BLOG Making the Cut, Part 2
30 July 2018
The 100 Best Cookbooks of All time – Southern Living Magazine
(Please go to their website for authors)
As for a goodly number of other books on the 100 List, I was happy to see that my family possesses some of them or very similar editions. I mentioned two or three of these volumes in the Introduction to my book, The Passionate Artist’s Palate Cookbook.
Proceeding in numerical order of the 100 Cookbook List, the following are books my family has that we have used and treasured over the years. Other cookbooks on this list just look and sound awfully good.
#1 Joy of Cooking(see my review)
#4 The Silver Palate Cookbook – a great introduction and the advanced Italian table
#8 The New York Times Cookbook – I just discovered the sour cream pancakes!
#11 Julia and Jacques: Cooking at Home – This is a less rigorous collection of recipes of Jacques Pépin and Julia Child’s than their cookbooks aimed at introducing French tradition in food preparation and more complex recipes. Here, the emphasis is on home cooking to appeal to both the novice and the proficient cook. I read Chez Jacques: Traditions and Rituals of a Cook containing some of his favourite recipes a well as a few of his wife’s in a touching volume pointedly directed at illustrating the companionship, exhilaration, practice and rewards of involving family in the kitchen and the value of practicing until one masters a few important essentials.
The object in both books is to tempt cooks to make food taste good that can be offered to family and friends with confidence.
#33 Betty Crocker’s Cookbook – my edition is Betty Crocker’s International Cookbook (see my review).
#34 The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook – I never had a copy of this cookbook, essential for its variety, simplicity and nourishing recipes, but my mother had one that I used often over decades and to good effect. It’s distinctive red, blue and white checked pattern made it easy to pick out among the other cookbooks.
#36 The Southern Living Cookbook – While never having purchased the cookbook, I have kept a copy of an issue of the magazine that contains simply scrumptious recipes.
#98 Essentials of Cooking– I noticed that the commenter of this book echoes my evaluation of cookbook photographs of approximately the last 12 years: [His books]… lack “the photos that too many cookbook buyers expect these days, but that leaves more room for…information….” I included a fairly large number of pictures in my cookbook because I want to encourage the aforementioned future cooks to buy my book but also because I know that despite the infinite number of cooking shows on every device, many people are intimidated by those same shows and are afraid to try recipes that they don’t quite understand. My pictures should be regarded as authentic depictions in the sense that they realistically show what the cook can expect their creation to look like. I did not want to frighten any cooks away.
In addition, a goodly number of people, mainly in North America, have little experience cooking from scratch so they don’t know how different stages of the preparation should look. As far as my book goes, several recipes and ingredients will likely be completely unfamiliar to many budding cooks. Many of the more experienced cooks will create more sophisticated versions of these recipes that could result in more professional-looking photographs.
With all the talk of the dangers of sugar and fat, gluten, allergies and nuts, it was refreshing, given my sweet tooth, to see so many cake, cookie and dessert books that look tantalizingly delicious.
#94 Homemade Decadence is lusciously described in the subtitle as: “The irresistibly sweet, salty, gooey, sticky, fluffy, creamy, crunchy treats.” If that doesn’t lure your taste buds on a dessert extravaganza, what will?
To round out the 100 Best Cookbooks of All Time List, as alluded to earlier, there is a good representation of southern cooking from various and interesting perspectives. The main area that is missing is from the west and northwest of the United States. Nevertheless, the List is exciting to read and the short descriptions are informative.
Southern Living Magazine’s 100 Best Cookbooks of All Time List is valuable for the novice in the kitchen who requires in-depth guidance and reassurance as well as for the experienced cook looking for new conquests. Both groups will benefit from the large selection of books to choose from with a view to attaining their culinary hopes and glory.