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In My Library – part 2

February 7th, 2013

Many of you are avid readers, like me, you are probably interested in what other people have on their bookshelves. While I was looking for a book the other day, the thought hit me that you might be interested in seeing what books I have gracing the shelves in my home. This will be a series, every now and then I’ll feature a few of the books on my shelf and tell you about them, where I got them, if I love them, etc.
In My Library Cookbooks 1
In part two, we’ll be looking at a section of my cookbooks. I love to cook, so naturally I have quite a collection of books pertaining to that topic. My cookbooks vary quite widely, here are a few from a small section of my bookshelf. This time around, each and every book was purchased after I had borrowed the copy from my local library. Not only was I inspired by the recipes I found in each of these books, I also appreciated all the other information contained within; also, being a photographer, I was especially inspired by the images in these books.
In My Library Cookbooks 8
Afield: A Chef’s Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish is one of the most recent additions to my bookshelf. Mr Chiots actually purchased this book for me last fall. As many of you know, Mr Chiots enjoys hunting and would like to start hunting fowl and other game now that we live in a more rural area. All of the recipes in the book look amazing, I haven’t tried any of the venison ones yet, but I will very, very soon.  I’m all ready for Mr Chiots to bring home some delicious freshly caught fish or a bird or two as well.
In My Library Cookbooks 7
Way back when I started transitioning to making more food from scratch and learning the art of making things by hand, I purchased Cooking by Hand by Paul Bertolli. I find this book to be very inspirational, not only does he cover topics like making your own pasta, he goes deeper than most cookbooks by discusses making pasta from alternative starches like chestnut flour. This is definitely a book for the hardcore made from scratch by hand cook. This book has it all, from preparing and grinding chestnuts to making the best polenta, there’s definitely an emphasis on the Italian/european artisanal cuisine.  When we finally raise a pig here at Chiot’s Run, I’ll be following his directions to make my own proscuitto and fermented sausages. If you’re into serious DIY cooking or know someone that is, this is the book for you!
In My Library Cookbooks 6
I’ve talked about Healing Spices many times before, both here and on our podcast. This is more of an herbal/spice reference guide with recipes. There’s a recipe for every spice, which teaches you how to best incorporate them into your diet. Every recipe I’ve tried has been fantastic. The Hungarian Goulash is particularly good, the addition of caraway to balance out the paprika was enlightening for me. If you’re trying to learn more about the health benefits of adding more herbs and spices to your diet, I highly recommend this book. It can be read little by little in small sections, perfect for enjoying with your afternoon coffee or tea!
In My Library Cookbooks 5
Mr Chiots and I don’t eat a lot of sweets, at least we try not to. I don’t have a sweet tooth, but Mr Chiots sure does. Whenver he’s craving something sweet, I often make a fruit based dessert from Rustic Fruit Desserts. So far, every recipe I’ve tried from this book has been spot on. We are particularly fond of the pandowdy. I’ll tell you a little secret though, I generally cut the sugar in half when I make any of these recipes and usually swap maple syrup for whatever sweetener is included.  If you are looking for sweets a book that focuses on fruit desserts this is a great buy.  It’s even organized by season if you’re like me and prefer to eat seasonally.
In My Library Cookbooks 4
Part gardening book, part cookbook, Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch perfectly describes how I feel about my vegetable garden and my cooking. The reason I started my own little garden was to supply the best possible vegetables for my plate. Now I love the cultivation of vegetables as much as I love preparing and eating them. This book is the perfect bedtime reading for any gardener/cook. You’ll fall asleep dreaming about all the wonderful things you can grow in your garden and all the fabulous ways to prepare them for your table.  It’s hefty too, large enough to keep you busy reading for months! I definitely have his fruit book Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard on my wishlist!
In My Library Cookbooks 3
The River Cottage Preserves Handbook is one of my favorite preserving books. The recipes are so unique, you’ll find how to make sloe gin, roasted tomato passata (which is one of my favorites from this book), spiced brandy plums, and so many unique things that you won’t see in most American preserving books. If you enjoy preserving and want something out of the ordinary, give this book a look. No doubt you’ll be trying to figure out how to add quince trees to your garden, you’ll be searching for chestnuts to use, and you’ll no doubt be making roasted tomato passata each and every year!
In My Library Cookbooks 2
I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek at what’s on my bookshelf.  Stay tuned for more books in my library.

What are some of the books that inspire you in the kitchen?

The Series:
In My Library – part 1
In My Library – part 2
In My Library – Part 3
In My Library – Birding Books
In My Library: the Edible Garden Edition

If you do want to purchase any of these books or anything else from Amazon, use my Amazon Link, I’ll earn a few pennies to help pay for my now outrageous hosting bill for this blog!

13 Comments to “In My Library – part 2”
  1. Mich on February 7, 2013 at 6:30 am

    I’m a fan of the river cottage series & Nigel Slater. I am trying to be good this year & use my local library (use it or lose it) and so far it’s not doing well on book choices.
    I go in with a book list some of which you’ve mentioned, others I seen & thought I’d like to read them…so far zero on the success front! Not even showing on the system & if I search out of county it costs an extra £4! Ah well…hello Amazon..

    Reply to Mich's comment

  2. Maybelline on February 7, 2013 at 7:40 am

    I gave a good deal of my cookbooks to Goodwill. I really don’t use recipes much.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

  3. Megan on February 7, 2013 at 8:01 am

    I really enoy Chicken and Egg by Janice Cole. Lots of good chicken recipes to use up all the chickens we raise every year. Divided up into seasons to make the most of your garden.

    Reply to Megan's comment

  4. pam on February 7, 2013 at 9:37 am

    As someone who can’t pass up a good cookbook (I have over 200!), I love seeing what books others have.

    Reply to pam's comment

  5. Melissa on February 7, 2013 at 9:51 am

    That’s an amazing selection there! Now my book wish list just got longer! I swapped out sugar for maple syrup the other day in a fruit dessert and was pleasantly surprised. It was delicious! Going to see if my library has some of these!

    Reply to Melissa's comment

  6. KimH on February 7, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Im with Pam.. I have over 200 cookbooks.. I really need to pare them down since I use very few of them anymore..

    In the past, I borrowed “Tender” from the library.. I agree.. its quite a good book. I didnt spend as much time with it as I would have liked but I put it on my “for later” list to revisit another day..

    Always enjoy the books you’re reading or have on your shelves..

    I nominated your site for this a few days ago but for some reason Im not able to click thru the link she provides here..

    Reply to KimH's comment

  7. Lee on February 7, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Thanks for the recommendations. Speaking of raising a pig, have you read Farm City?

    Reply to Lee's comment

  8. anno on February 7, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    That Paul Bertolli book looks lovely, and Nigel Slater always offers inspiration. I grew up on The Vegetarian Epicure and the Moosewood Cookbook, and tattered as they are, they are still important members of my collection.

    My recent favorite, though, is Tamar Adler’s collection of essays, “The Everlasting Meal,” where she advocates an approach that is nourishing, sustainable, and economical. If you’re wishing to become more improvisational in the kitchen, I can’t imagine a better resource.

    Reply to anno's comment

  9. Jennifer on February 7, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    OK, I’ve added all of those to my library request list! Thanks!

    Reply to Jennifer's comment

  10. judym on February 7, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    I’m currently waiting for the River cottage Book. I’ve been wanting the one about the herbs too. Soon – very soon!

    Reply to judym's comment

  11. kathi Cook on February 7, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    I have trouble parting with my cookbooks,even if I hardly use them. I actually get most of my recipes on line these days where I can compare many versions of the same recipe and make my own. There is nothing like a well used and annotated cookbook though! Your collection looks great. I really enjoy browsing my Moosewood Cookbooks. Think I read my cookbooks in bed at night more than I use them for cooking haha.

    Reply to kathi Cook's comment

  12. Karen on February 7, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Lately I’ve been loving Diana Henry’s cookbooks. And apparently, I have to own every single canning and preserving cookbook that comes out. Yay for 200+! We could start a club!

    Reply to Karen's comment

  13. EL on February 14, 2013 at 12:05 am

    Joy of Cooking!
    But I live alone, so I absolutely love a book called Small Batch Baking.

    Reply to EL's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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