My favorite series of cookbooks is The Australian Women's Weekly Cookbooks. I got into these when I lived in the Middle East where they are relatively easily available. The cookbooks' attributes: Soft covers and large, glossy pages; pictures of every dish (very important); inexpensive prices; maybe 100 to 150 books in print, most of which have a theme. I especially like the ethnic-oriented ones. There are a few that I consider duds, but here are some I like: Almost Vegetarian, Easy Curry Cookery, Italian Cooking Class Cookbook, and The Quick-Cook Book. – Tom Kosakowski, Pasadena, Calif.
As a bride in 1947, I bought Meta Given's Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking (2 volumes) from a door-to-door salesman. And our stove didn't even work! Years later, I discovered in it the epitome of sweet-roll dough, a recipe I use every Christmas for coffeecakes. Splattered page 1144 testifies to the number of times I've made chocolate pie. Page 1148, caked with droplets of meringue, shows our favorite recipe for lemon pie. If I had wanted to roast a raccoon, the recipe is on page 975. Not many cookbooks cover such an array of recipes. – Nancy Gokay, Vashon, Wash.
My favorite cookbook is the Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites. With gardens at their peak, or even throughout the year, the subtitle, "Flavorful recipes for healthful meals," really is true. The authors give simple but imaginative ways of using fresh ingredients and hints of recipes that go together to create an attractive and balanced meal. There are plenty of helpful suggestions throughout the book, and every time I make a recipe from it, I've been asked, "Where did this come from?" – Stefanie Kyte, Dalton, Mass.
Great Home Cooking in America was published during the country's bicentennial by the food editors of Farm Journal, and I bought it as a young bride. Duct tape holds together my copy. Stains streak the pages, especially beside Chicken, Corn, and Rival Soup, a favorite of my son, who, at age 6, said, "I want this served at my wedding." Carlos has not married yet, but when he graduated from college, I bought him a copy of this cookbook for Christmas and starred the recipes that he loved best. – Joan Donaldson, Fennville, Mich.
My favorite cookbook, Partying Around the World, by Elmira Beyer and Carolyn Studer, was designed with the hope of promoting world peace through the culinary exploration of other cultures. I've found that bringing people together through food from around the world to be a fun and delicious way to entertain and enlighten others. – Julie Gage, Portland, Ore.
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