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cook book`s that changed your life

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
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 !
cook or be cooked
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cook or be cooked
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post #2 of 22

It should be a big list...

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.
Food is sex for the stomach.
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Food is sex for the stomach.
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post #3 of 22
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

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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post #4 of 22
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.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #5 of 22
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.
"Muabet de Turko,kama de Grego i komer de Djidio", old sefardic proverb ( Three things worth in life: the gossip of the Turk , the bed of the Greek and the food of the Jew)
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"Muabet de Turko,kama de Grego i komer de Djidio", old sefardic proverb ( Three things worth in life: the gossip of the Turk , the bed of the Greek and the food of the Jew)
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post #6 of 22

Jeff Smith

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
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #7 of 22
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.
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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post #8 of 22
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.
post #9 of 22
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. :)
Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
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Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
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post #10 of 22
'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:
post #11 of 22
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.

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

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Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

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post #12 of 22
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.
post #13 of 22
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.
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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post #14 of 22
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.
" ...but in the spirit of 'stop, think, there must be a harder way, 'I figured starting from scratch might be more gratifying.'' (Judy Rodgers)
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" ...but in the spirit of 'stop, think, there must be a harder way, 'I figured starting from scratch might be more gratifying.'' (Judy Rodgers)
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post #15 of 22
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
I live in my own little world. But it's OK...they know me here.
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I live in my own little world. But it's OK...they know me here.
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post #16 of 22
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.
post #17 of 22
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!)
Annie
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Annie
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post #18 of 22
: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
Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
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Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
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post #19 of 22
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.
post #20 of 22
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.
post #21 of 22
The Frugal Gourmet cooks with Wine did it for me. While I have many good cooks in the family none really used wine in anything. It changed my whole outlook on food.....to this day there isn't a main entree that I prepare that doesn't use some type of wine. I think wine improves the flavor of everything
Just Ducky!!!
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Just Ducky!!!
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post #22 of 22
I cant remember my first cookbook, and I refer to 4 or 5 different books when Im loking for something specific. However I would say my favorite alltime book was from Jeffrey Steingarten.
My current fav. cookbook is Marcella Hazen.
I love that old lady, best cooks in the world are grandmothers.
Lots of experience and love for the food they cook.

A toast to my Nona who let me taste her cooking,
A toast to grandmothers all over the world!!
Both long and rich, full of intense flavours, new discoveries, unexpected contrasts.
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Both long and rich, full of intense flavours, new discoveries, unexpected contrasts.
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