Invest in One Good Cookbook

I’m embarrassed to admit that I own enough cookbooks to fill up four bookshelves.  While some have sat on my shelf for years collecting dust, Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything gets pulled out over and over again.  It’s the book I turn to when I want to make something but don’t quite know how or when I just need a trustworthy resource.  When I’m going to try a new technique, even if I have a recipe, I always compare my recipe to Bittman’s instructions.

Every cook needs one dependable cookbook that provides the background information on specific foods or a technique along with straightforward instructions.  It’s an invaluable resource.  These days, there is a wealth of information on the web but not all of it is accurate.  When you’re trying something new, it’s hard to tell what’s good information and what isn’t.  With How to Cook Everything, I know I can quickly look something up without worrying about its accuracy.  It’s a lot quicker than searching for something on the internet and making sure the source is trustworthy.

Here are just a few of the things I’ve looked up recently in How to Cook Everything:

    • Pancakes.  After reading how easy pancakes from scratch are to make, why did I ever use a mix?
    • Turkey.  I didn’t have the foggiest idea how to choose a turkey for Thanksgiving, let alone cook it.  The background information on poultry made me feel empowered as I headed to the grocery store in search of the perfect bird.


  • Avocados.  I love a few slices of avocado on my sandwich at lunch.  One day I was casually reading my cookbook and learned I should leave the pit intact when storing leftover avocado to prevent it from turning brown.  Yeah!  No more brown avocado.

A good comprehensive cookbook is a must in a cook’s kitchen.  Whether you choose How to Cook Everything, The Joy of Cooking, or another high caliber cookbook, I think you’ll quickly find how helpful it is.

What’s your favorite comprehensive cookbook?

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2 Responses to "Invest in One Good Cookbook"

  1. Love the blog this week. Even though I have many fancier cookbooks, I still pull out my trusty red and white checkered Better Homes and Gardens.

    I also love to give the newlyweds Betty Crockers Cookbook – Bridal Edition. I never go wrong and the couples always find something new and exciting to make. Along with tips and techniques that are explained.

  2. Tristian's Mom

    I agree, the Betty Crocker cookbook is great!

    I also like to make pancakes from scratch, SO SIMPLE! (I just add a dash of vanilla flavor for a little kick!)