# cookbooks: 53
# cookbooks up for grabs: 44
Before I begin the cooking the books, I need to take stock of what I’ve got and what type of cook I am. This will determine the types of books I want in my collection.
How do I cook?
My cooking changed in the past couple years when I had to cook for my ex-partner. He needed a lot more food than me and was used to having meat with every meal (despite claims that he wanted to become vegetarian!). So I fell into the pattern of making some kind of meat (usually chicken or pork), starch (potatoes, risotto, polenta…he’s Italian!), and vegetables. Salad with Every. Single. Meal. After work and commuting, I found this an exhausting way to cook.
I prefer to eat less meat and more vegetables. I love one pot meals; I could eat soup every day and not get tired of it. I also don’t need to eat as much food; a piece of frittata and a bowl of soup or salad (or even a substantial salad) is more than enough for a meal. In general, I eat mostly vegetables, beans & lentils, whole grains, eggs, fish, and chicken (whole roasted chicken is one of my favourite things!). If I eat red meat, it’s lamb, very rarely beef. Given the choice, I will always choose pie.
What’s in my collection now?
I have a few books I love, definitely use and already know I will keep. Others are on the chopping block.
- Clueless in the Kitchen – my mom gave me this book when I left home. I am way beyond it now, but it taught me a lot of basics and it’s really funny. I totally want to pass it down.
- An Everlasting Meal – more a novel than a recipe book, and one I have read multiple times. I love it for the philosophy. I’ll keep going back.
- The Vegetarian Flavor Bible – not a recipe book, but a guide to combining flavours. Useful for becoming a more intuitive cook, as I aspire to be.
- Pie School – I love pie, and this little book has been an amazing resource. I use it, so it’s staying put.
- The Professional Chef (Culinary Institute of America) – slightly ridiculous (it’s a huge textbook), but a great resource for how to make anything.
- In Grace’s Kitchen: Memories and Recipes from an Italian Canadian Household – again, part memoir, part recipes. A book that is fun to simply read. A book that has too much emotional attachment to get rid of right now.
- Reinhardt’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice – I have tried many recipes out of this book and return to it every time I want to make bread, so it’s not going anywhere!
- Make the Bread, Buy the Butter – I love going back to read this memoir/recipe book. Because I want to keep this, the rest of the DIY books are likely going to go, unless the recipes convince me otherwise.
- Whole Grain Mornings – another book I use consistently. The granola template alone is worth the book!
Up for grabs (* = already questioning!). Do I really need three Bittman books? Four books on soup alone? Two more DIY pantry books? Probably not…
- Keys to the Kitchen*
- The Kitchn Cookbook
- Cook with Jamie (Oliver)
- Ruhlman’s Twenty
- How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food
- The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
- Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
- The Silver Spoon (Italian)
- My Kitchen in Rome
- Flavours of Friuli
- Giorgio Locatelli Made in Italy*
- Giorgio Locatelli Made in Sicily*
- The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook
- Sylvia’s Table
- At Home in Provence
- Around my French Table
- The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
- Budget Bytes
- Oh She Glows
- Deliciously Ella*
- Love Your Leftovers
- The Pure Kitchen*
- Me, Myself and Pie*
- Soup Sisters
- Love Soup
- Homemade Pantry
- All About Braising
- All About Roasting
- Barefoot Contessa, Back to Basics*
- Gordon Ramsay’s Home Cooking
- River Cottage Veg
- DIY Delicious*
- 1000 Sauces, Dips and Dressings
- Bittman, How to Cook Everything*
- Bittman, The Food Matters Cookbook*
- Bittman, The Kitchen Matrix
- Weeknight Wonders*
- Gordon Ramsay’s Home Cooking
- Cheap, Fast, Good*
- Simple and Simply Delicious*
- Soup of the Day
- A Beautiful Bowl of Soup
- Quinoa 365
- Canal House Pronto
Let the cooking fun begin!