I'm a newly indoctrinated fan of BOOK RIOT, a website which features booky posts for those of us for whom reading books themselves just isn't enough - we must know what goes on in the world of books as well. Book Riot is definitely one of the best places to go for all things literary.
This morning I happened upon a post titled, READING COOKBOOKS IN BED and I smiled - aha!
Why? Well, because I though I was the only one who did this. Reading cookbooks in bed, I mean. But also because I'd been working on a post outlining my favorite cookbooks - books that are on my kitchen bookshelves when they aren't being read in bed or elsewhere.
I do keep my cookbooks in the kitchen book case, but they don't, necessarily, remain there. I occasionally take one to bed with me for the same reasons that Jeff O'Neal talks about in his post. (I love his book suggestions too.)
But my own cookbooks are not as pristene as Jeff's. When I'm following a recipe in the kitchen, things tend to fly about.
I sorted through my cookbooks and other food related tomes and came up with a List of Ten. After all, November is the month when food suddenly (or not) becomes a primary concern. I think it's that 'gearing up for winter, gathering of the acorns' imperative. .
Ten Foody Books From My Own Kitchen Shelves:
1) The Italian Cooking Encyclopedia by Linda Frazier
This is my very favorite Italian cookbook, primarily because each recipe is accompanied by fabulous photos. It is simply a gorgeous book. The recipes aren't bad either. This is the authoritative guide to Italy's different regions and cuisines. If you, like me, love Italian food, then this book must be in your collection.
2) Mary Emmerling's American Country Cooking
Just exactly what it sounds like. Another gorgeous book devoted to food and the stylings of the table. There isn't a recipe in here you won't want to try, including barbecue. Designer and collector Mary Emmerling, traveled from Maine to California and in between, to put together this inspiring collection of menus, recipes and photos.
3) Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin
This is the sort of book you pick up, sit down with and before you know it, you've read the whole thing. Colwin's wonderful stories about food, life and the occasional recipe are just perfection.
4) More Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin
Colwin continues her joyful stories about food, writing and life. When I finished this book I went looking for more, and that's when I learned that Laurie Colwin had passed away. Untimely, to say the least.
I was especially saddened because after reading these two books I'd felt as though I'd known her. I felt as if a friend had died. Luckily, she left these very special books behind for us.
5) A Proper Breakfast by Alexandra Parsons
Food and art - what could be better? Recipes for a perfect breakfast, from different regions of the world. The illustrations by Eve Safarewicz are absolutely exquisite. She details not only the food, but the tableware and linens. Just looking through this book makes me smile. It is such a special treat.
Designer Tricia Foley has fabulous taste as we all know, so when she turns her talents to the afternoon (or morning or evening) tea ceremony, the results are beatutiful. Tea indoors before a fireplace or on a sunny front porch or on a picnic in the country. All beautifully photographed with just the proper, often fanciful, accoutrements. A book to savor.
7) The Pleasures of Tea by the editors of Victoria Magazine
Victoria Magazine was, once upon a time, my monthly design comforter. I loved the photos, the stylings, the poetry and the general ambience. It really was my favorite magazine for many years.
At any rate, the cover of this book gives you an idea of what I loved about Victoria and continue to love about their books. This particular one has gorgeous comfy photos - tea for every occasion. Lovely stuff.
8) The New Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen
If you love vegetarian food and I do, then this is the book for you. The recipes are terrific and mostly simple enough. The text of the book appears hand lettered and the charming drawings are anything but slick. Just a book devoted to fabulous and healthful vegetarian food.
9) Brunetti's Cookbook by Donna Leon, with recipes by Roberta Pianaro
A trip to Venice to eat the best Italy has to offer in the company of mystery author Donna Leon, creator of the Commissario Brunnetti mysteries. What could be better? And you don't even have to leave your own bed.
10) American Family Style - Decorating, Cooking, Gardening and Entertaining by Mary Randolph Carter
Yeah I keep this book in the kitchen for inspiration. Mary Randolph Carter is a designer/stylist and guiding creative light at Ralph Lauren.
Mary's fabulous office and Mary's website.
Note: Woodcut illustration at the top of the post is by Mary Azarian.