I have an enormous collection of cookbooks.
It used to take up three bookcases in my house until one of them broke and I had to pare it down. Now I’ve got it contained in one short bookcase.
Here’s the kicker though: I don’t normally cook recipes from them.
I read them. I read them like novels. I love snuggling up on my couch in the wintertime with a big hot cup of tea and a blanket and a stack of cookbooks and post-it flags.
The cookbooks are important in my life. My grandmother’s copy of Joy of Cooking sits on the shelf with my first edition of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 2 (and the brand new copy of Volume 1 I bought last year).
I consult them when I’m fiddling around in the kitchen and want to know if tarragon goes with lemon ad chicken, and get some ideas on what I can do with them. I read them when I’m feeling blue.
I do play favorites though – there are 5 that I pull out when times get tough and I need culinary help or something comforting to read.
My Top 5 Cookbooks to Read Like a Novel:
- Everyday Cook by Alton Brown. Alton is just awesome. We are huge freak-out fans of Alton in our house. He has a way of making technical recipes just a little more accessible for those of us without sous-vide machines or blowtorches in our kitchens. PLUS – he shot all the photos for this one on an iPhone!
- The Food Lab By Kenji Lopez-Alt. This is some serious reading. I’m still trying to work my way through it after receiving it last Christmas, but this has taught me everything I never knew about cooking eggs. It’s AMAZING and nerdy and the heaviest cookbook I own.
- Tom’s Big Dinners by Tom Douglas. Tom Douglas is a local culinary celebrity in Seattle, and we have my birthday dinner at his restaurant Etta’s every year on/around my birthday. We love his food. This book is centered around the idea of big dinners with cohesive menus, and has some cool anecdotes like the story about the dinner they threw at Dale Chihuly’s house. (Plus some amazing PNW recipes.)
- The Artists’ & Writers’ Cookbook. A mishmash of singers, visual artists and writers came together to tell stories about important moments in their lives that revolved around food. And
- Cooking for Mr Latte by Amanda Hesser. Written by one of the geniuses behind Food 52, this book outlines Amanda’s courtship with her now-husband, “Mr Latte” through a series of short stories and corresponding recipes. It’s an actual novel that’s also a cookbook!
I always LOVE cookbook recommendations so if you read them like I do, let me know what you like to read!
This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which means you don’t pay any extra, but we get a couple of coins in the food coloring, glitter and textbook fund!
This post was written as a part of the NaBloPoMo, a daily blogging journey I am committing to in November 2017.