One of my clients texted me with a question that ended up consuming my thoughts. Simple to answer at first, but after thought, it now seems more difficult. Her nephew has become very interested in cooking, so she is planning to find him a few essential cookbooks for Christmas. I would like to know: Which cookbooks would you label essential?
Cookbooks are treasured by many. Sauce-splattered pages evoke vivid memories while blurring into haze at the same time. They are collected, shared, loaned, battered, and often barely bound.
Interestingly, premium cookbooks still sell well. There was a time a few years ago when their extinction seemed imminent. After all, there are millions of free recipes posted everywhere on the internet. Martha Stewart gives away her recipes on her website. Her newest book, One Pot, sits comfortably as a best-seller. While I'm no longer remotely enchanted with Ina Garten, her books trump all. Why? There is still an irreplaceable magic in the pages of a cookbook. If a strawberry bleeds on your iPad, you instantly clean it off. There is no cranberry stain from 1997, no dog-eared page from that awful party with these fabulous muffins, no fingerprint smudges from years of checking ingredients line by line. This article may be of interest
Cookbooks are portals. Glimpses into times we can only visit via nostalgia. Because food is at the center of existence, cookbooks are at the center of the minutiae that becomes memory.I allow anonymous comments on my blog; even if you don't often comment on blogs, I would love to have a broad discussion on which cookbooks you deem essential?
|Top: Larousse Gastronomique, the bible on which Mastering the Art of French Cooking, below, is based. Heavy on wonderful writing on technique. No pictures, though.|
|How important are photos in a cookbook?|
|Not up for discussion: if my Santa face is creepy. I love him.|