I love my collection of books. It’s nothing too big or elaborate. No first editions, no fancy libraries to store them in. Two shelves above my desk in the finished room of our basement hold most of my cookbooks. My other books take up only a single bookcase. Here I can find some of my favorite college textbooks like The Riverside Shakespeare, as well as poetry from some of my favorite poets like W.H. Auden, Robert Frostand Dorothy Parker. I have a shelf of chick lit where I keep my dog-eared copy of Bridget Jones’s Diary, and another with travel books with well worn pages on Italy, England and the Caribbean. All my books combine to tell the story of me, and I keep them close to help me remember who I am.
I want to start sharing a few of my favorites with you. Once a week (give or take), I’m going to share one of my favorite books with you. Some will be cookbooks and books on food while others will just be books I like.
It wasn’t easy to figure out what book to share first. I wanted my first to be a cookbook, since this is a food blog, but I wanted it to be one very very close to me. So, what is my favorite all-time cookbook? Not easy. There a few in the running, but I decided on the cookbook that I’ve used more than any other over the years. It’s my go-to all purpose cookbook, and the one cookbook I would keep if I had to choose only one. The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer was first published in the 1931. When it was published it broke the rules and set a new standard for recipe collections.
I use this book for reference so often that I’m now on my third copy (although copy #2 was a victim of a small basement flood). I jokingly refer to it as The Gospel According to Joy. If you are considering a gift for a newly married couple, or for a student just starting out, this book is the one to get. It has everything from Scrambled Eggs (pg. 198) to Roasted Cactus Pad Salad (pg. 265).
So, what’s my single most used recipe in the book? That’s easy. It’s the recipe for Cheese Fondue (pg. 110), which I eat any chance I can justify.
What about you? What is your go-to general cookbook? What recipes do you find yourself turning to time and time again?