I am a cookbook lover. I get ideas from them and find them comforting. I read them on snowy winter nights tucked into my flannel sheets, dreaming of exotic smells in far-flung locales. I browse them on summer weekends as the scent of charcoal and cooking meat wafts over the arborvitae hedge. I plan menus from them for summer parties that will go long into the night. I try new recipes on long-suffering friends, family and neighbors (luckily for me they are broad-minded and willing to try anything--mostly.)
I love to cook but I am also out there at the edge. In addition to reading about classic Euro-based cuisine, I read cookbooks from cultures other than my own. With a glint in their eyes and drool on their lips, my friends bring me cookbooks and spices from their world travels.
I am fond of throwing theme parties with food, music, and décor from one country or another. (I posted before about the Moroccan Kasbah party). All of these ideas come from idly browsing cookbooks.
I give you a partial list of some of my favorite cookbooks and encourage you to curl up with a cup of tea and a good book. Or put one on your Christmas list.
Tess Mallos. Cooking Moroccan.
Madhur Jaffrey. Indian Cooking
Lidia Bastianich. Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen
Jacqueline Clarke & Joanna Farrow. Mediterranean Cooking
Nancie McDermott. Quick & Easy Thai
Rick Bayles. Mexico, One Plate at a Time
Marcella Hazan. The Classic Italian Cookbook
Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. Hot Sour Salty Sweet.