On Cookbooks: Why Cookbooks?
The set of cookbooks in my kitchen are my friends. Old and new companions on my amateur journey of food and flavor.
On most days, they just sit there. Which is OK. On other days, I get lost in them.
Great cookbooks do three things:
- Look great in your kitchen
- Tell inspiring stories
- Teach you to cook
But why have them? We have access to near-infinite amounts of information at any given time. Any recipe or advice or tip is available to you. But the "food internet" is confusing. Are you on a health-spo mom blog? Are you just finding weird overhead-shot videos that make cooking look way too easy? There are also great apps, Kindle editions of things, etc. And this isn't some "oh physical books are great" tip. It's just that these artefacts become IRL companions.
Find a couple books you trust. Get them messy, bookmark them, live in them.
(quick note, always append your google search with “bon appetit”, makes finding trustworthy, tasty recipes easier)
My books aren't going to be the right books for you, but for reference, here are the three I rely on:
Joy of Cooking
Irma Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker
Any edition. It contains the basic recipes and how-to’s for everything. Find a couple dishes you like, use the red ribbon as a bookmark, and make it over and over and over.
Keys to Good Cooking
Not a cookbook. But it tells you simple tips, rules, and more for every ingredient you might cook.
The Minimalist Cooks at Home
It’s got simple, easy recipes that quietly teach base principles for making a good meal.
And some that are really great, and look good stacked up in the kitchen (and have really good, inspiring, mind-expanding stories):
Rice Noodle Fish
You don't need cookbooks, but they do make good friends.