How to Cook Everything (reasonably well)

Joined Feb 5, 2002
I realize that this may be a bit of a stale topic (Bittman's How to Cook Everything has been out for a while now) but in saw a recent thread dissing a book that I find myself turning to again and again for last minute dinner ideas. I admit, though, that I haven't made a single dessert out of the batch.

As one of those self-taught bachelor cooks (err, hacks), I tend to have a main ingredient in mind and then turn to a few books to see what inspires my belly. "Tonight we eat pork loin --- what can you do for me?" As the years have progressed I have battered (sometimes literally) copies of Fanny, Joy and Frugal. Later adding a few more fun (Blue Collar Food) or specialized (The Steak Lover's Cookbook) or "refined" books (Heritage Southern Cooking) to broaden the search for help. Out of my growing collection the only two that have out-and-and disappointed have been the recent Dean & Deluca (too.....well, just too) and that China Moon cookbook that should have been subtitled China Moon Cookbook or How to Cook When You've Been Laid Off and Don't Have Anything Else to do for Two Months .

So, my questions are:

what are your current (or past) go-to favorite books that inspire breakfast, lunch and dinner?

where do you find those fabulous older cookbooks?
Joined Mar 13, 2001
I purchase cookbooks regularly but I keep wandering back to my old Julia Child's. :rolleyes:

I found some oldies at yard sales! Also on the net and in specialized book stores.
Joined Apr 19, 2001
The Silver Palate books are a good source of fresh, fairly easy recipes and ideas. I also love getting those 'Junior League' type cookbooks for a lot of local color! I go back to Joy of Cooking and the NY Times cookbook, too, for basics that seem to be missing in a lot of newer, general purpose books.

The library is a great cookbook resource - use it! For both old and new cookbooks, you can get a wealth of info from the library.
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