Next challenge?
  • Now's not the time, but maybe we could do another challenge in March???
    I was wondering if we knew which books (or authors?) had the most "owners"? Maybe we could plan a challenge for a most-owned book?
  • Yotam Ottolenghi seems to be taking over the known universe at the moment. Personally I think he's over-rated, but I do own Plenty and Jerusalem. I have some of his other recipes courtesy of The Guardian.
  • I agree with @bunyip about Ottolenghi; I've only got the self-named book. Have liked recipes from there and site well enough, but think he's generally overrated, especially my book.

    Would like to know if there's a way to find the most-owned books at cookbooker?
  • I just scanned my bookshelf, looking at the icon for the number of owners. It looked like Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, at 153, might be the most owned. But of course with different editions, etc, that complicates the equation. Which book on your shelf looks most owned?

    I do like the idea of a March challenge.
  • I own that book (Bittman/vegetarian) and, I'm ashamed to say, I've never cooked a thing out of it. It does appear to be the most owned.
  • I show How to Cook Everything Vegetarian with 183. That's the most-owned book I found. I wouldn't mind at all spending a bit more time with that book.
  • Another possibility would be to use an even older classic, though I have not done the math to see how many own the various editions - I am thinking Joy of Cooking. This might be more of an American book, said at the risk that the Bittman book is also viewed as having a narrow "american" focus. But I like Bittman's book a lot, and would not mind deeper exploration. Its got a ton of interesting recipes.
  • Joy of Cooking has so many editions that are so different, it might be a bit hard to organize. I don't mind that though.
    Is Bittman really "american"? The book gets pretty good reviews at Amazon UK. Only three 3-star ratings (no pictures, too many recipes, one complaint about it being imperial rather than metric, but I think most of us can convert???).
  • I think I'd rather cook from the Bittman Vegetarian book--rather more modern and creative I think...and not all that 'American"
  • There are two problems with American cookbooks. The major one is measurements. It's not that they use imperial, it's that they use Fanny Farmer, which with many ingredients just cannot be converted from volume to weight. You can wing it with meat and veggies, but with baking you're in serious trouble.

    The other problem is unfamiliar ingredients like proprietary brands of sauces and condiments, packets of this and cans of that - even pumpkin for goodness sake. I expect this would be less of a problem with Bittman.

    Could we perhaps consider books that are available in both British and American editions. These, it seems to me, almost always are originally British which means the likes of Nigella Lawson or Jamie Oliver. I've got a converted Julia Child, but I've never cooked from it; she's fun reading but not really modern taste.
  • I like the idea of using a cookbook that bunyip could use, too.
    I have a Donna Hay cookbook (off the shelf), and absolutely love it - but I have not researched whether her cookbooks have widespread ownership.
  • No Donna Hay here. @bunyip, what's your most owned cookbook?
  • I do have Off The Shelf, it's very useful. I believe she's becoming available in US editions.

    Apart from Julia Child my most owned in compatible editions would be Rose Levy Berenbaum's Cake Bible and Pie and Pastry Bible (but I'm not a great one for baking), and Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Italian Cooking.

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