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Best First Cookbook?

Ricks503's picture

OK, lets have a nice heated discussion.  What would be the best overall first cookbook to give a child getting ready to head out on their own?


My own thought so far is Joy of Cooking

 


Edited 9/16/2005 3:43 pm ET by Ricks503

 

 

" There'll be no living with her now" - Captain Jack Sparrow

shoechick's picture

(post #62651, reply #1 of 62)

It's a great "information" book and the recipes are good.  But I don't like it because of the lack of pictures.  I'd much rather see what it's supposed to look like.


I vote Donna Hay The New Cook (I think that's it's name)


If Shopping Doesn't Bring you Happiness, You're in the Wrong Store.

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.  ~St. Augustine

soccermom's picture

(post #62651, reply #2 of 62)

I'm with you. It was my first cookbook, and I still go back to it for basics. Depending on how skilled your child is, perhaps a FC subscription too?

 


 

 

 

Nightrider's picture

(post #62651, reply #3 of 62)

My very first cookbook (at age 11) was called "A Century of Canadian Home Cooking"...a beautiful book with lots of pictures, very informative, and it went through recipes decade by decade with lots of historical information for each time period.  It's a very interesting read, and the recipes are good.  Nothing really exotic or gourmet in it though...just your typical Canadian prairie type food.  I loved that book.


I also vote for Joy of Cooking, or if you're looking for something REALLY basic the Better Homes and Gardens red plaid book isn't bad.

Glenys's picture

(post #62651, reply #7 of 62)

""A Century of Canadian Home Cooking"...a beautiful book with lots of pictures, very informative, and it went through recipes decade by decade with lots of historical information for each time period. "
Do you know inspiring you sound? NOT! Do you know how old it makes you sound? You're being nostalgic not inspiring but pass the peirogies please.

KathiM's picture

(post #62651, reply #35 of 62)

better homes plaid and the settlement cookbook were my firsts.  I am in the process of developing an old fashioned recipe box for my daughter with all her personal favorites in them.

Gretchen's picture

(post #62651, reply #37 of 62)

I wrote a book for each of my DILs and daughter.  I need to "borrow" them back and add some more recipes to them.  For holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas I just did a whole section  of what we usually have.  Whichever, I like doing it in longhand. I have MANY recipes on cards from my mother and DMIL.  I should "organize/sort" them for our kids.
I also have a little loose leaf book of my DMIL's.  If her daughter had been nicer about some stuff I would give it to her.  I love having it.

Gretchen

Gretchen
KathiM's picture

(post #62651, reply #38 of 62)

Dont give it to her.  Just xerox if you are feeling particularly classy.  What we do for others isn't about what they do it about what we do. :-)

CulinaryArtist's picture

(post #62651, reply #39 of 62)

My first cookbook is a great reference book at this point, lots of basic techniques demystified.  The New Doubleday Cookbook by Jean Anderson and Elain Hanna. Recipes are a broad mix from simple to very complicated with lots of home style comfort food.  As I said a great reference tool.  Today you need to have more than one book.  Next two purchases or gifts don't really remember were Fannie Farmer and Better Homes & Gardens.  From there I jumped right in with Julia Child's two volumes of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  Over the '70's amassed a lot of books on regional cooking ie: Italian, German, Hungarian, Provencal, Chinese etc.


The 80's brought on the Silver Palate books; Martha Stewart and collections from Bon Apetit and Gourmet Magazines and finally Joy for the computer.


The 90's there were few additions, mostly restaurant chefs like Michael Romano, but now gathering all the picturesque and Food TV fames.  Nigella, Rachel, Paula, Tyler, and my new fave Ina!


Also have bought new reference book: A New Way to Cook by Sally Schneider! Seems to be another good book for updated twists on classics. 


For the kids when they left home, gave them Joy and recently Bittman's.  But what I find these two love to do the most is call dear old Dad when they are in the middle of cooking something for advice!  Both got the basics from being around us when we had our own catering business and were pushed into helping.  Now they just call when they need a recipe or refresher on a technique!!! LOL!!


 


  


Jimbo the TRAVELING CULINARY ARTIST

Jimbo the TRAVELING CULINARY ARTIST

http//:www.travelingculinaryartist.com

KathiM's picture

(post #62651, reply #43 of 62)

Hey Jim-  Thats a good way for the kids to stay in touch.  I've been having DD shop my cookbooks to choose one for herself as a reference.  Part of the problem is too many  books- Settlement and the big red from mom, joy, cooks illustrated, Deborah Madison for vegetarian, the gourmet big yellow book; a variety of ethnic- mideastern, southwest, japanese, chinese,  4 bread books.  And there are lots more where those came from.  I know there is a 12 step program for people like me, but I'm too busy enjoying my addiction.  :-)

CulinaryArtist's picture

(post #62651, reply #44 of 62)

You are so right, at least I know when they get into trouble in the kitchen I'll be hearing from them LOL!!


Last time I counted I was at 204, not counting the magazine type books and small checkout small books I never have enough time to read in the grocery store line! It's a serious addiction, and don't get my wife started on the Magazines I get!!!!!


For all I know the kids are keeping a list of which ones they want after I'm gone! LOL!


I got my mother's Woman's Home Companion Cookbook from 1945, after she passed, was a wedding present from her mother-in-law.  It was so falling apart, I was able to find one on E-bay in really good condition.  So I use that for reading and Mom's for notes she made in the margins.  She is the one that gave me the Doubleday, after she had bought it for herself and loved it, she actually bought it for all of us.


 


Jimbo the TRAVELING CULINARY ARTIST


Edited 9/26/2005 11:14 pm ET by CulinaryArtist

Jimbo the TRAVELING CULINARY ARTIST

http//:www.travelingculinaryartist.com

KathiM's picture

(post #62651, reply #45 of 62)

Hey at least you still count yours.  I feel like a dieter avoiding the scales.  I just keep bringing more in and cramming them on the shelves (and nest to the bed, and the chair and the .........              Makes for lots of fun reading and experimenting though.  Luckily I have family that dont mind being guinea pigs- some friends too (as long as it doesnt look to elaborate- then they think I'm showing off instead of having fun.  I made peach praline bombs with peach syrup from the gourmet book about a month ago.  Everyone was ok tilll i started assembly.  They asked me what was in it. I told them-big mistake-   "Shes just showing off now"  Drag-  All I was doing was trying to have some fun cooking and sharing with friends.

CulinaryArtist's picture

(post #62651, reply #47 of 62)

Don't let them stop you, keep showing off, especially if it gives you pleasure.  I often tell people to taste it and then I'll tell them what's in it, but only if I know them well enough to know their likes and dislikes and if there are any allergy issues, etc.


The fun for me is to see their faces when the presentation is "over the top" and then when they take their first taste of something new.  Knock wood.....I get lots of requests for my recipes!!  Yet frequently I know if I told everyone what was in stuff they'd say, no thanx!


One of my favorites is Balsamic Vinegar marinated Strawberries on Vanilla Ice Cream! Everyone was eating it before I told them it was vinegar!  First reaction: Ewww! Who puts vinegar on Ice Cream?  Was there any leftover? NO!  LOL!!


Eat Well....Be Well and have fun cooking!


Jimbo the TRAVELING CULINARY ARTIST

Jimbo the TRAVELING CULINARY ARTIST

http//:www.travelingculinaryartist.com

KathiM's picture

(post #62651, reply #50 of 62)

Thanks for the encouragement Jim.  They all seemed to like it well enough.  Just that some people get intimidated with it.  It would be more fun if they would just go with the joy of trying new things.  Oh well.

hrvolson's picture

(post #62651, reply #60 of 62)

Just saw this discussion. The cookbook I give everybody is the Joy of Cooking. After that I also found people like the Pierre Franey, Cuisine Rapide, and the San Francisco Ala Carte and San Francisco-=--all these books offer easy recipes that are fast and delicious. I get my from Powells.com here in PDX, they have a great selection of used books and are honest about the condition.

KathiM's picture

(post #62651, reply #61 of 62)

Powels is a wonderful bookstore.  We went there a year ago for some art books for DD the art/multimedia student.   I could get seriously lost there and the used books are great.  I love the way they stock them right next to the new ones.

Glenys's picture

(post #62651, reply #19 of 62)

As Shoechick said, a first cookbook can be informative or inspiring, and all that depends on the recipient. I give the Donna Hay books to young cooks to know what they like eating- usually bright, modern food with some Asian twists or even vegetarian. Each recipe is matched by those inspiring photos and for the moments they might want something as mundane as a brownie, it's there. Joy of Cooking would never get any of this group cooking.

soccermom's picture

(post #62651, reply #24 of 62)

<usually bright, modern food with some Asian twists or even vegetarian>


I agree that Joy isn't hugely inspirational, but the newest one does have some Asian and vegetarian dishes. And if you need a recipe for the classics (e.g., cornbread, Yorkshire pudding, prime rib, turkey, stuffing etc.) it's all there. But Donna Hay is certainly sexier.



 


 


Edited 9/17/2005 7:19 pm ET by Canuck

 

 

MEANCHEF's picture

(post #62651, reply #25 of 62)

I have still no understanding about Gleny's obvious love of Donna Hay.  She ain't sexy (at least not like Glenys).

Glenys's picture

(post #62651, reply #26 of 62)

I don't love Donna Hay at all, not like I love you.

MEANCHEF's picture

(post #62651, reply #28 of 62)

I was beginning to worry.

Adele's picture

(post #62651, reply #29 of 62)

James Peterson- Essentials of Cooking, as a matter of fact, any of his books.  Pictures, technique, explainations, and most importantly: substitutions.  :)  Weekend Baker for desserts. 


Joy has lots of basics all in one place.   Don't see what the thing with Donna Hay is, except the pictures.


But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

Glenys's picture

(post #62651, reply #27 of 62)

I just know some people prefer to cook for a while before they take on the traditional fare, and some never do. I assume if they're starting down that path, that's when they'll get a more of a reference.

Lee's picture

(post #62651, reply #4 of 62)

The book I most often give to novice cooks is James Peterson's Essentials of Cooking.  It's filled with photographs illustrating all of the basic techniques necessary for a cook to know along with fairly simple recipes that employ them.   It also explains the whys of cooking, i.e. what happens if you do this instead of that, why one method is better than another, etc.  Everything from how to chop and slice, bone a chicken breast, fillet a fish, carve a roast, cook eggs, and make a meringue to how to roast, braise, saute, etc., are included.


Edited to add that Julia Child's The Way to Cook is another good beginner's book full of photos illustrating technique along with recipes, tips and side bar info. 


Edited 9/16/2005 5:29 pm ET by lee

Glenys's picture

(post #62651, reply #20 of 62)

I think that's a great updated selection, especially with the added techniques. A good book for the fearless newbie is Pam Anderson's How to Cook Without a Book.

Lee's picture

(post #62651, reply #23 of 62)

I've recommended How to Cook Without a Book to numerous friends who aren't novice cooks, but who are slaves to following recipes exactly. 

MadMom's picture

(post #62651, reply #33 of 62)

I'm with Lee.  I don't think you can beat How to Cook without a Book by Pam Anderson.  Talks about skills, plus teaches novices that they don't have to be slaves to recipes.



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Skyler's picture

(post #62651, reply #5 of 62)

Good suggestions here.  One of mine would definitely be The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins.  Also, How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman.

Glenys's picture

(post #62651, reply #6 of 62)

Oooh, you've just shown what a newbie you are here. In the oldin' days, those were fightin' suggestions, right Meanie?

MEANCHEF's picture

(post #62651, reply #8 of 62)

Yes, but why bother anymore?  It just creates animosity and arguments.


Those who want to learn become obvious quickly and are worthy of help.


The russo/Lukins duo were in the early days when there was no competition.  Some of their stuff is palatable, but nothing outstanding.


Bittman - He can suck my dingdong.


Risottogirl's picture

(post #62651, reply #34 of 62)

Bittman - He can suck my dingdong.


LOL!!!


I cannot stand him either.


Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor


Bobby Flay

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay