Cooking Up Some New Ideas

The library at the Centre for Family Literacy needs some new cookbooks, so I am looking for suggestions.  They can be old favourites, practical recipes for busy families, or the newest thing in cuisine.  For me personally, when it comes to cookbooks, it is what else is in the cookbook that interests me – I don’t always want just recipes! I want to hear about other countries, thrilling travels, all of the different cuisines the traveller encounters and the history behind their dishes.

One of my favourite cookbooks is Silk Road Cooking: A Vegetarian Journey, by Najmieh Batmanglij. The “Silk Road” was an ancient trade route that meandered west out of China, across Asia and Northern India, to Persia, Arabia, Byzantium and all the way to Italy.  This book is filled with songs, stories and poems – ancient and new. There are beautiful pictures, drawings, maps, and recipes!  Some of the recipes go back 1200 years. I just love this book.

What kind of cookbooks do you like?  Do you have any favourites, any recommendations?

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5 thoughts on “Cooking Up Some New Ideas

  1. I am like you Colleen; I like a cookbook that is more than a collection of recipes. One of my favorite cookbooks is Mangoes and Curry Leaves: Culinary travels through the great subcontinent by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. The subcontinent includes India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The book is part memoir, part travelogue, part traveler tips and part cookbook. It’s filled with beautiful photos, interesting stories and intriguing recipes, you really get a “feel” for the subcontinent…just a beautiful book to read. And the recipes I’ve tried have been tasty too!

  2. When I first moved out on my own I bought a copy of the Five Roses Cookbook. Although I did some cooking at home (ours was a meat and potato kind of family), I really didn’t know much about how to cook for one or two. You can tell that this book has become a family favourite by the number of spills on the pages, “oh yuk” comments and especially the dog-earred pages! Just wish I could get all of my daughters copies of it for when they are on their own!

  3. We have ordered a number of family cookbooks through the AB COW program and I really like those. They’ve got great pictures, healthy recipes, and easy to follow steps. The best part is that the recipes are designed for kids to help. It’s a great family activity that can be done everyday!

  4. I grew up with the Purity cookbook. My copy was dusted in flour, pages wrinkled and worn. Sadly, that copy was lost in a move. I was quite devastated. My best friend searched it out for me, and I have another copy now. It’s kind of like a piece of family history. Thank you for bringing back happy memories!

  5. My Mom comes from a Mennonite background and will often still make some Mennonite dishes for our family. I really enjoy them because not only are they tasty, but I feel they are good reminders of my family heritage. One of my favourite cookbooks is called “Mennonite Girls Can Cook”… and I just found the Mennonite Girls Can Cook website (full of many more recipes to try). Yum! http://www.mennonitegirlscancook.ca/