The Practical Produce Cookbook, by Ray Hoover and Elsie Hoover. The 332-page spiral-bound cookbook has 800 recipes and is organized alphabetically by vegetable. The book also contains growing as well as canning and freezing information for each vegetable. The authors are Mennonites who grow produce to sell. This cookbook has been reprinted 14 times since 1997 and is singularly responsible for turning me into a better gardener as well as an "almost" vegetarian. John Graybill, Boca Raton, Fla.
My coverless, torn-in-two paperback edition of Jane Brody's Good Food Book. A friend gave it to me when we were a family of three surviving on a grad student's salary. The meals are mostly easy to make, and I owe a lot to Jane Brody for helping me learn how to cook healthy, flavorful food for my (now) family of six! (I just need to go out and replace the copy I have!)Maeve Reilly, Champaign, Ill.
How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman. I got it as a wedding present. When I was single, cooking was a survival strategy that had nothing to do with quality, creativity, or taste. Now I come home from work and open my fridge to take stock of what I have. Then I turn to Bittman's book to see what meal I can make out of the random ingredients. The finished product is a surprise to my husband and even to me.My Linh Nguyen, Washington, D.C.
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