Kitchen Confidential

December 7, 2008


I get a lot of recipes from the Internet, I’ll admit, but I maintain a groaning shelf of bound cookbooks, some of which are never opened and some of which are valued for one or two particular recipes. I did cull certain titles recently, mostly titles like, “200 Party Recipes from Condiments in Your Refrigerator.” A very few cookbooks I enjoy perusing for entertainment and inspiration. “The French Market” by Joanne Harris and Fran Warde, “The New Orleans Cookbook” by Rima and Richard Collin and “Anthony Bourdain’s les Halles Cookbook” by Anthony Bourdain come to mind.


50 thoughts on “Kitchen Confidential”

  1. At our house, the classic Joy of Cooking (second ed. -Rombauer and Becker) Is top of the (large) heap. But lots of favorite recipes come from other sources. For instance, my gumbo is from a 1960’s church cookbook from Baton Rouge. You don’t get more legit than that.

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  2. We have several of the church/community cookbooks– including one from the church on Oahu my sister attended while her husband was stationed at a Marine base there. Otis is right, that the legit recipes are from the ones that are truly home cooked. However, Jello molds are also well represented! 😀

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  3. If you have one by Nadine Knowles from Lanett….Don’t Forget the Parsley, be sure to hang on to it. Highly sought after in the Valley. We all inherited our Mamas’ books—stains and all!!

    And this Christmas after being unable to find pickled peaches anymore I “put them up” myself. Using recipe from 1960 era Food Preservation in Alabama cookbook. Published by Alabama Cooperative Extension Sevice.

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  4. I likewise pull things from the ‘net, and we likewise have a stuffed shelf of books.
    They range form [i]Cooking With Love – And Paprika[/i] – which She had when I met Her and, to the best of my knowledge, has not been opened in the intervening 37 years – to [i]The Antoinette Pope Cookbook[/i] – also from Her “Before Ecstasy” (i.e., me) period, but semi-regularly used.
    But earlier this year we got Joanna Gaines’s [i]Magnolia Table[/i} cookbooks – Vols. 1 & 2 – and I have to say, both are chock-full of amazing stuff; we’ve made a number of them, and several repeatedly; haven’t hit a loser yet, and have found a number of new favs (I will never again make biscuits except with her recipe!). No financial interest (alas!) nor other connection, just a pleased customer.

    And it doesn’t hurt that there are lots of pix of Joanna…………

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  5. I still have many shelves of hard cover cookbooks, a lifetime hobby. Lately I just google recipes, having cooked the real deals” for so long. I find magazines like Southern Living recipes so simple now, five ingredients and one is a box of cake mix, I miss the challenges.

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  6. I still have many shelves of hard cover cookbooks, a lifetime hobby. Lately I just google recipes, having cooked the real deals” for so long. I find magazines like Southern Living recipes so simple now, five ingredients and one is a box of cake mix, I miss the challenges.

    Reply
  7. My favorite cookbook was put together as a fundraiser by a group when I lived in Lafayette, LA. It was called Cajun Men Cook and the first entry was a hysterical recipe for Roadkill Stew. You started out one morning, picked up a can of orange paint at Ace Hardware and headed up the road from Lafayette to Eunice, stopping along the way to spray any carcasses along the road orange. Have a beer or two in Eunice and come back down the road, picking up anything that isn’t painted Orange. That’s your starting stock

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  8. Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. My Mom gave me a paperback version when I moved out on my own, my wife ultimately used that so much it became ragged, now we have a nice hardback version. We use it more than any other cookbook. My wife also has an old one from her Mom. The wife and I are (just turned) 74 and 68, respectively, so you can imagine how old the cookbooks are!

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  9. It has been determined how we are going to do Christmas this year. We will just have immediate family, meaning myself and my wife, Elvis, Cilla, Spunky andour youngest Tippy.

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    • If no one is actively ill (from anything), my daughter, her husband, and our granddaughter that live in the same metro area will come for the week at Christmas. My Colorado daughter and her husband will be staying home. Covid in Colorado is even worse than Texas! :/

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  10. If you like a reading cookbook, get anything by John Thorne. Not just recipes, but interesting essays punctuated by recipes.

    The one currently by my recliner is Mouth Wide Open. At page 252 you will learn how to make grits in a mini-slow cooker or rice cooker overnight & never look back. I use a cheap one button rice cooker. The key is a non-stick liner.

    The book I give to people is Serious Pig because pig. But I own them all.

    “ There are some people for whom that brown, frizzled bottom is the whole point of a fried egg.”

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  11. I’ve accumulated quite a collection of print cookbooks over the years, both as gifts and as purchases I’ve made from church/business/civic club fundraisers. I also have a recipe file in the cloud containing a couple of hundred recipes I’ve either prepared or fully intend to one day. But my favorite collection is the one contained in a small flower-decorated metal file box I inherited from my Mom, along with her cookbooks. It contains dozens of 3×5 index cards of recipes handwritten by her, my grandmothers, and several of my aunts, all of whom are now deceased. Although not listed on any of the cards, I’m sure that “Love” was an ingredient in every one of them.

    Hold onto yours and treasure them, Steve.

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  12. From the Department of Oxymorons, Motor Vehicle Division: I stopped at a traffic light in Muskogee a short while ago, behind a tractor-trailer rig with a Maine trailer tag, across the bottom of which was imprinted “Semi Permanent”.

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  13. About three o’clock this afternoon, I managed to spring Jackie from the orthopedic floor of the Tulsa medical center in which she’s been ensconced since November 23rd. She’s now installed in a short-term-care rehabilitation facility in Broken Arrow, although exactly what “short-term” means in her case remains to be determined. Since she doesn’t need hand therapy, I guess she doesn’t have to worry that Torquemada, my former hand therapist, has transferred there.
    Seriously though, I was seriously impressed with both the physical plant and the staff with whom I interacted. I know they will do their best to get her (literally) back on her feet. And that Jackie will do her best as well.

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  14. I’m thoroughly enjoying the recipes/cookbooks discussion! Thanks, all. I will add that a “tradition” of my mother’s that I have continued was to give as a wedding shower gift either the “Better Homes and Gardens” or “Betty Crocker” (avoiding the whole italics thing here!) cookbook, whichever one was not already owned, if she could find out. She gave me one of those two; I admit I’ve forgotten which now. As was mentioned above, you can let them fall open to a food-stained page to find favorites.

    Best wishes for great recovery at the rehab place, Jackie!!!!

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  15. I like the fact that Gene is in the “Mystery” Department.
    .
    For some cooking is a mystery and others the ingredients are the mystery.
    .
    Like the newly-wed that searched the market for the “Scratch” that her MIL kept talking about. LOL

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  16. Have a binder with tried and tested recipes, most come from my mum’s cooking, some from my years as a student at the hotelmanagement school. Still have the ‘Eugene Pauli’s guide’ which has all the different cooking styles explained as well as some classic French recipes. And some other cookbooks, with recipes I still like to try one day, probably when I retire.

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