Like a lot of people, I've got too many cookbooks. Maybe if I list them here, it'll remind me not to buy any more. Maybe.
In no particular order, then, here goes.
Tamasin Day-Lewis: Tamasin's Kitchen Bible
"This book will never leave my kitchen" says Nigel Slater on the cover, which makes me feel like I've nicked it. Not really a bible, but a strangely arranged collection of recipes. If you're looking for a bible, try
Larousse Gastronomique by Prosper Montagné
The dust jacket says this is the first English language edition. I can't say exactly when it was published, because the title page is missing. Why's that? Because the book is faulty, and when I worked in bookshops, you only had to send back the title page to get a refund of a faulty book. That would date it to the late 1970s. If I ever need to know what elephant meat is like (edible but leathery) this is the book I turn to.
Tom Stobart: Herbs, Spices and Flavourings
Another old book, this is a brilliant summary of most of the different HS&Fs you can think of.
Michel Roux: Eggs and Pastry
Recent books, both nice-looking paperbacks, that ought to be a good starting point at least.
Jamie Oliver: Jamie's Italy
This is, I think, one of the best of the celeb chef cookbooks. Sumptuously produced, with too many photos, it is at least a genuine survey of a subject he clearly loves. I'll probably never buy another book by him, though.
Jackie Burrow & Mary Norwak: Health Food Cookbook
Published in 1979 by Octopus, this has sat largely unopened in my shelves. Opening it recently I found a press cutting from September 1981 featuring my old mate John.
The book itself is a bit wholemeal-worthy
Jack Santa Maria: Indian Vegetarian Cookery
Back in the days when I worked in bookshops, this was one of our best-sellers, and this copy is the 1980 reprint of the 1973 original. It's the basic book for staple dishes, packed with recipes. In the same range I've also got
Jack Santa Maria: Chinese Vegetarian Cookery and
David Scott: Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookery
Can you tell yet that I used to be a veggie? And moving not too far:
Vicky Bhogal: Cooking like Mummyji
I'm not sure I've ever used this book, but I liked the idea of it. It's intended to show how British Asians cook, so traditional recipes slightly adapted to British shops. I ought to try something from it, I suppose.
Staying with the Indian trend, I have
Michael Pandya: Complete Indian Cookbook
A 1981 publication. I seem to remember actually using this book quite a bit when I was learning. Oh yes, Gram and Water Curry on p 93. "Once you have acquired a taste for this dish, its memory will always be with you." Maybe my gut wasn't attuned to pulses in those days, but I do still remember the smell of the farts it produced.
Dan Lepard: Short and Sweet
This is how a cookery book should be: long (over 500 pages), lightly illustrated (1 photo every 6 or so recipes), and combining general guidance with detailed recipes. And cheap (£8.79 from Amazon, though I see it's now £15). My assault on sweet baking starts here!
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