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Bookshelf.

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Consider this a virtual version of the sunny cookbook nook in my dining room, one of my favorite spots in my house. This is by no means and exhaustive list of my food-related books, but just a few of my absolute favorites (and I’ll try to update this with more books and notes soon).

Cook.
  • An Everlasting Meal. Changed the way I think about nearly everything in my kitchen.
  • How To Cook Everything.  Can’t remember how long to boil corn on the cob?  Love cold sesame noodles but have no idea how to make them?  Got a random ingredient in the CSA box and have no idea what to do with it?  This book has all the answers.
  • How To Cook Everything Vegetarian.  Like the original How to Cook Everything, Bittman’s tome on vegetarian cooking is a go-to source for answers and inspiration.
  • The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.  I loooove Deb Perelman’s blog, and her book does not disappoint. My step-daughter and I are currently baking our way through the desserts section.
  • The Joy of Cooking.  A classic that everyone should own.
  • The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.  Just as essential as The Joy of Cooking.  This was my mom’s first cookbook, and she bought me a copy when I started cooking for myself.
  • Moosewood Simple Suppers.  Many of the recipes have fewer than 10 ingredients.  If you have a well stocked pantry and a nice selection of produce to work with (say, from you CSA), this book will help you figure out something quick and tasty to make for dinner.
  • Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.  Madison’s recipes tend to be more sophisticated and labor intensive than the other two vegetarian cook books I’ve listed here; great for weekends when you have time to play in the kitchen or if you’re having a dinner party.
Can.
  • Ball Blue Book.  My copy is splattered and looks like it has been through a war.  It has been soaked in spilled water and brine on a number of occasions and the pages are a wavy, wrinkly mess.  In other words, this is a well-loved book.
  • Food in Jars.  My new favorite canning book, which is not surprising since it is written by my favorite canning blogger, Marisa McClellan. Buy this book, you will not be disappointed.
  • The Homemade Pantry.  More than just a canning book, Alana Chernila (whose blog I also adore) teaches you how to make all sorts of pantry items, including pasta, granola and crackers.
  • Canning for a New Generation.  I bought this book on a whim during our trip to Cambridge, MA a few years ago, and it was the best $20 I had spent in a long time.  The Blue Book is my canning bible, but Krissoff’s book is full of flavor combinations that you just won’t find in the Blue Book.
  • Preserving Summer’s Bounty.  The recipes aren’t too terribly exciting, but it is a great reference book for general canning guidelines and safety tips.  In addition, this book provides instructions for blanching and freezing produce.
CSA.
  • Eating Local.  We received this book as an engagement gift, and I love the gorgeous, saturated photos and stories of small farms and CSAs across the country.
  • The Dirty Life.  I devoured this book.  Kimball is a superb writer, and she had me hooked from the prologue.
  • Omnivore’s Dilemma.  I know, everyone’s read this.  But you know what, it’s a great book.  There’s room to debate some of Pollan’s points, certainly, but on the whole it is worth the read.

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