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Among the notable:   Asian Sauces and Marinades - nice book with a quite a few of interesting ideas.   Asian Cook by Terry Tan - his Shiok! on Singaporean food is pretty good, but this one is mus

I decided my cocktail library needed some growth. Cocktail Codex and Dale DeGroff's New Craft of the Cocktail arrived yesterday.

Oh no, no secret, its not really worth going out of your way for but every once in awhile they surprise me. It's on Southampton Row in between Holborn station and Russell Square station. I think it is literally called "discount book shop".


The other books they have right now that look interesting are Spoon - Alain Ducasse, and an Eric Ripert book that I'd never heard of and looks good... but really heavy.


I think the Patricia Yeo book was £4.99!

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Feeling discombobulated yesterday I took off work early and acquired some discounted books on the way home:


Peter Gordon's A World in My Kitchen

Daniel Young's Made in Marseille (I like the fact that he attributes nearly every recipe)

A very odd, very heavy tome from Konemann, translated from German, called Europe's Master Chefs. Large format, over 800 pages long. Lots of work on photography and intro to recipes, minimal recipe description. Really a chefs' book but I shall have fun with it.



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Cook's Guide To Asian Vegetables by Wendy Hutton – although I expected to see more exotic stuff, it’s still a lovely book;

New edition of McGee’s On Food and Cooking;

Alastair Hendy’s Food and Travels: Asia – just gorgeous;


To my beer library:

Premium Beer Drinker's Guide: The World's Strongest, Boldest and Most Unusual Beers;

Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook;


And some odds from my wishlist:

Cooking With Exotic Mushrooms;

Flavors of Greece by Rosemary Barron;


The only thing I still plan to get this year is a new edition of The Cooks Companion by Stephanie Alexander - sort of expensive though...

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Bought new at the dread Costco the other day Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook. (Was there to acquire the Monty Python Complete DVD box for the 13-year-old.)


Kitchen letterwise also recently replaced, with help from the lovely ABE, a copy (unreturning book borrowing BASTARDS) of Edward Giobbi's The Pleasures of the Good Earth.

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50 Great Curries of India by Camellia Panjabi - 10th anniversary edition that came out just recently, revised along with new photography.

"...A new introduction especially for this edition comprehensively details curry-making techniques, including how to add taste, aroma and color..."

A section on anatomy of indian curry: thickening agents, giving color, souring agents, spices for taste, spices for aroma, to be eaten with, shortcuts and mishaps. Plus each recipe comes with a picture so you can see color, texture and appearance.

Judging from pictures, i'm ready to try everything in here :D

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A parcel dropped at the doorstep tonight thus officially completes 2004 in Cookbooks for me :D

The parcel contained It Rains Fishes by Kasma Loha-Unchit, sort of logical considering the direction that my cookbooks collecting took this year.


Several memorable books of the year IMHO:


Meat by HFW: never cooked from it but i feel so evangelistic about this book - first chapters should be taught at schools no kidding.


Indian Essence by Atul Kochhar - Maddhur Jaffrey's Curry Bible changed my view on indian food (of course there were indiagirl, nerissa and Simon to guide me through :D) and this book is a treasure with every recipe a gem of clean bright fresh taste.


Kylie Kwong's Recipes and Stories - same clean bright and fresh theme- chinese variation.


Schneider's Vegetables: Amaranth to Zucchini - published several years ago this one belongs to cookbooks hall of fame.


Looking forward to 2005: japanese cooking - both Nobu Now and Japanese Kitchen by Kimiko Barber are on my nightstand...

and of course, more reading on beer :D the book on order is ''Farmhouse Ales".

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I'm starting a phase of acquiring Indian cookbooks published in India, mostly the excellent Penguin India. Partly because they are so interesting and good, partly in retaliation to those who assert that Indian cooking has not been written down, codified, blah blah.


The first is a lovely Parsi book - slots in very nicely with Mongo's photo exhibition: Parsi Food & Customs - full of information about Parsi culture and most interesting recipes. I only just got these yesterday evening so still much to discover, but apparently a proper Parsi breakfast requires a rather extraordinary looking milk foam, and lamb/goat's trotter jelly.


Then there's Kashmiri Cooking. Not so interesting in terms of culture - main focus on recipes by an 80 year old gentleman who was apparently a major figure in Kashmir, aided by his family. Divided into Muslim and Pandit (Hindu Brahmin with garlic and onion optional) styles of cooking.


A couple more are winging their way in the post.




[edited for accuracy]

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This sounds crazy: Australia. I'm sure I could find them here but I'm no longer so au fait with the book trade here as I used to be, this was no effort, the price was reasonable and the books came in a few days! The links take you to the people who sold them to me. I found them originally via e-bay but will purchase direct in future.



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My last purchase of the year is destined to become one of the best books in my collection:

The Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine by John D. Folse.

Monumental, more than 800 pages including Louisiana history, mind-boggling photography and oh those recipes - a real joy :D

Thanks god and Steve Plotnicki who posted about this book here, otherwise i would have missed something really great.

To whet your appetite, here is a sneak preview.

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As part of New Year cleaning i finally got to reorganize my cookbooks library, substantially trimming it down by moving more than 200 books into a guest room.

All the rest stayed in my bedroom on several low bookshelves: i love to seat on the floor while reading and searching, piling books around me.

The collection started in Dec 1998 with the purchase of Jean-Georges : Cooking at Home With a Four-Star Chef and Wolfert’s Mediterranean Greens and Grains (the only cookbook I had at the time was The Joy of Cooking), Both books spotted while idly browsing at B&N inspired me to start cooking. Come to think of it all my hobbies were inspired by books: i started doing tapestry charmed by the exhibition catalog of one of the Latvian artists and machine knitting after Missoni book.

The final setup was like so:

7 books on herbs and spices, 15 on Spanish/Moorish;

30+ Mediterranean/Middle Eastern including all of Paula Wolfert’s;

7 Japanese (my current interest) including Tetsuya and Nobu Now;

30+ South Eastern Asian including Australian and HK(Periplus) editions and coffee table sorts;

10 Thai, 12 Indian, 5 Vietnamese;

30+ Chinese;

30+ Vegetables including vegetarian; 4 on Rice;

30+ so called general cookbooks (chefs or not) (the category trimmed the most – left only the ones in frequent use like those by Vongerichten, Colicchio or Nigel Slater);

40+ Italian; 20+ French;

10 Mexican/South American;

5 Fish; 13 Meat/Game;

7 Russian;

Reference Books: Larousse Gastronomique, Visual Food Encyclopedia, Culinary Artistry and new edition of McGee “On Food and Cooking”.

Also in magazine files assorted issues of Australian Vogue Entertainment and Travel, french Saveurs and Australian Gourmet Traveller.

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