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Bookshelf

I am obsessed with food. What follows is a nearly complete accounting of all the books I own on food and domesticity. Some of them are vintage or antique, some of them are modern. Some of them focus on simple, seasonal food, others get fancy. Some of them are favorites, others? Not so much. You’ll notice that there are a whole helluva lot of cookbooks, but some other books too. I’ve tried to add short descriptions/reviews of each one, but be patient with me if I haven’t yet. I don’t cook from all of them, but they are all an inspiration in my everyday cooking. So peruse and enjoy!

(P.S. The links take you to the Amazon page for that book, if I could find it.)

  1. 500 3-Ingredient Recipes: Simple and Sensational Recipes for Everyday Cooking by Robert Hildebrand & Carol Hildebrand – I picked this one up at Barnes & Noble for about $5 and it was totally worth it. The appetizers are totally pretentious, and some of the recipes are only 3-ingredient ones because they include prepared foods (like jam, pesto, etc.), but it is a wonderful resource for great flavor combinations, particularly with meats, poultry, and fish. Skip the dessert section (except the panna cotta, which I’m dying to try). The vegetable and meat sections are best.
  2. 501 Cookies: The Ultimate A-Z Guide to Bars, Drops, Crescents, Snaps, Squares, and Everything that Crumbles by Gregg R. Gillespie (2009) – Each recipe sounds delicious and there are recipes for nearly every cookie or bar you could think of. My only beef? Vegetable shortening is an ingredient in nearly everything. *sigh*
  3. The 9×13 Pan Cookbook by Barbara Karoff (1991)
  4. 10,000 Garden Questions answered by 20 Experts, Vol. II (1959) –
  5. Amarcord: Marcella Remembers by Marcella Hazan (2008)
  6. The American Frugal Housewife by Mrs. Child (fascimile of original 1833 edition) –
  7. The American Woman’s Cook Book by Ruth Berolzheimer, CIA (1967)
  8. America’s Best Lost Recipes from America’s Test Kitchen (2007) – The thing I like most about America’s Test Kitchen is reading the notes before the recipes. Many of the recipes, especially dessert recipes, sound fabulous. Most of the savory recipes are Eastern European or simple, fairly classic vintage dishes. I didn’t like how some of the recipes, like the one for Hot Milk Cake, have extra butter or eggs or sugar added. Hot Milk Cake is not supposed to have a whole stick of butter in it! Also, all of the cake recipes are for 9×13″ pans. Which if you’re cooking for four or fewer is too much.
  9. The Amish Cook’s Anniversary Book: 20 Years of Food, Family, and Faith by Lovina Eicher with Kevin Williams (2010)
  10. Ann Batchelder’s Own Cook Book by Ann Batchelder (1941)
  11. Ann Pillsbury’s Baking Book (1950) – All prize-winning recipes for desserts and breads of various kinds and nearly all of them are from-scratch. INCLUDING extensive recipes for all kinds of no-knead breads. Some 60 years before it was made wildly popular. A winning find. And it was free. Can’t get better than that!
  12. The Art of Russian Cooking by Nina Nicolaieff and Nancy Phelan (1969)
  13. As Our Ancestors Cooked by Alice Jackson Hasbrouck (1976, 1999 reprint)
  14. Bake Bread by Marguerite Bencivenga and Barbara Swift Brauer, An Owlswood Productions Cookbook (1975) – A 1970s book with whole grain bread recipes and some particularly interesting other yeast breads like Cottage Cheese Dill Bread.
  15. Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan (2006)
  16. Basic Cooking: All you need to really cook well in no time at all by Sabine Salzer and Sebastian Dickhaut (2006) –
  17. Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads, Revised and Expanded (1987) – Sadly devoid of quick breads. But other than that, pretty comprehensive and containing some very interesting, not-too-hard, exotic yeast breads.
  18. The Best of German Cooking by Edda Meyer-Berkhout (1984)
  19. Betty Crocker’s Cooking American Style: A Sampler of Heritage Recipes (1978)
  20. Betty Crocker’s Guide to Easy Entertaining (1959)
  21. Betty Crocker’s Old-Fashioned Cookbook (1990)
  22. The Betty Furness Westinghouse Cook Book: The Complete All-Purpose Cook Book for the Modern Woman (1954) – Not just recipes but also advice for how to cook things and how to stock the cupboards for optimum cooking. The vegetable recipes look particularly intriguing, but this one is not above zany ’50s combinations.
  23. The Book of Afternoon Tea by Lesley Mackley (1992) – Very ’90s, although it has some good ideas for English tea recipes. I still have to try Devonshire Splits.
  24. Breads, Rolls & Pastries: The Flavor of New England by Yankee Books (1990)
  25. Camp Cookery: Outdoor Cooking Secrets from 1910 by Horace Kephart – A really fascinating historical facsimile. Kephart gives advice on what to pack, how to cook it over open flame and on the trail, and how to butcher and cook wild game, including wild boar. A really fascinating read and a still-helpful handbook for modern wilderness backpacking. Screw vacuumed dried convenience foods. 
  26. The Candy Book, edited by Ruth Berolzheimer (1941) – Everything from fudge to divinity to barley water hard candies. In mint condition and cost only $0.50. Can’t wait to try some.
  27. Cattern Cakes and Lace: A Calendar of Feasts by Julia Jones and Barbara Deer (1991)
  28. Cold-Weather Cooking: From early fall’s glorious harvest to the first tender greens of spring, 300 delectable recipes celebrate the foods that keep us warmby Sarah Leah Chase (1990)
  29. Comforting Foods: feel-good recipes from America’s top chefs compiled and edited by Norman Kolpas (1996) –Disappointingly ’90s. But that’s what I get. The recipes sound yummy, but I haven’t actually made any of them yet.
  30. Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes by Andrea Reusing
  31. Cooking in the Young Republic, 1780-1850 by Patricia B. Mitchell
  32. Cooking Outside the Box: Easy, Seasonal, Organic by Keith Abel – This is a great cookbook, but I have only one complaint: many of the recipes have non-specific measurements. Most annoying is the “mug” measurement, which is supposed to be a standard-sized coffee mug. Would it be so hard to say a heaping cup?! This is also a British book, so some of the vegetables are unavailable or rare in the states, but it has a lot of great and different takes on old-fashioned or uncommon vegetables.
  33. Cooking Without Recipes by Helen Worth (the 1965 red hardcover edition) – This is actually a really interesting book. The whole point of the book is to give you base skills and recipes that can be infinitely adapted and changed based on the ingredients you have on hand. It’s more of a manual than a cookbook, but it’s one I’d like to someday master.
  34. Early American Herb Recipes by Alice Cooke Brown (1966)
  35. The Eastern Junior League Cookbook (1980)
  36. Eat the Grapes Downward: An Uninhibited Romp Through the Surprising World of Food by Vernon Pizer (1983)
  37. Economical Cookbook (1947) by the Dreyers Forlag, Stavanger – In Norwegian.
  38. The Encyclopedia of Stitches edited by Karen Hemingway (2004) –
  39. Farm Journal’s Timesaving Country Cookbook: 1000 recipes and menus with That Wonderful Home-Cooked Tasteedited by Nell B. Nichols, “Field Food Editor” – A time machine of everything that was wrong with 1950s cooking. I bought it hoping it would be full of ’50s rural from-scratch recipes. Alas, it’s a quick-cook manual, filled with canned soups, boxed cake mixes, and other shortcuts that became so popular in the ’50s. A fun retro read, but nothing else.
  40. The Food and Flavors of Haute Provence by Georgeanne Brennan – Southern French food is pretty popular, but this is Haute Provence, up in the mountains and away from the ocean, which gives it much less Mediterranean influence. This is a fascinating read with a lot of game recipes and interesting tales about the origins of unusual Haute Provence foods and how the terrain affects the local food traditions.
  41. Fields of Plenty: A Farmer’s Journey in Search of Real Food and the People Who Grow It by Michael Ableman (2005)
  42. Food in Good Season: A Month-by-Month Harvest of Country Recipes for Cooks Everywhere by Betty Fussell – This book was something of a disappointment. I picked it up at a used bookstore (a fabulous one!) in Cooperstown, NY basically for the title alone. I thought it would be a handbook to cooking with traditionally seasonal foods. Alas, Fussell focuses on one or two ingredients for every month and includes several recipes for these ingredients. For some ingredients, like parsnips, this is cool. Others, like venison, are less interesting.
  43. Food from an American Farm: Three Generations of Family Recipe Secrets by Janeen Aletta Sarlin (1991)
  44. The Food of Greece: Cooking, Folkways, and Travel in the Mainland and Islands of Greece by Vilma Liacouras Chantiles (originally 1975, I have the 1990 reprint)
  45. The Food of a Younger Land by Mark Kurlansky (2009)
  46. Food Problems: To Illustrate the Meaning of Food Waste and What May Be Accomplished By Economy and Intelligent Substitution by A.N. Farmer and Janet Rankin Huntington (1918)
  47. French Cooking Country-Style by Sunset Magazine (1987)
  48. The Gallery of Regrettable Food: highlights from classic American recipes books by James Lileks (2001)
  49. Gate City Bank (Fargo, ND) Cookbook 80th Anniversary (2003) –
  50. The Glamour Magazine After Five Cookbook by Beverly Pepper (1952) – Not so much recipes as menus for every day of the week and every season. Most is classically bad ’50s fare, but some sounds quite gourmet and delicious.
  51. Gold Medal Flour Cookbook: 1904 Christmas Edition (reprinted 1970) published by General Mills –
  52. Good Day for a Picnic: Simple Food That Travels Well by Jeremy Jackson (2005)
  53. Good Housekeeping’s Appetizer Book (1958) – Incredibly, hilariously bad. Lots of ham, chicken, tuna, sardine, olive, cheese, egg, vienna sausage, and chipped beef recipes. With lots of canned pineapple and peaches. And mayonnaise. Hilariously awful presentation suggestions, too, like sticking kebabs in a giant wax pillar candle to display.
  54. Good Housekeeping’s Cake Book (1958) – Hilariously bad cake decorating, though the recipes are from-scratch and sound halfways decent.
  55. The Good Land: Native American and Early Colonial Food by Patricia B. Mitchell (1998) –
  56. Gourmet Grub: Cuyuna Range Roots & Recipes (2001)
  57. The Grass Roots Cookbook: Regional American Recipes from Across the Land: Appalachia to California, New England to the Great Plains, the Mountains States to the Old South by Jean Anderson (I have the hardcover published in 1977) – I found this book at a local thrift store for a $1, and it is quite possibly the best dollar I’ve ever spent. Part culinary history, it’s a great book from the ’70s rural revival that goes to the various regions of the United States and interviews women who have been cooking their whole lives, most of whom were young women during the 1920s and ’30s. It’s also got really great, homemade recipes for everything from perfect Southern biscuits to classic New England clam chowder. Quite possibly my favorite food book.
  58. The Greystone Bakery Cookbook by Helen Glassman and Susan Postal (1986)
  59. Growing Vegetables: Vegetables for all seasons. Grow, harvest, eat. by Kim Rowney (2004) –
  60. Hearts and Homes: How creative cooks fed the soul and spirit of America’s Heartland, 1895-1939 by Rae Katherine Eighmey – Eighmey has written several books based on Wallaces’ Farmer magazine recipes. I bought this one at the National Preservation Conference (fall ’08) because I wanted ’20s and ’30s recipes. The organization of the book is a little schizophrenic (it’s not organized by chronological order nor really by subject), but it is indexed, so you can find the good recipes. Plus, it’s full of excerpts from letters to the Wallaces’ Farmer editors, articles, and vintage advice, which is always fun to read.
  61. Heirloom: Notes From an Accidental Tomato Farmer by Tim Stark (2008)
  62. The History of Cheese Making In New York State by Eunice R. Stamm (1991)
  63. Hollyhocks & Radishes: Mrs. Chard’s Almanac Cookbook by Bonnie Stewart Mickelson (1989)
  64. Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson (1999) – This is a sensible book that is actually quite fun to read. The author explains not only how to clean stained things, but also how to organize, how to keep things clean, etc.
  65. Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen by Laurie Colwin (1988)
  66. Homestead Recipes: Making Homemade Cheeses & Butter. A Garden Way Guide by Phyllis Hobson (1977)
  67. Household Discoveries and Mrs. Curtis’s Cook Book (1910 original) – It cost $0.05. Can’t beat that. Haven’t read the whole thing yet because it’s nearly 1,000 pages, but it is definitely a time capsule of food and household history.
  68. Hot Links and Country Flavors: Sausages in American Regional Cooking by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly (1990)
  69. Ideals Country Bread Cookbook by Darlene Kronschnable (1978)
  70. The “I Don’t Know How to Cook” Book (2nd edition) by Mary-Lane Kamberg (2008) – Caveat: this one was given to the boy by a co-worker. I didn’t buy it, I promise!
  71. I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence by Amy Sedaris (2006) – Not as good as expected. Really not very funny. And the recipes are very 1950s/60s. Still, she does offer up some halfways decent hospitality/party ideas and not all of the recipes are bad.
  72. Indulgence Cookies: A fine selection of sweet treats by Christabel Martin – Some of the recipes are a little over-the-top, but the coconut macaroons are to die for and I still have orange polenta cookies on my to-bake list. I also like that she arranged the cookies by adjectives like “plain jane.”
  73. Italian Country Cooking: The Secrets of Cucina Povera by Loukie Werle – Another Barnes & Noble purchase, but a little pricier (but still on sale!). This is a beautiful coffee table book, filled with lovely photos, but it is also chock full of great, inexpensive rural Italian recipes (lots of beans, preserved meats, and fresh veg). It also tells some lovely stories about the traditions and origins of “cucina povera,” or “poor cuisine.”
  74. Italian Light Cooking: Easy, Healthy, Low-Calorie Recipes from Pizza to Pesto by Marie Simmons (1992)
  75. The Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker (1970s) – Forget Martha, this is the must-have for any kitchen. If you are looking for fancy dinner recipes, you’d better plan on doing a ’30s, ’40s, or ’50s style party, because the fancy stuff is outdated (I have no idea if the updated version changes these). But if you’re looking for basic, from-scratch recipes or how to cook something unusual, this is the book to go to. My favorite from-scratch (so easy!) pancake recipe was found in this book.
  76. Keeping Food Fresh: How to Choose and Store Everything You Eat by Janet Bailey (1985)
  77. Keeping the Harvest: Discover the Homegrown Goodness of Putting Up Your Own Fruits, Vegetables & Herbs by Nancy Chioffi and Gretchen Mead (2002 printing)
  78. Let’s Cook It Right by Adelle Davis (the 1947 green hardcover edition) – Adele Davis was a pioneer of nutrition science and dietetics, but her cookbook is a bit dry. Couldn’t resist a cookbook from the ’40s, though! Another great thrift store find ($2.50!).
  79. Let’s Start to Cook: Never-Fail Recipes for Beginners by the Food Editors of Farm Journal (1966)
  80. Log Cabin Cooking: Pioneer Recipes and Food Lore by Barbara Swell – Another slim, self-published volume from Swell. This is a more rustic version of the Farmhouse book and while both are more stereotypical than historical, they are interesting reads.
  81. Lost Recipes: Meals to Share With Friends and Family by Marion Cunningham (2003) – Fabulous book and chock-full of simple
  82. The Lousia May Alcott Cookook by Gretchen Anderson (1985)
  83. Loving Food: A collection of recipes for all occasions by Sara Jane Kasperzak – This is one of those cookbooks (also found at a thrift store; this one a Goodwill in Ohio) that I flipped through and liked most of the recipes, so I bought it.
  84. Luscious Creamy Desserts by Lori Longbotham (2008) – I just had to buy this book because I love puddings, caramels, and all kinds of creamy desserts. The most intriguing recipe thus far? Honey caramel!
  85. Made From Scratch: Reclaiming the Pleasures of the American Hearth by Jean Zimmerman (2003)
  86. Magic in Herbs by Leonie de Souvin (first printed 1941, Seventh 1950 edition) –
  87. Make Your Own Groceries by Daphne Metaxas Hartwig (1979)
  88. The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri (2008)
  89. Monet’s Table: The Cooking Journals of Claude Monet by Claire Joyes – Another thrift store find, this is a lovely coffee table book from the 1980s that details the house and gardens of Claude Monet at Givenchy. It also gleans from Monet’s journals the recipes the family loved and ate. It’s a little old-style European for my taste (read: somewhat complicated), but it’s an extremely interesting read.
  90. The Monticello Cook Book (2008 reprint of original 1950)
  91. The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones by Anthony Bourdain (2006)
  92. The New England Butt’ry Shelf Cookbook: Receipts for Very Special Occasions by Mary Mason Campbell, illustrated by Tasha Tudor (1972)
  93. New England Cook Book: 300 Fine Old Recipes compiled and edited by Kay Morrow (1936 booklet) – A fabulous time capsule of ’30s food. I love just reading the recipes.
  94. Old Shaker Recipes with Historic Notes published by Bear Wallow Books (1982, 2004) –
  95. Old-Time Farmhouse Cooking: Rural American Recipes & Farm Lore by Barbara Swell – A pretty simple little self-published book. Very slim volume, with interesting lore and some updated old-time recipes. Probably a better read than practical cookbook, but I haven’t tired any of the recipes yet, so I don’t know for sure.
  96. The Original Boston Cooking-School Cook Book by Fannie Merritt Farmer (the 1896 fascimile) – This one includes the handwritten corrections, which is pretty cool. I go to this cookbook most often to get recipe inspiration for cooking old-fashioned vegetables and to learn about oldschool techniques like making stock. It was definitely worth the $9 I paid at a used bookstore for it.
  97. Our American Heritage Cookbook: Recipes from the Open Hearth to the Modern Kitchen by Hugh & Judy Gowan and Joe Campbell (2002)
  98. Pastries from the La Brea Bakery by Nancy Silverton (2000)
  99. Patricia Murphy Entertains by Patricia Murphy (1960)
  100. The Peasant Kitchen by Perla Meyers (1975)
  101. Pizza, Bread, and Savory Tarts: Great Recipes from the Chefs of Food Editore (2005) –
  102.  A Prairie Kitchen: Recipes, Poems, and Colorful Stories from the Prairie Farmer Magazine, 1841-1900 by Rae Katherine Eighmey (2001)
  103. Rachel Ray 365: No Repeats by Rachel Ray – I find Rachel Ray annoying, but this was a gift. Some good ideas, but haven’t cooked anything out of it yet.
  104. Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity From a Consumer Culture by Shannon Hayes (2010)
  105. Reader’s Digest Home Handbooks: Needle Craft edited by Judy Brittain (1990) –
  106. Real Stew: 300 recipes for authentic home-cooked cassoulet, gumbo, chili, curry, minestrone, bouillabaisse, stroganoff, goulash, chowder, and much more by Clifford A. Wright (2002) –
  107.  Recipes from Locust Grove by Alice Jackson Hasbrouck (1991)
  108.  Rosie’s Bakery All-Butter Fresh Cream Sugar-Packed No Holds Barred Baking Book by Judy Rosenberg (1991)
  109.  Simple Suppers edited by Gina Steer (2007) – A British cookbook, so it contains more curries than I would like. Another idea book.
  110. Smorgasbord and Scandinavian Cookery: Scandinavian Cookery for Americans by Florence Brobeck and Monika B. Kjellberg (1948)
  111. Soups by Time Life Books (1979)
  112.  Southern Living: Our Best Five-Star Recipes (1997) –
  113.  Stay Me, Oh Comfort Me: journals and stories, 1933-1941 by M.F.K. Fisher –
  114.  Still Life With Menu by Mollie Katzen (1988)
  115.  Stocking Up: How to Preserve the Foods You Grow, Naturally by the staff of Organic Gardening and Farming and edited by Carol Hupping Stoner (1977) –
  116.  Sunset Cookbook Classics: Eight Cookbooks in One Volume (2000)
  117.  The Taste of Home Recipe Book (1994)
  118. Tasty: Get Great Food On the Table Every Day by Roy Finamore (2006)
  119.  The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food by Judith Jones (2007)
  120.  Time Life Foods of the World: American Cooking: Southern Style (1971)
  121.  To Begin Again: stories and memoirs, 1908-1929 by M.F.K. Fisher –
  122. The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook (1999) compiled and edited by Julie Fisher Gunter – For some reason, I really am interested in Southern cooking and this is a good starting point. Published by the Southern Living Magazine company, it’s a decent compendium of traditional Southern foods. Someday I will master the biscuits.
  123. Valentina’s Ukrainian Kitchen by Valentina Popel (1983)
  124. The Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash (1987) – VEGETABLES! Yep, lots of different recipes. For nearly every vegetable you can grow imaginable. Some are a little odd and ’80s as I don’t have the updated version, but lots of good ideas, including some vegetable desserts.
  125. Vogue’s Book of Etiquette: A complete guide to traditional forms and modern usage by Millicent Fenwick, Associate Editor of Vogue (third printing of the 1948 edition) –
  126. The Warmest Room in the House: How The Kitchen Became The Heart of The Twentieth-Century American Home by Steven Gdula (2008)
  127. Westminster Presbyterian Church, Casselton, ND Cookbook (circa 1970) – Half full of canned and boxed convenience recipes of the 1960s, half from-scratched farmhouse deliciousness. Several yummy-looking from-scratch cake recipes.
  128. Wild Garlic, Gooseberries… and Me: A chef’s stories and recipes from the land by Denis Cotter – Cotter is apparently a famous British vegetarian chef, and though I haven’t finished reading through this cookbook (I should really pick it up again, actually, as I’m between books), what I’ve read so far is extremely interesting. He’s divided the book into sections (greens, root vegetables, eggs, cheese, etc.) and sings the praises of old-fashioned, Asian, and overlooked vegetables. He also tells great stories about his food journey. Every section/chapter ends with a variety of very interesting and yummy-sounding recipes.
  129. The Wise Encyclopedia of Cookery (1952) –

Uh…. Holy effing crap. I HAVE OVER 100 COOKBOOKS! That is nuts. Of course, not all of them are cookbooks. And I have given away the crossed-off ones. Still. Yikes! Lol…

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