On our shelves, certain books take up permanent residence because the stories inside grabbed us and lingered, or because their words burned their way into our psyches at pivotal times in our lives. A cracked binding proves the books have been read again and again, and still, we never tire of them. Pages are earmarked, passages are underlined, notes are scribbled in the margins.
Cookbooks in our kitchens often hold the same affections. At least, they do for me. The recipes themselves may not hook me the way a good novel will, but the stories that revolve around each book or each favorite dish listed within are enough to keep those books front and center in my cabinet.
written and illustrated by Linda Allard
My favorite recipes: Basic Tomato Sauce (so easy, I should be cooking some tonight), Marianne's Brownies (I've never found another brownie recipe even close to this good), and Jill's Favorite Pancakes (now our signature dish on breakfast-for-dinner nights).
Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home: Fast and Easy Recipes for Any Day, by the Moosewood Collective
My favorite recipes: Honey Mustard Vinaigrette (I feel fancy with my homemade dressing in a glass carafe), Curried Chick Peas and Tofu (a recipe good for sharing), Lemon Date Bars (it's just about time to whip a batch of those babies up again).
presented by the Utility Club in Griffin, Georgia
The Story: Let's just say this book is near and dear to my heart. In the early years of our marriage, my husband and I played dinner hosts to a couple of bachelors from time to time. Our friend Greg brought this book over one night and said his mother gave it to him. "I don't cook, but you're pretty good. I'll loan this book to you if you invite me over for dinner." Pretty good was good enough for me, flattery at its best. I took him up on his offer, promising to give the book back to him when he got married. Years later, after his "announcement," I panicked. I had loved this book dearly, spilled batter on the pages and accidentally torn a few from the binding. I searched online for a replacement, willing to pay $100 if I could only hold on to the book I had. Lucky for me, those ladies in Georgia still kept the book in print.
Now, tell us about your favorite cookbooks.
What's your story?
"Cooking is more than preparing food. Cooking to sustain those you care for, cooking a favorite dish for a favored person, cooking special foods for special occasions -- all involve thoughtfulness and love." ~ Linda Allard, in Absolutely Delicious!