If you've read my first book, Reservations for Two, then you have a fair idea of how much I like to cook. I have large cookbook collection that I have to actively work to keep its current size or it doesn't fit in my house. Since I'm a public librarian, it should also come as no surprise to people that I often give books as gifts--and often I give cookbooks. As some major gift giving are coming up here in the States (and around the world), I wanted to share with you some cookbooks that I think would make nice gifts.
Southern Pies by Nancie McDermott would make a lovely gift. She also has one Southern Cakes, but I'm partial to pies myself. Everything I've made from this cookbook has been delicious and most of them are simple. There's a pineapple-coconut pie that is scrumptious and a vinegar pie that will surprise you. And make sure you try the bean pie.
Every Grain of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop. There aren't really enough words in the English language to discuss my love of this cookbook, but I will try. This is Chinese home cooking, so it's fairly simple. Flavors range from plain to spicy to pickled to sweet and there is an emphasis on vegetables, with meat used mostly for flavoring rather than as a centerpiece. This is a good cookbook for people trying to cut down on their meat consumption and also for people who are gluten-free (so long as they can use tamari soy sauce). I love the tomatoes and eggs dish and the celery with macadamia nut stir-fry. I've made food from this cookbook pretty much every week since I got it, often making extra rice so I can have fried rice for a couple days.
World Vegetarian. This cookbook is a must own (or must give) for vegetarians and carnivores alike. With bean soups, breads, vegetable dishes, stews, pastas, and egg dishes from around the world, there is a recipe to please everyone in here. She has a baked lima bean dish (dried, not frozen or canned beans) that I find heavenly in the winter and a fried, green onion bread that I could gorge on and still want more the next day. Not all of it is appropriate for a weeknight dinner, but all of it is delicious.
So, what cookbooks would you recommend to me and other Lady Scribes readers? Do you have a favorite cookbook author?