Your Santa list
  • Is it too early to ask what cookbooks are on your list this year?
  • I've just got mine early! The Christmas Chronicles by my favourite food writer Nigel Slater.
  • Ha, I was just thinking about that! These are my current top 3, but we're not big on presents for Christmas, so I might get maybe one, or none.
    - J. Kenji López-Alt: The Food Lab. Better Home Cooking Through Science
    - Michael Ruhlman: Ratio
    - Samin Nosrat: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking

    I just got Malakeh by Malakeh Jazmati (, a Syrian refugee in Berlin, for my birthday; beautiful book, strong Ottolenghi vibe, but I haven't yet been able to cook from it.
  • I splurged during Cookbooktober and got the new Smitten Kitchen, Pioneer Woman Come and Get It, Damaris Phillips - Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy, Cooking for Jeffery by Ina Garten, and Damn Delicious by Chungah Rhee.
  • What about yours, kaye16?
  • I'm still scratching my head. Your Malakeh sounds really interesting, Friederike, but I haven't found it in English (or French or Dutch); I haven't cooked in German (yet), but am tempted because it seems like the Insp. Bruno Cookbook will never be issued in English.
    We don't do lots of present, hardly any, but books are easy.

    My not-so-short list right now:
    - Unforgettable: The Bold Flavors of Paula Wolfert's Renegade Life, by Emily Kaiser Thelin

    - One Good Dish, by David Tanis
    - Ratio, by Michael Ruhlman

    - The Vegetable Butcher, by Cara Mangini
    - Vegetable Literacy, by Deborah Madison
    - Vegetarian Suppers, by Deborah Madison

    - Vegetarian India aka Curry Easy Vegetarian, by Madhur Jaffrey
    - Made in India, by Meera Sodha
    - India Cookbook, by Pushpesh Pant

    - Mrs. Wheelbarrow`s Practical Pantry, by Cathy Barrow

    - A Bird in the Hand, by Diane Henry
    - The Perfectly Roasted Chicken aka A Bird in the Oven, by Mindy Fox

    Unforgettable about Paula Wolfert is probably #1.
    Then I've had my eye on One Good Dish for a long time, but really enjoyed Twenty, so much, I think Ratio might win out there.
    Do I need another vegetarian/vegetable cookbook?
    Do I need another Indian cookbook?
    My DH loves a roast chicken, so those are interesting, especially to him. :-)
    Do I need another book on putting-by especially since I did *none* this summer.

    And space is an issue. For every one coming in, one needs to be recycled.

    Still thinking ....
  • Made in India by Meera Sodha and A Bird in the Hand by Diana Henry are on my long list as well!

    I've cooled a little on Malakeh. All baking recipes use 'a glass' and/or 'a large glass' as unit for several different ingredients, without specifying how much that is. All recipes on Kibbeh require 20 g of several spices - equals about 7-11 tsp per spice. I sent an email to the publisher last week, but haven't received an answer yet. The book is very pretty, but with so many recipes unusable, I wonder if it's worth it to keep it.

    I'll definitely have to have a look at the other books on your list.

    Edited to add:
    Oh wow, I just had another look at Malakeh. Of 60 recipes, nine use 'glass' and/or 'large glass' as a unit, and six are for Kibbeh using 20 g each of several spices. In addition, at least three recipes so far use 1 kg yoghurt or more (!) for a yoghurt sauce (for four servings), several use 10 g dried mint, and one recipe even uses 10 g of saffron! 10 g!! That's a whopping 319 Euro at my (probably overpriced) local supermarket. This makes me deeply suspicious even of all recipes that seem to be fine at first glance. I was actually wondering if I could still exchange it when my daughter spilled my cup of coffee over it...
  • Oh too bad about Malakeh. No chance she mentions in the intro or notes somewhere how big the glasses are?
  • No, I checked that right away. I'll probably follow up with the publisher in a few days, I guess that's my best chance...
  • So, what did Santa bring?
  • - Ratio, by Michael Ruhlman
    - A Bird in the Hand, by Diane Henry (not a surprise as DH loves chicken)
    - Made in India, by Meera Sodha (a surprise, and hope that means I can cook even more Indian :-) )

    I actually added Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat to my list, but decided that and Unexpected can wait a bit. Hopefully price will come down, or there will be good second hand copies available.

    And your Santa?
  • My list included Sweet from Ottolenghi (and Goh) which I had to buy for myself since nobody ever gets me cookbooks. So far I'm loving it, so inventive and nothing looks very difficult. It's one of the few dessert books I own, and I can't wait to cook more from it.
  • Hubby got Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and I got Ruhlman's Twenty; I figured last minute that would make more sense since I don't do a lot of baking these days. I'm beginning to have doubts, however, as it seems very similar to, but not as good as, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. What do you like about Twenty, Kaye?

    How do you like Sweet, Kestrel? Is it worth it? How complicated are the recipes? Looking forward to your reviews!
  • Twenty: He gives good descriptions of twenty basic technicques, how-to and why, and then gives a group of recipes using that technique. So far we've been happy with everything I've made and have lots of tags still to try.
  • Hi friederike, I'm really enjoying Sweet. The recipes are interesting and original, and don't look complicated to me. I would say that any confident cook would find it approachable; you certainly don't need to be a pastry chef or anything. I'm in Canada and the North American editions have several mistakes as to oven temperatures and times so that's something to keep in mind. The uk edition had no errors though.
    I've got a number of recipes tagged to do next including some of the cookies and the beet and ginger cake among others.
  • Kestrel: I just posted a link to the publisher's corrections. It's
  • Reading Diane Henry's A Bird in the Hand. Very impressed so far. One of those books, I could save stickies by tagging recipes I *don't* want to try. Almost every recipe is appealing. Think this will be my April cookbook-of-the-month.
  • Kaye: I agree--great book.

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