Monday, July 04, 2005

Cookbook Meme

Cookbooks1The baker has so kindly tagged me for this cookbook meme that has been going around the food-blogging world. When I told my hubby, he just shook his head in utter disbelief, in-a-like "why would anyone care to know what kind of cookbooks you have" kind-of-manner. Well, one possible reason is sheer curiosity to get an inkling as to the possible inspirational sources of a home-cook (and yes, it's always fun to peep into other people's closets, even if it's only shelves of books). Another more probable reason, to reassure oneself that the gradual increase of one's own looming collection of cookbooks is not the result of compulsive-obsessive behaviour but is actually a common trait shared by many foodie compatriots out there in the blogging world.

1. Total number of (cook)books I've owned: Possibly in the region of between 50 to 60. Come to think of it, I never really sat down to count until this meme came around. This is of course not inclusive of books on food essays (from Anthony Bourdain, Jeffrey Steingarten, Ruth Reichl, MFK Fisher, Calvin Trillin, Mark Kurlansky, John Thorne, Robb Walsh just to name a few) and of course the stacks of food magazines in a corner of my home surreptitiously taking cover to avoid being given the boot by hubby!

Cookbooks22. Last (cook)book(s) I bought: Two weeks back, I bought 2 books from Kinokuniya bookshop using their 20% discount coupons, Tyler Florence's Eat This Book and Chez Panisse Cooking. I like TF's style of writing and the photos in Eat This Book makes you wish you could seriously devour the food within! Chez Panisse Cooking is another beautiful book that combines well-written short food essays with recipes in a seamless fashion, truly a book equally at ease on the bedside table as in the kitchen.

Cookbooks3A week back when I was home visiting Mum and Dad in Ipoh, Malaysia, I happen to see this little gem called Grandma's Soup. Being the diehard Cantonese soup fan that I am, how could I resist?

3. Last (food)book I read: A Zee's Swallowing Clouds: A playful journey through Chinese culture, language and cuisine. I did a posting on this a couple of weeks back, after being inspired to make my own 'wontons' (swallowing clouds). Need I say more?

Cookbooks44. Five (cook)books that mean a lot to me:
a. Jaime Oliver's The Return of the Naked Chef, Happy Days with the Naked Chef and Jamie's Kitchen have got to be my all-time favourites for browsing and for inspiration. The photos are lovely, the instructions straightforward and with his knack of distilling the essence of a dish, you just feel like you shouldn't be breaking a sweat cooking up anything! {and in case you're wondering what happened to his first book, The Naked Chef, well, strangely enough, I just never got around to buying that one!}

Cookbooks5b. For local Singapore cuisine, I cannot do without The Best of Singapore Cooking by Mrs Leong Yee Soo and Violet Oon Cooks, the latter especially has introduced me to a host of local cuisine with a slight twist and so far, none of the recipes I've tried have failed on me.

5. Which 5 people would you most like to see fill this out in their blog?: I'm probably at the tail end of this meme and most foodblogs that I've visited have already posted on this subject. If I can find anyone else who hasn't fallen victim to this 'expose', I shall tag them along the way!


Blogger junebee said...

I bought the "Swallowing Cloud" book after reading about it here.

Also, what book do you have by Anthony Bourdeain? Is it "Kitchen Confidential"? He also writes murder-mystery fiction.

7/06/2005 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger eatzycath said...

Hi junebee - hope you enjoyed "Swallowing Cloud" as much as I did. I have Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential and A Cook's Tour (both very funny, and our local cable television is now showing the documentary for the latter), and yes, I've heard that he has written fiction as well tho' I haven't gotten around to reading it!

7/06/2005 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger J said...

nice selection you have there...the kino discount card is great, but also utterly dangerous - provides the perfect "reason" everytime to justify yet another cookbook purchase!

7/07/2005 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger eatzycath said...

hi j, can't really blame the discount cards when I find all kinds of excuses to shop for cookbooks. Hubby has imposed a temporary ban on visits to kinokuniya. :(

7/08/2005 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger Ana said...

I'm glad you posted the meme. I've been checking your site regularly, to update the History of the 5 Cookbooks Meme.

7/09/2005 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger boo_licious said...

The best of Spore cooking seems to be essential reading for all Sporeans! I remember it from my uni days as my Spore uni mate used to refer to it all the time to cook our makan.

7/11/2005 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger eatzycath said...

hi ana - wow, what an impressive undertaking to keep track of the cookbooks meme. It certainly has travelled to all parts of the world, hasn't it?

hi boo-licious, Best of SE Cooking was one of my earliest buys as well in my early twenties.. very good as reference to compare against my own mum's cooking.

7/11/2005 05:53:00 PM  

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