My favorite cookbook

Readers share their picks.

Of all the cookbooks I have on my shelf, The Fannie Farmer Cookbook is the only one I wouldn't part with (11th edition, revised by Wilma Lord Perkins, 1965). It covers everything from apple pie to venison. And the eggnog recipe, although it is a bit of work, creates the very best eggnog that I have ever shared with family and friends. OK, Justin Wilson's Homegrown Louisiana Cookin' is tops for Southern fare and I won't let it go either!– Glenn Grigg, Sunnyvale, Calif.

The More-with-Less Cookbook by Doris Janzen Longacre has the title page note, "suggestions by Mennonites on how to eat better and consume less of the world's limited food resources." During my five years in a remote, rural village in Peru, this cookbook was a lifesaver. We had no access to canned or frozen foods. "More-with-Less" was perfect. I talked about it so much that when I came on a US visit, our sisters in our other five Peruvian houses begged me to bring back copies for each house. – Sister Ida R. Berresheim, El Paso, Texas

If you love cookies, you'll enjoy Maida Heatter's Book of Great Cookies by Maida Heatter. I found a copy of the 1977 edition at a used-book sale a couple of years ago and have had fun trying new cookie recipes from it ever since. Every one of the several we've made have been "great" as the title says, and a couple have become new family favorites.– Georgianna Pfost, Sacramento, Calif.

Recommended: Vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free? Six new cookbooks.

When I had my wedding shower 17 years ago all the guests were women, but there was one gift from a male – my brother. He had lived with me for 21 years and knew – probably more so than my husband-to-be – that I did not cook. His gift was the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book with a red-and-white-checkered cover. In the early days of no money and no skills, the cookbook served me well. Although my cooking has improved (neither John nor our three children have starved), and I now have an entire shelf full of well-thumbed cookbooks, many of my family's favorites were found many years ago as I read this book as a newlywed. I plan to give each of my children a copy of this cookbook with all our family's favorites highlighted when they venture out on their own.– Jodi Webb, Pottsville, Pa.

My favorite is The Gourmet's Guide to Chinese Cooking by Ann Body, but most often, I use my copy of Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker and my LaRousse Gastronomique edited by Prosper Montagne. I also just got The Basics: The Foundations of Modern Cooking by Filip Verheyden and Tony Le Duc and expect it to be in use quite a bit, too.– Ray Ball, Minneapolis

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