Friday, June 17, 2005

Tag--You're It! Five Favorite Cookbooks Meme

The internet is scary. Somehow, the Five Favorite Cookbooks meme that's been traveling around our fast growing food blogosphere has reached lil' ol' me. I had the honor of being tagged by Sarah from
The Delicious Life and Jess of L.A. Ritz today, so now it's my turn to enlighten our little community here about my fave food literature. Technology is advancing way too rapidly, isn't it? Whatever happened to paper and postage stamps? Nah, this is much more fun!

1) Total number of (cook)books I've owned:

Hmm, let see, 50 maybe? About 30 at my house, and probably about 20 packed away at my parents' house. I love my cookbooks even though I don't always cook from them. They're nice to have (they are like my version of "coffee table" books!) and good to READ.
Alton Brown advises that one sits down and reads a recipe before using it, and I advise the same. If not to better prepare oneself for a better cooking experience, then at least for entertainment. Trust me, if you truly love food, then reading cookbooks/recipes is entertainment.

I am a little embarrassed to admit that I ended up owning more cookbooks than I should have because back in my college days, I joined one of those "cookbooks in the mail" clubs and because I kept forgetting to send back the card saying I didn't want the month's selection, I ended up with a bunch of books I never intended to buy. Oh well, I was an irresponsible kid I'm all grown up and I've got extra cookbooks!

2) Last cookbook(s) I bought:

Everyday Italian by Giada de Laurentis. If you've been reading my blog from the beginning, you'll know that
I picked this cookbook up as an impulse buy from Costco. I was going to return it because it contained the same recipes as the Food Network website and also had more photos of Little Ms. Big Head (LMBH) than of food. But I misplaced the receipt so now I get to look at LMBH all the time.

I also recently purchased French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano (another impulse buy from Costco). I don't know how much of it is BS, but everytime I go to Europe, I end up losing a ton of weight while enjoying some really great food, so something must work.

Next cookbook purchase?
Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook. A cookbook with profanity? Bring it on!

3) Last food book(s) I read:

Though it was several months ago: Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. Intrigued by his now-off-the-air Food Network show A Cook's Tour and book of the same title, I picked this little gem up and couldn't put it down. I had a teeny-tiny crush on this bad boy chef when I first started watching A Cook's Tour a couple of years ago, but now after reading his books, I think he's fucking hot.

I am also constantly reading Jonathan Gold's Counter Intelligence for restaurant ideas. Plus, no matter how many times I've gone back to his book, I never get sick of reading it. His descriptions of the food and the locations are so beautifully detailed that it keeps me enlightened and makes me hungry everytime I open it.

4) Five (cook)books that mean alot to me:

-The Harrowsmith Country Life Baking Book: a collection of family baking recipes from the Harrowsmith Family Life magazine, this was the first cookbook I bought living away from my parents' house. I think I was about 20 and I needed a good recipe for banana bread so I picked this up at the ASUCLA bookstore. To this day, its recipe for Banana and Sour Cream Bread produces the best banana bread I've ever had.

-The Way To Cook by Julia Child: I think this woman has touched all of us in one way or another. She just loved to cook, eat, and live, and it showed in her own funny yet sophisticated way. This book is a must have for anyone...Julia would never steer you wrong.

-The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen by Grace Young: This is probably the closest I could get to actually
learning Cantonese cooking from my parents. It's full of recipes for Cantonese comfort foods--the stuff you'll pretty much only find at home and not at restaurants--like steamed egg custards, porridge, "healing" soups. More special to me, however, are the stories that Young tells about each type of dish and the significance and memories they hold for her and her family. It's uncanny how similar the stories are to the ones I've had with mine.

-How To Cook Everything by Mark Bittman: It's OK, Kirk of
mmm-yoso!!!, I own this one too! And yeah, it's a little generic, but what a good, no-nonsense, basic cookbook! It's great to have if you're just starting to get into cooking; it's also great for more creative types as a reference for "base recipes" to which you can add your own personal flair. I've made many a meal from this one.

and last but not least (two books, actually)...

-I'm Just Here For The Food/I'm Just Here For More Food by Alton Brown: The actual physical books are signed by Alton himself, so that alone makes them special. I went by myself to his January L.A. appearance at
The Cook's Library and had an amazing time talking food with all the other food geeks in line and then finally meeting the king of all food geeks. Alton is an extremely nice guy and very cute in a food-nerdy sort of way! I have to admit that I've picked these two books up to read more than I have to cook from because he makes the science of cooking so darned interesting. The recipes I have tried, though, have turned out wonderfully, so I'm making it a personal goal to keep cooking more recipes from them.

5. Which 5 people would you lost like to see fill this out in their blog?

I'll pass the torch on to these witty writers...

-Ganda from
Eat Drink One Woman
-Adam from
The Amateur Gourmet
-Elmomonster from
Monster Munching
-MEalCentric from (what else?)
-dwg from
A Blow To The Head

Tag, you're it!


Kirk said...

LOL Pam - I still haven't received my How to Cook Everything yet - so I've borrowed it from the library again - I feel like such a low-life!!!

MEalCentric said...

Thanks for the tag. dont need receipts to return at Costco so go and tell them to take the book back. And while you are there, get a family sized bottle of Grey Goose, though "family-sized" and "Vodka" probably should go together.