Most people have a few authors or genres that they prefer to read, often reading the same book many times. I’m fond of the novels of Tom Clancy and Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children series, for example, as [See the full post at: The Butter Did it–The Art of Reading Cookbooks]
I have never read a cookbook like a novel. For most of my cooking days, I didn’t have time. I’d leaf through and find recipes that looked enticing. If three recipes in a cookbook don’t work out, I toss it. Lately, with more time, I read more of the cookbook but not all. It’s a good idea, though, Mike.
As a new bride, my sister-in-law gave me “The Wise Encyclopedia of Cookery.” It’s an alphabetical explanation of all the foods available in the U.S. at that time. It includes recipes. It would make an interesting read, but I’ve never used it that way.
I don’t own any classic cookbooks, although I think one of my Italian cookbooks is by an author famous in Italy.
I just read an interesting article about two different cookbooks – one by Anthony Bourdain and the other by Alton Brown. I also read the article about Alton Brown referenced in this one. This article and the other make Mr. Brown seem a bit tragic.
I like to read cookbooks too. Two of my favorites are Bread Bakers Apprentice and My Bread. They are both good reads independent of the recipes in them.
I have some classics to and some that were classics to my family. I have several editions of the The Settlement Cookbook including a reprint of the first that tells how to make the recipes over open fires or woodstoves.
But sometimes I avoid the classic. One of my favorite baking books is Jewish Holiday Baking by Marcy Goldman. It definitely is not a classic Jewish baking book and that is part of what appeals to me as my family is not what most people think of when they think of Jews and the “classic” Jewish dishes are not the things my mom made of cooked for holidays,
Another favorite is Rosie’s. I saw it on a remainder table right after I had moved out west and was missing back East. I knew and loved Rosie’s bakery and couldn’t not buy it. It was this book that started me baking more than just chocolate chip cookies.