cook book`s that changed your life

Discussion in 'Cookbook Reviews' started by cmj, Jul 10, 2002.

  1. cmj

    cmj

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    mine are "white heat" by marco pierre white .
    and simon hopkinson`s "roast chicken and other stories "

    any one else got any thought`s on this ?

    and are these book`s in circulation across the pond?





    happy read !
     
  2. chiffonade

    chiffonade

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    Don't remember the occasion, but my mother gave me The Joy Of Cooking about 25 years ago. I read it voraciously and used it for just about everything. It really opened my eyes to the variety of ways a single main ingredient could be prepared. Joy, you could say, opened the door for me to explore cooking beyond my Italian roots.

    Another book that changed my life was Bread Alone by Daniel Leader, but not for the reasons you might think. I was married to someone who didn't respect my cooking ability. He felt that careers should be chosen solely on the merit of their income, and no amount of emotional or spiritual reward should be factored in. When I read the foreword in Bread Alone it was like my own feelings were being expressed. I copied the foreword and enclosed it in a card to him, in the hopes he might finally get his mind wrapped around why culinary professionals do what they do. All to no avail, I wound up drop kicking the @sshole out the door having chosen my culinary pursuits over his materialistic, self-centered, ego-driven miserable personality. Bread Alone turned out to be my Emancipation Proclamation.

    My ethnic books also mean a lot to me - as do my antiques.
     
  3. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Four books have influenced me greatly:

    LA CUISINE by Raymond Olliver
    ARTISAN BAKING ACROSS AMERICA by Maggie Glezer
    THE PROFESSIONAL CHEF by the CIA
    PLAYBOY
     
  4. suzanne

    suzanne

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    The 10th edition of The All New Fannie Farmer Boston Cooking School Cookbook (in paperback, in the mid-1960s) was my first cookbook. But it would have to be the first volume of Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck that turned me on to making really delicious, interesting food. And to a way of helping other people understand how to do it: complete, clear instructions -- like having someone standing at your elbow giving you advice and encouragement. The way that book is written has been as important to me as the outcome of the recipes.
     
  5. athenaeus

    athenaeus

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    When I was 8 I bought a Greek novel of a very good writer, Maria Iordanidou where she described the life of a woman in Constantinople ( Instabul-Turkey).

    That woman, the heroine of the book, Loxandra ( her name and title of the book) was married to a man who had by his previous marriage 5 children.
    She was kind, big in size and she was an excellent cook :)

    Half of the stories take place in her kitchen while she prepares dolmades yalantzi and while she confess to Virgin Mary her troubles.

    This heroine was stuck in my mind as the ideal woman. An ideal woman sacrifices for her family and she is an excellent cook and she is treated by respect with her husband and society! That's it!

    " Loxandra" is not a cook book although in the appendix of the book you can find "her recipes" but it's definetely the "cookbook" that has influenced me most.

    Great topic.
     
  6. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    The first cookbook I bought was The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines: Greece, Rome and China.

    I'd always liked his TV show and this book taught me to approach food without fear. And to love it.

    Phil
     
  7. isa

    isa

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    It's not so much a cookbook that inspired me. It's the realisation that:

    1. You could make bread at home. I'll always remember the taste of the hot slice of bread with butter melting on top.

    2. Cake didn't have to come in a pastry shop box but could be made at home.
     
  8. angrychef

    angrychef

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    When I was 12, I found my mother's Time-Life series books on Pastry. The pictures were beautiful enough to send me into making puff pastry step by step from the book. My first clumsy attempts at making palmiers progressed quickly to other pastry books and I've been baking since.
     
  9. shawtycat

    shawtycat

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    Although I started baking at age 5....I still remember the cookbook that started my passion for cooking was the copy of Good Housekeeping's Cookbook m mom gave me when I turned 11. After I got my library card at age 14, I borrowed the following:

    Joy of Cooking

    The New Professional Chef

    Classical Italian Cooking (I LOVE Pasta)

    The rest they say is history. :)
     
  10. lady t

    lady t

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    'Beard on Food' -- a compendium of James Beard's columns from the Seventies -- made my jaw drop; I'd never imagined that people could experience and write about cuisine that way. 'Beard on Bread' and 'Delights and Prejudices' followed in short order, and I never looked back. The two great Child 'Mastering the Art...' volumes came after that, and the 1975 'Joy of Cooking', and on and on and on.

    :lips:
     
  11. jim berman

    jim berman

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    The Chef's Reminder by Charles Fellows. Anybody that can write that much about food... and still have more to say deserves respect and all my drive to know what he knows.
     
  12. katew

    katew

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    The joy of cooking is my bible. If I don't understand something in another recipe, like a technique or a certain ingredient, I can usually find a good explanation in joy of cooking. Even if I just want to know how long to cook a certain cut of beef, or how to make pizza dough, it's all in there.
     
  13. w.debord

    w.debord

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    Even though the whole world seems to dislike her poor ole Martha Stewarts first couple books influenced me the most. I'd been around professional cooking most of my life (watching & helping my Mom).
    But Marthas' style, with her presentation of arranged artistis looking food and setting/an atmopshere thru your buffets really sparked my interest. Being a very visual oriented person it was the first time I saw cooking as an art and the presentation as theater. Even her wedding cakes sparked my imgination they were something "new". Something I wanted at my wedding or parties. A way to express/comunicate thru food.
     
  14. alexia

    alexia

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    While randomly working my way around the library, I read Henri Soule's autobiography when I was still in high school. The beginning of my cookery book addiction.
     
  15. sammiemom

    sammiemom

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    My mother gave me The Joy of Cooking when I got married almost 45 years ago. It eventually fell apart and I had to buy another. That wore out too.

    Now I look at yard sales and flea markets. I have two more copies.

    They are not as good as the first though.

    Sue
     
  16. spoons

    spoons

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    Colette's Wedding Cakes
    Although it's not really a cookbook, more of a cake decorating book.
    I picked it up for ideas for my own wedding cake. Frustrated way back then that nobody could do that style of cakes here.
    That got me totally inspired, I started to collect wedding cake books. Then enrolled in culinary school, specializing in baking and pastry. Which eventually lead me to take a class from the master herself, Colette Peters.
    She has inspired me to create beautiful edible works of art as a business.
    So,that book has changed my life.
     
  17. annie

    annie

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    I started out after college with (and still have) an old Joy of Cooking. Paula Peck's The Art of Fine Baking

    Living on a Vermont farm, this was my first and only chance to taste classic French desserts. And now I are a grad-you-ate of a program with a master French pastry chef, working at a French restaurant.

    My son is 23, but when I was in labor, I gave the anesthesiologist her recipe for walnut genoise!

    The cover was replaced by masking tape years ago, and the pages are brown and crumbly; but I still look up how to make braided rolls (directionally challenged!)
     
  18. shawtycat

    shawtycat

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    :lol: That's so funny Annie. :lol: When I was in labor with my son, almost 4 weeks ago, I gave the nurse my recipe for German Chocolate Cheesecake. :) That's all I talked about the whole time....FOOD! :D

    Jodi
     
  19. compassrose

    compassrose

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    When I moved out at eighteen, my mother gave me The Joy of Cooking, and the mother of the guy who moved in with me gave me The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook (her own wedding gift edition, I'm guessing, in the original gingham cover) and an English cookbook called The Family Cookbook in Colour (so's I could make Yorkshire pud for The Man).

    Neither of these changed my life. I was too young and too complete a kitchen virgin to appreciate The Joy (which is far less of a basic cookbook, in my opinion, than most people think it is). My mother had never, and I mean never, allowed me in HER KITCHEN; she wants to get things done as quickly as possible, her way, without incompetents underfoot. (Those first meals of my own were very special ones! Lots of weird hamburger dishes, many attempts at familiar dishes going wrong, because the essentials of cooking were a mystery to me, and the Amazing Flaming German Potato Pancakes -- my mother gave me her recipe over the phone, and said "use a hot pan." Pour in oil, crank heat to Max, insert batter, and everyone get the marshmallows!)

    No. The cookbooks that changed my life happened when the boyfriend decided he missed chicken. So I bought one. And as my hand slipped up its butt to retrieve the gizzardy bits, I became, in one fell swoop, a vegetarian, and didn't eat meat for the next ten years. I went and bought Anna Thomas's Vegetarian Epicure, and discovered -- cooking could be pleasure, creativity, an art professional or amateur -- that dishes had associations with fun times, or a particular party (something I'd known by instinct, but never seen articulated), that food was an adventure, not a necessity to be thrown on the table nightly, and that the "meat and two veg" or "standard casserole" was NOT the only way to serve a meal. (My mother also hates to cook, but has a husband and four children. She cooks well, but joylessly.)

    Then, after some prowling through the curries in the VE, I bought Madhur Jaffrey's World of the East Vegetarian Cookbook.

    And my head exploded.

    No, not really. But I've never looked back.
     
  20. pollyg

    pollyg

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    compassrose, what a lovely post!
    I was just recommending Madhur Jaffrey's vegetarian book to someone recently.
    Lots of vegetarian cookbooks seem to get stuck on soup, pasta and beans, but this one has so many different types of food in it, and all of them from countries that have a great tradition of vege food so that you don't get that horrible 'take a meat dish and substitute the meat for bean loaf' type of thing.