Read ’em and eat


Anthony over at Spiceblog has got himself a meme going (and how is a girl supposed to resist writing about me me me me etc etc? ;-)).  Back in reality, this meme is all about your collection of cookbooks, so why don’t you go on over and take a look, take a snapshot of your cookbooks and join in by posting the pic together with the answers to the questions below on your own blog?


1. Rationale behind what we’re seeing?
Rationale?  Rationale?????  Oh Lordy Lord. Nobody told me that I was going to have to justify my purchases!  Erm, see book, leaf through book, like pictures, buy book!  That sounds about right.  More cookbooks also in storage in South Africa…

Couple of curiosities here though – first is the white booklet under the Chilli Pepper book, Nonna’s Kitchen.  This is the book of recipes from the Italian community of my hometown, put together by my sister in law Paola and her niece Megan.  Very limited edition and some fab Italian recipes, as authentic as they’re going to get.  Then to the right of the Larousse Gastronomique is something called the ClearGourmet.  This is a cookbook put together from contributions of staff members working for all the global offices of Cleary Gottlieb, the law firm where I used to work.  First prize to anyone else who can post a picture of these two volumes!!

2. Most recommended?
Actually, the most recommended is not on this picture but back home in SA. It is a classic Afrikaans cookbook called Kook en Geniet (I believe it’s now available in English translation) and I inherited it from my mom.  It tells you absolutely everything you need to know – from scrambled eggs to meringues to baked cheesecakes to rack of lamb.  An invaluable book that will see you through all the stages of your journey from hapless student to dinner party diva.

3. Cookbook that made you what you are?
What, you mean pleasantly plump??  Probably the Fattis and Monis (South African pasta manufacturers) pasta cookbook.  It it has the distinction of containing the Best Pasta Sauce in the World – chicken, bacon, tomatoes, tomato puree, cream and wine. Heaven.

4. Porniest cookbook?
No contest there – Pasella Kook, the big blue one on the left.  Yes, it even beats Nigella in its finger-licking, dough-kneading physicality… And every few pages there are pics of the astonishingly attractive young TV chefs (it is a book to go with a series in South Africa) smearing each other with melted chocolate, wrapping fresh pasta around themselves or other such culinary high-jinks. Porny indeed.

5. Sophie’s Choice cookbook?
Silly question.  The red-spined index book where I write or paste all the recipes I collect from friends, family, the internet, magazines etc etc.  Most are tried and tested and most are well loved.  It ain’t pretty but it works, and it’s the only recipe book I brought with me from SA, which tells you a lot.  I think Nick would save the South African Kettle Braai Cookbook (not pictured).

6. If you were a cookbook, which cookbook would you be?
Tarts With tops On.  Come on, how can you beat that for a name?? 😀

7. If your cookbook were extremely valuable, so valuable you might hide it with other valuables, where would that place be?
Why, I’d hide it in a hiding place where no-one ever goes, in my pantry with my cupcakes, of course.

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  1. says

    Ha ha! Love the touch of Paul Simon…
    I don’t know if I could survive, knowing so many of my cookbooks were out of reach. One of the things I made Matt search for in our storage space after the move to TN from CA were boxes marked ‘cookbooks’…it took ages to find them all, but I was so happy when he did!

  2. says

    Stephanie – well spotted on the Paul Simon! And I must admit that I find it very frustratign to be so far away from some of my cookbooks… The worst is that you tend to forget which books you own where, so although you might be sure that you own that perfect chicken liver pate recipe, it might not be in the smae country as where you currently find yourself 😉 And I agree – tarts with tops on is the ultimate name for a pie cookbook. No contest.
    Joolez – yup! You are now officially reading Afrikaans! Now you know the feeling of amazement I experience every time I go to Germany and realise how much I understand!
    Anthony – Can’t live without me Women’s Weekly cookbooks…