Not Martha

the books in my dining room

a stack of books

From top to bottom:

Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big by Bo Burlingham. I got this one at the Small and Special Conference, both the book and conference had been recommended by Lauren of The Boss of You when she was in Seattle to speak to the Grassroots Business Association. I know this one has nothing to do with food, but I’ve been reading it while cooking rice instead of obsessively checking Twitter. Or at least I’ve been trying.

The next four books I got at the International Food Blogging Conference here in Seattle, which was excellently put together by Foodista:

Not Becoming My Mother by Ruth Reichl. I have not started reading this yet, but I’m eager to after listening to Ruth Reichl talk about it twice while she was here in Seattle.

The Devil’s Food Dictionary: A Pioneering Culinary Reference Work Consisting Entirely of Lies by Barry Foy. Scott reads to me from this while I’m cooking (our kitchen is a tiny one person sized space). My favorite is this description of modern day food: “there is both medical and social pressure to favor health-promoting foods at the expense of those that actually make life worth living.” It is followed by a table that gives lists Healthy on one side and the equivalent Tasty on the other. My favorites are “1/2 c. chopped parsley = 2 croissants + 1 1/2 pains au chocolat”.

Memorable Recipes To Share with Family and Friends by Renee Behnke. Everything in here looks fabulous and might actually get me to attempt to do some fancy cooking.

The Art & Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet. Droolworthy, heavy and full of things I want to make right now. I especially appreciate the little tips includes in the corners of the pages.

These are the ones I use often and keep nearby:

How To Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. Shortly after I bought this book a newly revised and updated version was released (with a red cover), I’m forming a strategy on how to get the new one for Christmas even though this one has not let me down.

Baking Illustrated by Cook’s Illustrated Magazine Editors. Though I’m a much better baker than a cook, I really appreciate all the detailed why information given here. This book was worth the price for the calzones alone.

· comments [14] · 07-13-2009 · categories:books · food ·

14 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Seanna Lea // Jul 13, 2009 at 7:52 am

    Ah, that food equivalent sounds much better than my normal 1 apple = 1 slice of apple pie.


  • 2 Rachel // Jul 13, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Oh hard choice. Just checked I can get the old version of how to cook everything very cheap – Although I can’t seem to verify that it is the full copy. or get the new version for about 25. I think I will wait a little longer and get the revised one. I also want the baking illustrated.
    My last major purchase was the bread baker’s apprentice. I want to read through it and try almost everything although the light wheat bread (as introduced to me by smittenkitchen – then adjusted by me to my tastes) has become my standard sandwhich loaf.

  • 3 just barrie // Jul 13, 2009 at 10:30 am

    have you ever thought about getting one of those tastebooks? heidi, from 101cookbooks started it i believe. you basically get to choose which of her recipes you want it in a cookbook. i think i’m gonna get that for myself come hanukkah!

  • 4 Ashlie // Jul 13, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Oh, I just finished Not Becoming My Mother and I’m almost done Tender to the Bone. I adored/am adoring both books and Ruth Reichl is turning into one of my heroes.

  • 5 Dana // Jul 13, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    I so agree with you on that calzone recipe – it’s the greatest!

  • 6 Lisa // Jul 14, 2009 at 6:33 am

    How to cook everything was a wedding present and it is one of my books I treasure most! Will have to check out the new red edition…though it might feel a little like cheating…Bittman’s cookbook has been in my kitchen for 10 years now.

  • 7 The Purple Foodie // Jul 14, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Looks like I will have to add baking illustrated on my wishlist!

  • 8 Emily // Jul 14, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    You had me at Ruth Reichl! I didn’t even realize that she came out with a new book – I have LOVED loved loved everything she’s written and would love even more to see her in person. Thanks for the tip!

  • 9 madichan // Jul 14, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    I checked Baking Illustrated out of the library and bookmarked about 20 recipes within one hour of getting it home. I loved the cream currant scone and key lime pie recipes. Just ordered my own copy this weekend, and will have to try the calzones!

  • 10 christine // Jul 16, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    i love love love Baking Illustrated. I received it as a present a few years back and every single recipe that i have made from it has been a hit. You really can’t go wrong with it.

  • 11 Cherish Haskell // Jul 17, 2009 at 11:41 am

    My copy of How to Cook Everything is starting to fall apart; it is my “go to” book for most things. So, I guess that means that I NEED to get the red one as a replacement!

  • 12 Jenny // Jul 17, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    I bought the red copy of How To Cook Everything, and I’m in love with it. I’m not sure how it’s different from the older version, but it’s one of the only cookbooks that I’d really be disappointed if I lost.

  • 13 nazilam // Jul 21, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    Well, I thought I would hate the Reichl and I did.

    I don’t like MB very much, but I continue to use the cookbook, so clearly I like the cookbook.

    Baking Illustrated is on my library hold list.

    I am reading Twyla Tharp’s book on creativity. I am finding that to be fascinating.

  • 14 Elizabeth // Jul 31, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    How to Cook Everything is my favorite cookbook of all time. It’s so handy when you can’t remember how to cook a roast or peel tomatoes. :)

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