What are some of the best books you should read during down time that will help you improve your cooking
Best books to read?
These are usually my first go to when am stumped dealing with a new ingredient.
Being a sight learner, youtube has become manna from heaven when I cannot get a technique down.
My JOC is a very old addition....the link takes you to one of many "updated" versions.
Peterson and Pepin should be on the list. Lots of great technique and fundamentals to work wtih.
Phaidon press has a long list of BIG THICK ethnic cookbooks that I've found enjoyable. The Silver Spoon (Italian cuisine)is very terse and assumes you know how to do things, but I like it. I Know How to Cook (French cuisine) is one I bounced off pretty hard. But that's true of French Cuisine and me in general. Vifa's Kitchen (Greek) quite good imho (but Diane Kochilas is better) 1000 Recipes (Spanish cuisine) I enjoyed but I don't feel competent enough of Spanish Cuisine to decide on quality--some tricky ingredients to source properly as well. I've cooked from The Lebanese Kitchen and enjoyed it, but have yet to open my copy of Mexico: The Cookbook. They also have Indian and Thai books I've not looked at.
I was down a few times in my career. I found I most enjoyed volume over quality. I would enlist my M-I-L, neighbors, anybody who asked how I was doing and do you need something? My response was always the same, stop at any garage sale, good will or thrift store and buy me as many cookbooks for a quarter they could carry. I once spent 7 months in therapy and only left the house for treatment. I would keep rolls of quarters and give them to anyone who dropped by.
I would go through the good and the bad books or magazines and usually find something I stored in my head for the future. I also found the older the read the more I learned. I especially like the books written by Social, Community, and Fund Raising Groups.
I also love what I call the Garden Club/Jr League cookbooks!
Lady Bird wrote "Potluck on the Perdinales" and while the number of recipes (IMO) are a bit scanty.....I found a few oldies but goodies!
Picked it up at LBJ's prez library....gosh prolly 10 years ago.
Speaking of which it is being remodeled and the scuttlebutt is it now contains some pretty good declassified Cold War correspondence.
Need to get up to Austin and snoop lol.
Have you been over to SMU to tour Bush the younger's collection?
Heard it was pretty darn good.
When I do make it will def stop by for that cuppa joe lol.
you make a good point...
Those civic group cookbooks are usually really good. They're compiled by ladies who want to show off their most prized old family recipes.
One of our most-used ones is Charleston Recipts compiled by the Women's Junior League of Charleston SC. A wonderful compendium of Low Country delights.
If you see one at a garage sale... buy it!
I enjoy Ratios by Michael Ruhlman. Actually reading the Joy of Cooking instead of just skimming it has been very educational and entertaining.
I also like cookbooks by famous chefs to see if they share any techniques and to get plating ideas from the pictures.
Various books on canning and preserving methods are also fascinating and offer lots of tips on good food practices.