While this lovely picture is, indeed, a pile of cookbooks (and thanks to this site for providing it) it is not the pile I have in mind. In fact, I own none of those you see here. Instead, I have in mind the pile that has been steadily accruing via my mailbox. The pile has been growing because. . . . I am busy. Yep. That's why. And the generosity of publishers that just send me cookbooks. I love that, but today I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by everything -- including the pile of books. Which is not, by the way, really a pile. They are here and there. (And I know, my grammar is not right in some places above. I am busy enough . . . not to care! Or even to try to pretend it is a stylistic quirk. Hmmm.) Anyway, cookbooks have been arriving and I am going to try to do a bit of a note on some (all?) of them. No, I am not paid to do so. Yes, I get them free in this case.
Here we go:
The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook by Rachel Saunders is a beautiful book and it is the single best (okay, maybe I have said that before?) free cookbook I have received. Will I cook from it? Who knows? Will I dream of cooking from it? Have I already? Definitely. The book is, in large measure, what it says it is: a jam cookbook, though it also looks to jellies and marmalades. Organized seasonally (winter through early spring; late spring through midsummer, late summer through fall -- a set of seasons that works for me much better than the traditional fall), the book also includes an introduction and a final part on "fruits for preserving." Perhaps what I like best about this book is the variety -- grapefruit (which I can no longer consume so like reading about), sour cherry, rhubarb, tomato, quince, citron. All names to conjure with. Rangpur lime. Fig. Mmmmmmmmmm. The pictures are lovely, the directions detailed anough to be comprehensible and the overall impact is to make me think positively about preserving, making jams, and all that jazz. To check out more, try here on blue chair fruit or here on the book complete with a clip . . . And yes, you can take classes but no, alas, they are nowhere near upstate NY.
Foodista, edited by Sheri L. Wetherell, Barnaby Dorfman and Colin Saunders, comes with a subtitle (or maybe even subtitles): 100 great recipes, photographs and voices. . . . Or, is it Foodista.com, the online cooking encyclopedia everyone can edit. Or is it "best of food blogs cookbook?I should like this book -- I mean really. I blog about food, right? Yet, I can barely bring myself to open it. (I will, I will.) It makes me feel -- as do all those other blogs become books like Eat Pray Love (which yes, I reviewed here before it was a movie) and Julie and Julia (no, I never reviewed it; yes, I saw the movie . . . eventually) -- somehow inadequate loving my little blog and readers. It seems to shout: what are you doing? Are you a failure? I force myself to look anyway. And what do I find? A totally reasonable collection of recipes, drawn from the "foodista community" and thus coming with the printed version of a blog roll. I wish it had a different title and did not make me feel bad. But, this is a fun book nonetheless. And the recipes look almost as scrumptious as . . . . my guilt.
Simple Comforts, subtitled "50 Heartwarming Recipes" is a Sur La Table book. Yep, I get a lot of books from them in the mail. This is a smallish book, and has a lovely picture of grilled cheese and a cup of tomato (I think) soup on the front. Maybe it is the economy -- but we all seem to be looking for simple comforts these days. For me, of course, it is mac and cheese. And yes, there is a recipe for mac and cheese in this book (on page 96). For you? Well, if you pick up this book you will find all sorts of things, ranging from a frittata that is fascinatingly like something I make often involving chard and/or kale, cinnamon buns, chocolate pudding, and winter vegetable stew. And oh yes, the back of the book -- well, it pictures mac and cheese. So, what else can I say?
I can say: and there are even more. No, dummy. I do not mean more recipes. I mean even more cookbooks that came in the mail. Keep watching! You might learn about one you really want. Me, I am going to browse away in Blue Chair Jam.