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At Home With The CIA - Page 2

post #31 of 37
Thread Starter 
The same could be said for many textbooks, no matter what the discipline. And a lot of technical writing suffers from the same problem as well---in addition to being written as a lot of things, but understandable English not being one of them.

The fact is, however, that the CIA AT-Home series is just the opposite. Because they were adapted from a teaching sylabus, the instructional material is balls-on. It's the recipes that suffer---at least in the early ones.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #32 of 37
I was in B & N the other day reading both Cooking At Home and Professional Chef.

I was not lost reading either; however, I feel if I read Cooking At Home once, I will basically know what is in it. On the other hand, I feel Professional Chef might not be suitable for my level right now, but I *think* it offers more opportunity for growth. I think Professional Chef is a book I can always use for reference and technique. I don't think it matters that there are chapters in that book I will never use because it is so inclusive of all cooking techniques.  Am I wrong?

I have a coupon which will reduce the cost of PC to $40.  The same coupon will reduce the cost of Cooking At Home to $25 BUT then I will have to buy Baking At Home, etc...

Also, I looked through Baking At Home and I don't like that the recipes are in volume. Every baking book I own includes both weight and volume. I only bake by weight.

So, KYHeirloomer...your opinion is very important to me...what should I do?

Thank you for your help
post #33 of 37
Thread Starter 
I don't think you'd benefit from any professional level book.

Well, that's overstating it. But keep in mind they are designed as textbooks for culinary schools, and are supplements to the hands-on instruction taught by the faculty. For most people they're just not worth the purchase price.

Were I in your shoes I'd save the B&N coupon for something else, and buy Cooking At Home from Amazon, where it's listed for as little as nine bucks. Even with shipping you'll be ahead of the game, and will have the techiques material to use as a reference guide even if you never make any of the recipes.

I don't think just reading about a technique, and doing it once, means you know it. Both the knowledge of, and developing skill with, technique comes from repetition. So for many things that you don't do all the time, a reference is valuable.

I'm not finished working my way through Baking At Home. My initial reaction, however, is that it suffers from the same problem as Cooking At Home; to wit, great technical and instructional material, but recipes that aren't quite right.

I also have an issue with it on another level. I don't believe it's possible to have one book cover all aspects of baking without being superficial. Just think how many books there are at the subject of baking yeast breads. How can anybody cover yeast breads, and quick breads, and cookies, cakes, pies, etc. in a meaningful way?

Were it me, I'd look at books that covered the baking topics which interest me in depth, rather than try and find one that covered the spectrum.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #34 of 37
Thank you. I went to the library yesterday and rented Cooking At Home and the CIA's Culinary Boot Camp.  I will give the home series a try before I actually buy it.

Thank you SO much for all your help and advice flower.gif
post #35 of 37
May I ask you about another book that is on my "Amazon wish list" as one wrote here the other day..

http://www.amazon.com/Duck-Cookbook-James-Peterson/dp/1584792957/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_11
I love duck and cook books.  But to be honest I could not "overcome" the duck recipes yet! So when I saw this book I thought: "I must buy it!"
As it is quite expensive to ship it to Brazil (not all of them are, I have just bought "Sauces and "All About Braising") but this one has international shipping only for more expensive prices..

So, what is your opinion about the book?? Is it worth?

Sirlene
P.S.:Is this the right forum??
Sir
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Sir
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post #36 of 37
Thread Starter 
Sirlene this is certainly the right forum. But I reckon I'd have started a new thread.

I haven't seen the Duck book. But, frankly, I can't imagine anything by James Peterson being anything but top of the line. You're gonna love Sauces.

I noticed that Amazon is listing used copies starting at around 15 bucks. Perhaps if you went that route it would make up for the higher shipping costs? It's been my experience, and that of others I know, that the descriptions can be counted on to understate the condition. That is, most books listed as, for instance, "good," actually are "very good"  or better. And the "very good" listings are actually "excellent" or "like new."

The last used book I ordered that way was listed as being in "good" condition. When I got it, the top of the dust jacket was sort of abraded along the top edge, and there were some pencil marks on the title page. That was the only thing I found differentiating it from a new book. The seller had described that damage as "torn dust jacket" and mentioned the pencil marks.

So don't be afraid to order used books. It's really an economical way to build a library.

Alternatively, check with local bookstores. If the publisher involved has a distributor in the Southern Cone (and most do, nowadays), the local people should be able to order it for you.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #37 of 37
Hi KYHeirloomer

I have the same opinion about James Peterson books. I have one other book of his - "Essencials of cooking" I bought it in Germany, it´s in german as most of my cook books are. Now I´m reading "Sauces" and it is really excellent!

About the Amazon ordering, I might have not being clear about it, the problem is that they do not accept my order (new or used) if the book costs less than US 70,00!!
Good tip about the publisher local distributor! I will check it out!!

Obrigada
Sirlene
Sir
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