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Old 10-13-2004, 05:59 PM   #11
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Re: College Cook needs YOUR help! :)

Originally Posted by CollegeCook
What do you like in a cookbook? What don't you like?
I don't generally buy "cookbooks" per se, but books about regional cuisine, spices, ingredients and techniques. So, as such, I like a wide selection of tastes and textures to choose from. I enjoy good writing on utilization of the flavors in experimentation as well.

In the case of, say, Francis Mayes' Bringing Tuscany Home: Sensuous Style from the Heart of Italy, Mrs Mayes only has 25 "recipes" in her book. Instead of the endless droning of recipes, she writes about wines and their interaction with the cuisine of Tuscany, Italy. She talks about the ways the Tuscan people utilize zucchini, pastas, tomatoes (roma and otherwise) in their cooking. She discusses the herbs and spices that grow in the hills there, and the history of their use in Tuscan cuisine.

These are the "cookbooks" that I enjoy. I dislike cooking from recipes, and am more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants cook than anything. I want to know ratios, I want to know general practices, so that when I'm cooking, I can experiment effectively.

- Weeks
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Old 10-13-2004, 06:02 PM   #12
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Re: College Cook needs YOUR help! :)

Originally Posted by CollegeCook
Hi everyone, how are you all doing today?

I'm here for two reasons: I am nurturing my love of cooking and decided that this seemed like a great community to be a part of. And, because I'd like some help, so I decided to come to you, the experts.

I don't know how many of rely on cookbooks, but I'm sure you're all familiar with The Joy of Cooking. Gourmet Magazine has published, "The Gourmet Cookbook," a cookbook which they hope will replace The Joy of Cooking as the classic standard all-purpose cookbook.

For one of my midterms, I have chosen to write a detailed report on The Gourmet Cookbook, and am hoping to gain insight on what people (besides just myself) look for in a cookbook.

What do you like in a cookbook? What don't you like?

Would you buy The Gourmet Cookbook? Why? Why not?

Why do you have The Joy of Cooking? Why not?

What has made The Joy of Cooking such a time-honored classic?

I realize this is a lot to ask of you, especially being such a new face in your community here. If you could spare a few seconds, please share some of your thoughts and insights with me, as I am a new college cook with little/no experience beyond what my mom and grandma have passed down to me.

Anything you can contribute would serve to strengthen my report, and I am almost as passionate as doing a good job on this assignment as I am about learning how to cook.

Thanks for your time, sorry to be so wordy.
What I like in a cookbook:

Colour photos of the dish
Minimal ingredients
thick paper, not a cheap paper cookbook
easy to read text, bold print
a reputable author that has been around for ages
a conversion chart for measurements ( I dont know metric measurements)

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Old 10-13-2004, 09:02 PM   #13
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I do not have the cook books but I have several old cook books i use alot. I now look for books that have the more simple ingredients that I can find in my super market. I like books that show a picture and simple instructions and easy to read. I don't care for the fancy recipes that take forever to make and do not appeal to a hungary man.
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Old 10-13-2004, 11:58 PM   #14
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The Joy of Cooking is a classic because it is not just a collection of recipes - it is a culinary primer. The only thing that will bring it down from it's status is Irma Rombauer's decendents - who have dropped a lot of what made the original valuable in their "New" Joy of Cooking. Food is more than recipes and pictures of restaurant plated presentations ... it's understanding the real components of the dish .. the food items that comprise the dish.

" ... it is definitely number one on my list ... the one book of all cookbooks in English that I would have on my shelf - if I could have but one." JULIA CHILD

Cookery first, and foremost, requires an understanding of the item being cooked. If you understand that then the techniques used to prepare it make sense ... and only then does a recipe mean anything. If you understand all of those things ... you don't need color pictures to show you how to plate it .... because plating is just another artistic expression. Just because you can copy a Picasso doesn't make it a Picasso.
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Old 10-14-2004, 08:20 AM   #15
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Although Michael made a credible case that you don't "need" pictures in a cookbook, I "want' them. I'm a visual person, and to me a picture is worth a thousand words. Seeing how good the end result will be helps me justify the time invested in the cooking process. Also, more than a few times in a restaurant I've decided what to have, but changed my choice when a dynamite-looking plate of something else went by on a serving tray.
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Old 10-14-2004, 02:28 PM   #16
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well 3 more years and im in college, but i love cooking.
For a book book eh.... Recipies that are unique and original

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