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Favorite Cookbooks

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I've been looking through some of my cookbooks the last week or so. Partly because I bought a 1968 Better Homes and Gardens cookbook at the library sale last week (only $1.50!), and partly because of the recipe discussions on the Jill Dillard and Jill Rod threads. 

I realize that more and more, people are getting recipes from websites and not from printed cookbooks, but I still love cookbooks. For someone who doesn't really cook from scratch very much, I own way too many cookbooks! (Seriously. I now have 5 of the big loose leaf, binder style cookbooks.) I do really enjoy reading cookbooks, sometimes with an eye to using a recipe, and sometimes just to read the recipes. My husband finds it odd that I like to read cookbooks, but he's mostly used to it by now. :my_biggrin:

I suppose these are my top 3 favorite cookbooks:

  1. My cookbook
  2. Better Homes and Gardens (1989)
  3. Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook (reprint of 1950 edition)

When I say "My cookbook ", I mean the blank recipe book I use instead of a 3'x5' card file like my mom used to use. I enjoy having all the recipes I liked from my childhood and all the new recipes I've discovered in one place. To show you what I value, I have more cookie recipes collected in there than any other category. :tw_cookie: Generally, I don't copy recipes from cookbooks that I use lots of recipes from, just recipes from other people, or from cookbooks that I've only ever tried one or two of the recipes. The binder part is pretty abused, but the pages are still fine.






My Better Homes and Gardens cookbook (10th edition) was my first "real" cookbook when I moved out on my own. I got it as a Christmas gift 3 years after I moved. I still check it first if I want to look something up.

I always disliked trying to find recipes in my mom's cookbooks because I could never remember which one had the "good" recipe. "Mom? Is this the one with the good banana bread?" "No, dear. You want the other cookbook." So I make pencilled in notes in mine. I rate the recipe, and note any changes or reminders. My most marked up recipe in this book is the shortbread cookie recipe.





When I was a kid, my mom had 2 loose leaf, binder style cookbooks. The 1950 Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook, and a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook from the 50s. I'm the youngest of 4 kids, so I've never harbored any illusion that these cookbooks would be mine someday. (Mom still has them. My oldest sibling got grandma's.) When I found a replica 1950 Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook soon after I got married, I was all happy! :happy-jumpeveryone: Now I could have my own copy with the "good" banana bread recipe, plus some other family favorites, too. :my_biggrin: I haven't pencilled in as many notes in this one, but I'm working on it. Plus it has hilarious "homemaking tips" at the back. 




Sorry for the bad photography. So, does anyone else have a favorite cookbook or two? Or do y'all keep all your recipes digitally, or not need a recipe most times?

(Oh, and if anyone wants to try the Orange Nut Coffee Cake recipe in my handwriting, don't use 2 tablespoons of grated orange peel and the juice of one orange. Just wash an orange, trim off any bad spots, then stick the whole thing in a blender. You get better juice and peel that way. And oleo just means margarine. Butter works, too.)

Edited by WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?
accidentally left out a sentence

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I love reading cookbooks!! I used to collect them but decided to get rid of any I didn’t use regularly. I do get a lot of recipes online. I also have a Betty Crocker cookbook. It’s my most used. I feel like it covers most of the basics. And then I have My Recipes, where I’ve written in family favorites. Some of them are printed and I glued or taped them in. I think I have about 10 cookbooks right now. This thread makes me want to go to a thrift store and lose myself in cookbooks. Bliss. ❤️

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I finally got around to looking at clubs and found this one.  Which sounds like a lot of fun!  I love to cook although I don't have a lot of time to do much beyond the basics.  I also used to collect cookbooks but now I just have a few.  Joy of Cooking is my absolute favorite, my mom gave it to me as a wedding present (she gave that one to just about every bride she knew) and I use it when I need a cookbook.  It's the first one I go to.  When my mom passed away in 2001, her copy came to me.  When my daughter moved out on her own in 2014, I gave her the one that mom gave me when I got married.

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@WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?, I inherited my grandmother's first edition of The Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook. My mom had a late fifties edition of it, but she lost it in a fire.

The anecdotes are my favorite:

Mrs. Beauregard Q. Lottamoney III (formerly Agnes Gooch of our staff), makes these delightful tuna cocktails for her guests when she and her husband entertain on the veranda of their lovely home in YouCan'tAffordToLiveHere, New York.

I own at least thirty cookbooks. :embarrassed:

Forgot to add:

I had a co-worker years ago who was an excellent cook. She took cookbooks to bed with her like most people do with novels. :pb_lol:

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Ok, I counted mine.  I have 68 cookbooks although two of them are pretty much the same cookbook, just different editions.  I usually use the older edition, though, as it has a Kid's Cookbook section.  (My granddaughters and I sometimes make the Applesauce Crazy Cake or the Wacky Carob Cake from it.)  I don't know if I have a favorite exactly.  I love my three cookbooks by Grace Young and Lidia Bastianich's cookbook, my British baking book, my James Beard cookbooks, the second volume of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and my cookbooks from America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Country.  I do have a Betty Crocker cookbook that I almost never use.  I did have a Joy of Cooking which I had to throw out.  I must have dripped melted butter on it because it began to smell rancid.  I did love though how that book had just about everything though

I've got my mother's old Good Housekeeping Cookbook with her handwritten recipe for macaroni and cheese.  That cookbook and that recipe will be used on Thanksgiving as will my ATK Complete TV Show Cookbook for the turkey, Beard on Bread for the Parker House Rolls, and The Williamsburg Cookbook for the apple pie recipe.

I used to use the recipe for turkey from Theory and Practice of Good Cooking by James Beard for the turkey, but I think the recipe from the ATK book is maybe as good.  They both produce succulent, delicious birds.

I did get a copy of ATK The Perfect Cake the other day.  I can't wait to make some of the recipes.

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:embarrassed: Well I just counted, we have 201 cookbooks in our collection. Some of my favorites are my mom and my grandmother's binder cookbooks, our church cookbook from the 1990s, a church cookbook from my mom's hometown from the 1970s and Country Breads of the World. Honorable mention goes to the Fannie Farmer Baking Book, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens and the Ball Canning Book.

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I use the internet for recipes, but also love cookbooks, because they are much better curated. (Though, recipe sites with reviews and rating are helpful). I usually get them from the library and then, if I really like most of it, buy it. My top cookbook at the moment would be Clifford Wright's The Best Soups in the World. Some of the recipes are not to my personal taste, but none of them have been bad.

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