I love trying new recipes. As an avid home cook, I’m always looking for new dishes to try. I often find tempting recipes online, but unless they come from a trusted source, I’m hesitant to try them. I’ve been burned a few times by untested recipes, so I’m always a little skeptical if I don’t know of the author.
When online recipes fail me, I turn to my collection of cookbooks. When I was a little kid, I had a Barbie cookbook (my mom still has it) that I made several recipes from. One of which, chocolate fudge brownies, became a family favorite. But my tried-and-true cookbook now, my reference guide, my kitchen companion, is Fannie Farmer. We like it so much in fact that we have two:
They are much-beloved and much-used, with many pages dusted with floury fingerprints. My mom actually sent my copy to me for Valentine’s Day when I was in college (along with a potato masher … that’s just how we roll). When Fannie doesn’t have what I need, or when I want a second opinion, I turn to the Joy of Cooking. Together, they form the basis of my cooking knowledge and I still refer to them often for techniques, recipes and inspiration.
Those are really the only two cookbooks that I need, but there are lots of others that I want. Mike’s mom gave us this bread book a few years ago and we’ve used it many times to make delicious French bread, whole wheat sandwich bread and other tasty treats. I love how worn it is.
Around the same time that we acquired the bread book, we were up in the Adirondack Mountains visting one of Mike’s family friends when we stumbled upon this book, put together by someone my mom used to know in Upstate New York in the 1970s. Small world! It’s organized by season, with lots of fun little vignettes and photos from the area.
More recently, my mom gifted us with this Winnipesaukee cookbook. It’s a guide to fantastic summer recipes that are perfect for sultry days. I love recognizing where the people who submitted the recipes live on the lake. It’s fun to look through in the winter and dream of sunny days by the water.
I’ve never actually made anything from this last cookbook, but I just love it. It was published in Littleton, N.H., in 1945 and contains some classic New England recipes. I think the cover is just wonderful and I love the little handwritten notes that the original owner made throughout the book.
What’s your favorite cookbook? Cooking anything good this weekend?