Josh over at The Food Section has tagged me on the Five Favorite Books Meme that’s been going around. It looks like the original topic was open to any type of book, but like Josh, I’m going to stick to food / cookbooks.

1. Total number of (cook) books I’ve owned:
I just weeded through my collection and ditched a few that weren’t getting any play, so I’m going to guess somewhere in the vicinity of 70.

2. Last (cook) book I bought:
I haven’t bought a new cookbook in a while (for shame!)—I’m still trying to get through the cookbooks I already own, plus two large binders of recipes I’ve clipped from F&W and Saveur over the years. But to answer the question… I got on this bent of buying used cookbooks from the 50’s that have weird and unusual recipes. So my last purchase was either a lard cookbook or a “Fun with Aspic” cookbook.

3. Last (food) book I read:
It’s been a while since I’ve read a purely food dedicated book (besides cookbooks, of course), so I think the last one was The Book of Salt by Monique Truong—a beautiful and sad story about a gay, Vietnamese cook working for Gertrude Stein in Paris. I loved that book.

4. Five (cook) books that mean a lot to me:

  • The Frugal Gourmet: This was the first cookbook I ever owned and it taught me that I could entertain and throw dinner parties even though I was flat broke and inexperienced in the kitchen.
  • The French Laundry Cookbook: This is the most beautiful cookbook I own. I have yet to make an entire recipe (I can only manage parts of recipes), but I just love sitting down on the sofa with this breathtakingly gorgeous, heavy book in my lap. I meander through the pages, reading bits here and there, but mostly I just ogle the images and daydream of food.
  • Chez Panisse Café Cookbook: When I want something simple, yet sublime, I reach for this book. It has never failed me.
  • Glorious French Food: I love French food. I love the richness. I love the sauces. I love the slow cooked food that takes time, but not necessarily effort to make. This cookbook is my bible for French cooking.
  • The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook: This cookbook is deceptively simple. The recipes are all geared towards big, event-type parties and serve large quantities with minimal effort and everything tastes delicious.

5. Which 5 people would you most like to see fill this out in their blog?

Accidental Hedonist
Food Migration
Deep End Dining

Tag. Your it!