Sunday, May 23, 2010

Quarter Life Crisis Countdown: My 25 Favorite Cookbooks

I'm posting a list of 25 items each day leading up to my birthday at the end of the month to celebrate 25 years of gathered wisdom and useless information.

I have probably around 100 cookbooks to my name. Most of them I have had to leave with my parents for lack of space at my own place, but I still managed to bring about half of my entire collection with me when I moved to Austin. From the group that made the cut, I use the following books the most often:

1. Family Circle All-Time Baking Favorites (1974)
2. Lulu's Provencal Table (2002) by Richard Olney — given to me by my aunt, Cynthia Cornell.
3. The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters — given to me by my friend, Ann Carmel.
4. The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook (1999) by Ina Garten — given to me by my friend, Scottie Brown.
5. The Gourmet Cookbook (1950)
6. The Joy of Cooking (1962) by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker
7. The Williams-Sonoma Collection: Cookies — given to me by my father, Craig McAllister.
8. Feast by Nigella Lawson — given to me by my friend, Virginia Graham.
9. Fondue is In (1970) — I have very little information about this one, but the title should say it all.
10. San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook Volume 2 (2001)
11. Quick and Easy (2004) by Martin Yan
12. Magic Chef Cooking by Dorothy E. Shank for the American Stove Company (1936) — I think this is the oldest cookbook I own. It uses phrases such as "Lemon meringue pie is the acme of deliciousness."
13. Cakes Men Like (1992) by Benjamin Darling — given to me by my uncle, Jud Brooks.
14. The Dessert Cookbook (Southern Living, 1971)
15. This Can't Be Tofu! by Deborah Madison— I think I jacked this from my mom.
16. The Cordon Bleu Cookbook by Dione Lucas — inherited from my late grandmother, Susan W. Humphreys.
17. Old Boston Fare in Food & Pictures by Cynthia and Jerome Ruben — given to me by my friend, Maura Kelly.
18. White Trash Gatherings (2006) by Kendra Bailey Morris — given to me by my uncle, Keith McAllister.
19. Betty Crocker's Cooky Book — I was given this newer edition of a cookie book we used throughout my childhood by my mother, Suzanne McAllister.
20. Bruce Aidell's Complete Book of Pork — given to me by the Sausage King himself.
21. The Sauces and Salsas Cookbook by Christine France
22. Drinkology: The Art and Science of the Cocktail  — given to me by my friend, Katie Marshall.
23. Covered in Honey (2003) by Mani Niall
24. Grilled Cheese: 50 Recipes to Make You Melt (2004) by Marlena Spieler
25. My own recipe journal, containing notes and illustrations from ongoing kitchen experimentation and what I've learned from my mother and culinary school.

1 comment: said...

Supernatural Cooking - Heidi Swanson is a good one. She's the blogger from Her website is exquisite! A must see :)