyday Lebanese Cooking This book has become one of my favourites! It is authentic and so easy! The first dish I made ..stuffed aubergines...I thought had so few ingredients that it couldn't taste that great, but it did! I have cooked loads from it and everyone a winner. For something different but not too spicy or over the top this is a winner. The macoroni pie is a real winner. I make enough to freeze in those foil trays with lids and just defrost and pop in the oven and serve with a lovely salad. It looks so good too!... Pop a few, mean a few, panko crumbs on the top too.

Looking at my shelves Lebanese, middle eastern, italian seem to fill the shelves.x

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jun 2014 11:04:40 BDT
I love you--"all hat and no k nickers!!" LOL!!
Gary Rhodes was the first UK TV chef I ever really watched, back in the day when BBC World had a few documentary-type shows (remember The Clothes Show before it was all about catwalks?) but I got tired of hearing him say "literally", "whack it in" and "Flavour Happening IN the PAN!" At least he never "popped" things. No, but he whacked them in.

I agree that some of those "subtle" flavours are just non-existent. If you've read Bridget Jones' Diary, who was it that she was imitating, spent all day cooking and ended up with--clear soup and orange marmalade. Except her soup turned blue because she used blue string to tie up her "bouquet garni." LOL I've had days like that.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jun 2014 11:28:14 BDT
pixie says:
You and me both Ori!!! I remember making yorkshire puddings and putting the pan on a shelf too close to the rack above...they rose right throgh the rack...a swine to clean!

Made meatballs with raw rice for an aunt with no teeth! The language when she munched down on a nail like bit of rice with her gums!!! Ouch!!!!

Posted on 7 Jun 2014 12:12:45 BDT
Last edited by the author on 7 Jun 2014 12:39:44 BDT
Maggie says:
Pixie and Ori, the Geordie version of all hat and no knickers is "all fur coat and no knickers"

Pixie, I think I will get the Everyday Lebanese Cooking. I like the idea of the authentic tastes, especially if I can do them when I'm feeling a bit drained....more and more often recently... I do want easy but I still want lovely flavours. I've tried a few Moroccan recipes and I love the flavours . I really like meat with fruit added ,apricots, lemons, pomegranates etc, such lovely subtle flavours. I looked at the used copies on Zon but they were almost the same price as buying new. I'll wait a little while, I may just get lucky.

I recently replaced my dropping to bits copy of Delia's Complete Cookery Course with a used copy, I also bought Nigella's "How To Eat", and Angela Nillsen's "Make it Light" for a total of £9.50 including P&P. Very pleased with myself as they were all in as new condition. I would like to replace my first real cookery book Marguerite Pattens "Cookery in Colour " it is dropping to bits now, and the spine has totally crumbled.both my daughters and my son asked me for copies when they first left home. Until then,(when I first bought it) I had absolutely no knowledge of anything except the meat & two veg style of cooking...and not very good at that either. I'm hoping to come across one in VG condition, but at a low price. I still cook the Christmas cake and puddings from that book as no others seem quite what we like.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jun 2014 15:17:13 BDT
pixie says:
That m pattern book was th first one I owned! It cost me 7/6 in Gibraltar!

I don't think you will be underwhelmed with the lebanese book when you send for it. X

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jun 2014 18:05:10 BDT
Maggie says:
I think possibly the Marguerite Patten book was one of the first books with photographs for every recipe. Certainly it was the first one with such "modern" recipes. When I bought it I had never had a curry in my life, I'm not sure I'd even heard of them, I thought I was the bees knees for producing such almost( to me at least) unknown food.if you skim through now it is quite old fashioned. There are lots of fruit and veg never mentioned, presumably because we ate seasonally, and few foods were imported.also freezing food was unknown then - I didn't even have a fridge then, never mind a freezer..just checked inside my copy was printed in 1960. No wonder it seems old fashioned. It was very modern then, and some recipes are still well worth trying. I want to replace it because it's been a good friend to me and It broadened my horizons foodwise. Previously I had only owned the Bero cookbook. Very good in it's own way, but a bit limited in it's scope.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jun 2014 20:40:40 BDT
pixie says:
I have just bought..

First Slice your Cook Book for a friend, she said she knows it's old fashioned but it brings back happy memories for her...nothing wrong with that!

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jun 2014 21:44:09 BDT
Maggie says:
Quite right Pixie, if the book has memories hang on to them.when all is said and done these things are part of our family history, and history is valuable whether it is a countries' or a person's.

Posted on 8 Jun 2014 08:03:28 BDT
I only own 3 of the Bikers' cookbooks. I don't bake much (advisedly) and don't have much kitchen space, so some of their long-drawn out recipes aren't on for me. That's what I dislike about their curry book--all the recipes have a zillion steps and a crowd of ingredients, and it's so evident that they had an army of little helpers doing their prep! Sometimes I forget that the TV cooks often don't write their own recipes--no time, what with TV filming and guest appearances etc. You look at the editorial info and see that whoever has "consultants" and this and that, ie the people who actually worked up the recipes for them.

I do however use The Hairy Dieters: How to Love Food and Lose Weight. I learned some good techniques from that, such as the roast veggies topped with fish and then oven-baked. I own the 2nd book The Hairy Dieters Eat for Life: How to Love Food, Lose Weight and Keep it Off for Good! (Hairy Bikers)but if you read my review of it, you'll see that the lack of a useful index and the "clever" divisions make it hard to find the recipe you want, unless you use those little adhesive flags, or have a photographic memory.

Posted on 8 Jun 2014 11:06:29 BDT
Maggie says:
Thanks Ori, I have read your reviews in the past, and found them very helpful. I have some of the books you liked, and feel that although we like different types of food, we have the same requirements when it comes to cook books. Easily found ingredients, non-faffy reliable recipes, ones that don't need a vast kitchen to be able to produce good food, and a good index with proper cross referencing.........are we asking too much? I don't think so.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jun 2014 11:25:26 BDT
Bearman says:
Sorry Maggie - I misunderstood your post. To be honest, I don't collect books from any particular author. I do seem to have a few Jamie Oliver books that were given to me, though I cannot say any one in particular stands out.

However, the two that I mentioned, Larousse Gastronomique and Readers Digest The Cookery Year, I consider to be indispensable. Larousse tells you how any recipe you can possibly think of, should be cooked and is an amazing starting point for any ingredient. The Cookery Year book is a fantastic source of information especially if you try to cook seasonally. It unwittingly is a blue print for reducing your food's carbon footprint, written before that term was ever conceived. It also gives the best basic grounding in so many areas, from cuts of meat available, types of fish, carving techniques etc.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jun 2014 12:19:16 BDT
Last edited by the author on 10 Jun 2014 12:20:15 BDT
Maggie says:
That's Ok Bear, I probably didn't make it clear enough, but I don't collect each and every book of my favourite writers either, can't really afford to, so now I try to buy the ones I will really enjoy AFTER the first reading. I like to revisit books again and again (any books, not just foodie books). I started this thread so I could pick the brains of all of you, but I particularly wanted to try and work out which books were the most loved of each collection so that I could look out for them among the used books and hopefully they'd become my favourites too. I would rather trust the views of you lovely people than read reviews by professional reviewers who I know nothing about. I have sent for a copy of The Cookery Year after using the "look inside " feature on Amazon. It looks as though it will be a very useful reference. I try to cook seasonally most of the time, but it isn't always easy when supermarkets seem to prefer a lot of imported produce to home grown.
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Discussion in:  cooking discussion forum
Participants:  5
Total posts:  25
Initial post:  6 Jun 2014
Latest post:  10 Jun 2014

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