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Basic cookbooks

Thank you for telling me about the different cookbooks you rely on for basic cooking information. I was struck by a few trends in the answers: North Americans - regardless of whether Canadian or American - tended to use the same classic texts as each other. Brits hit all the extremes, from Mrs. Beaton's, which predates all the North American offerings, but with a heavy sample of other cookbooks, new from generation to generation, up to quite recent additions to the fold, with Mrs. Beaton's and Delia being the most frequently mentioned. N.A. has more modern additions, but I'd already mentioned How to Cook Everything (1998) in the post, so perhaps its users refrained from responding because of that.

North American Basic, All-purpose Cookbooks
  • The Joy of Cooking
  • The Kitchen Companion
  • The Fannie Farmer Cookbook
  • Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook
  • Betty Crocker
  • Elizabeth David
  • James Beard
  • Julia Child
  • A Maida Heatter cookbook
  • The Settlement Cookbook
  • The Original Moosewood Cookbook (veggie friendly)
  • A Roz Denny vegetarian cookbook
  • Comfort Food
  • How to Cook Everything

British Basic, All-purpose Cookbooks
  • Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management
  • Marguerite Patten, Everyday Cookbook
  • The Penguin Cookery Book by Bee Nilson
  • Good Housekeeping cookbooks
  • Pauper's Cookbook (1970s)
  • (Prue) Leith's Cookery Bible
  • The Complete Cookery Book
  • Delia

Other Recommended Highly Versatile Cookbooks
  • Larousse Practique
  • Reader's Digest's The Cookery Year (British, but listed by someone living in the US, so not sure where to list)
  • Madhur Jaffrey's Invitation to Indian Cooking
  • The co-op cookbook: Vår kokbok (Swedish staple)
  • Silver Spoon (Il cucchiaio d'argento; Italian staple, 50s style, recently translated into English)
  • The Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors
  • Rachael Ray's 30-minute books


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 13th, 2006 11:22 pm (UTC)
The one I mentioned was :arousse Practique which is very different from Larousse Gastronomique. The former tells one how long to roast a leg of pork or how to fillet a plaice, the latter tells one how to make sauce Talleyrande or the appropriate garnishes for a head of wild boar.
Feb. 13th, 2006 11:24 pm (UTC)
Corrected. Clearly, I am reading very shoddily tonight!
Feb. 14th, 2006 12:52 am (UTC)
The Readers' Digest one is definitely a UK one -- X is from south London. Sharon Howard, over at Early Modern Notes, also uses it a lot! In fact, she once posted a picture of her cookbook shelf, and we had many of the same books, despite being on different continents.
Feb. 14th, 2006 02:00 am (UTC)
*shudder* Rachael Ray!!! everywhere I look there she is, arrghh!!! ;P I just don't like her and for some reason I kept seeing pictures of her today hehe.
Feb. 14th, 2006 03:53 am (UTC)
I totally agree with that. She is teh evol
Feb. 15th, 2006 12:52 am (UTC)
A cookbook that is a standard in my family is Marjorie Standish's Cooking Down East. That might be a Maine/New England thing, though.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )