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Old 07-22-2009, 06:48 PM   #21
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I don't recall that my mother had any hardbound cookbooks. There was just her loose-leaf binder and tin box of recipes from family and friends, and some soft cover books she got at the supermarket and so forth. With my mom's help, I learned to bake from one of those, all of which I still have in my collection.

In my senior year in college, one of my roommates had a copy that he brought from home of what I think was the Betty Crocker Cookbook, or maybe it was the BH&G or Good Housekeeping. Whatever it was, we used it quite a bit, and I learned the difference between cloves and cloves of garlic as a result.

But the first cookbook on which my wife and I relied was the 1965 edition of The Settlement Cookbook, which I believe my MIL gave us when we were married in 1968. It's a treasure of American cookery:



We also had several of the Sunset Cookbooks very early on. We used those a lot, especially the Mexican cookbook -- still some of the best authentic Mexican and early California recipes around, IMHO.

We began collecting soon after we were married and now have more than 1,000 cookbooks.
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:52 PM   #22
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My first cookbook was a Betty Crocker number, when I was 13. My mother bought it for me because I told her I was sick of cooking pasta dishes every night (which went on for months) because that's all I knew how to cook.

Then came The Frugal Gourmet and The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American - followed by McCall's Cooking School - and it all went downhill from there.

Worth noting, I only ever poke my nose in a cookbook to get ideas. I'll look at recipes online to get a vague notion of what something is supposed to look like, and then freewheel it.

My favorite times in the kitchen are when someone hands me a random ingredient and I improvise something on the fly.
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Old 07-23-2009, 03:21 AM   #23
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My first cookbook was an Italian cookbook by Sunset. I used that thing until it fell apart. I recently found it again in a thrift store and bought it again, for nostalgic reasons.
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Old 07-23-2009, 09:19 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMetalChef View Post

My favorite times in the kitchen are when someone hands me a random ingredient and I improvise something on the fly.
Fun!!!
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:10 PM   #25
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The first cookbook I remember cooking out of was I think a Betty Crocker Chinese type cookbook. I was around 19. Caught the bug for sure with that one!
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Old 07-23-2009, 08:41 PM   #26
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My first cookbook was an Italian cookbook by Sunset. I used that thing until it fell apart. I recently found it again in a thrift store and bought it again, for nostalgic reasons.
Trust me, I know cookbooks as I own more than 1000 of them. The recipes in Sunset and Southern Living cookbooks (both published by Lane, if I recall correctly) are by and large very, very good, much better than most magazine cookbooks.
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:52 PM   #27
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The Joy of Cooking and Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I'm delighted that "Julie and Julia" has boosted sales of the latter. It really does teach you to cook.
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:59 PM   #28
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Oh yes and also Cook, My Darling Daughter by Mildred O. Knopf. My mom must have given it to me.
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:16 AM   #29
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Another Better Homes and Gardens beginning here. My mother taught me how to organize and cook a full meal when I was only 7 years old (while she supervised, of course).
Later on, I really got into using a small "Smokey Joe" Weber grill while in college, and picked up a copy of The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American a few years later.
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Old 09-28-2009, 07:46 PM   #30
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My mother gave me my first cookbook, a brand new first edition Betty Crocker’s Boys and Girls Cook Book when I was 9-years-old. So now you know my age… Anyway, I memorized that book and every picture, dreaming of the dishes I was going to prepare for my family… I learned to cook with that book...
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