The baton was passed to me by AG of Grab Your Fork . I am guilty of indiscriminate buying of cookbooks everywhere I go, sometimes forgetting that I have a book already and buying a second copy (memory problem, as always). In the recent couple of years however, I’ve veered more towards on-line recipes (Allrecipes for everyday cooking, Epicurious for more complicated dishes, and google searches for less common ingredients) and neglected most of my cookbooks. Thanks to AG, this meme made me take another look at my cookbooks and I rediscovered some books that I forgot I even had, oops. Without further ado, here are the answers:
1. Total number of cookbooks I own:
I counted seventy-four in the cupboard, but there could be a couple more lying around the house somewhere.
2. Last cookbook I bought:
The latest addition to my cookbook collection was Allrecipes’ Dinner Tonight, but I didn’t buy it, Allrecipes sent it to me for free.
3. Last food/cook book I read:
A book on two hundred selected restaurants in Tokyo that are known for their traditional/authentic taste. I found out from the book that a building that looks like someone’s house a stone’s throw from my home is an Italian restaurant. I have been trying to get a reservation but so far no luck.
4. Five (cook) books that mean a lot to me:
- Food for Thought by Vivien Quahe-Seah, a Singaporean doctor who wrote the book on Singaporean cooking after finding out she had cancer (proceeds on the sale of the book went to cancer research). Besides recipes and tons of beautiful pictures of wonderful Singaporean food, as well as Vivien also shared her thoughts and feelings. It is as much a book of recipes for food as recipes for love and living. I am embarrassed to say that I haven’t made a single dish out of the book because when I lived in Singapore there was never any need to cook (food is so readily available everywhere) and now that I don’t live there any more, I cannot find half the ingredients.
- Classic Japanese Cooking Course by Masaki Ko. This book contains many photos illustrating the cooking process and showcasing wonderful Japanese pottery pieces. But the real reason that it is special to me is because my first dog Jack chewed off part of the book’s binding, so whenever I look at the book, I think of him.
- A thin booklet called Asian Desserts that I bought for 100yen (about US 90cents) at the famous Daiso 100yen shop. (Every tourist who’s ever visited Tokyo knows about this place. You can buy just about everything, from dishes to cosmetics to interior decorations to kitchen supplies, all of reasonable quality, for 100yen.) The book has recipes for twenty simple desserts from various Asian countries, each accompanied by an attractive photo. All the recipes can be done within 30 minutes, perfect for evenings when you don’t feel like anything elaborate.
- The Quaker Oat Bran cookbook, bought in the summer of 1995. It’s the book I used to teach myself baking. I still make the banana bread from it once in a while.
- A Chinese cookbook brought back from China by a friend. It has no pictures and is not very big on giving clear instructions (terms such as “some” “the appropriate amount” are employed to describe quantities of ingredients used). I was never able to make anything of predictable result from that book, but it made me appreciate the art of Chinese cooking – in the realization that I can’t do it!
5. Which five people would you like to see fill this out in their blogs?
Rachel of Brown Bread Ice Cream
Keiko of Nordljus
Karen of the Pilgrim’s Pots and Pans
Nic of Baking Sheet
Chefdoc of A Perfect Pear