Thursday, November 4, 2010

let's talk cookbooks with some Mulled Wine

it's one of my favourite past times, to sit with a new, or new to me, cookbook & flip through the recipes. i test a good cookbook by it's ability to index well, give simple instructions without a lot of clutter on the pages, &, of course, providing great food ideas. photography is always nice, but not essential. that said, one of my favs (Korean temples & food) is full of wonderful photography. i prefer it to feel nice in my hand as the other is usually preoccupied with a glass of wine or a cuppa. speaking of which, that's a great topic, vegan wines. any preferences?

i must have a few hundred cookbooks, which are at home at the moment, & could probably be weeded a bit. still i have 15 here, plus all my handwritten recipes. i'm in the process of including all i can remember into my libraryThing. i'm also trying to type all my collected handwritten recipes into a database.

a good cookbook should excite my interest enough to lure me to the kitchen. i have bought one recently that may have something in it, but too many recipes i've thought of on my own or have favourites of already. i should have read through it more carefully i suppose. i'm not a beginner cook as i've been practicing since i could hold a knife. & started baking with my easy bake oven (i was so proud of those little cakes), & making candy cane cookies with my mom. nor am i an expert as i am always learning new things & have mastered very little. so i'm always looking for a book that will teach as well as inspire. one that will skip much of the everyday basics, but will include little known basics. if that makes any sense. when i return home & the years that follow, i hope to focus almost exclusively on local produce, mostly from my garden & wild gathered herbs & mushrooms. some of my books represent this desire. anyways, i thought i'd include some of my favs, but it is so difficult to choose. & most are not in sight.

short list of essential cookbooks (veg ones) that musn't leave my shelf,

~ Korean temples & food, Jung Lee
~ laurel's kitchen. Laurel Robertson
~ the New Farmhouse Vegetarian Cookbook, Louise Hagler
~ my Black Book, handwritten, gathered from every nook & cranny
~ la Dolce vegan, Sarah Kramer
~ Essential Vegetarian
~ Madhur Jaffrey'd World Vegetarian
~ Everyday Vegan, Dreena Burton
~ Mediterranean Vegan, Donna Klein
~ Vegan Planet, Robin Robertson

i think there are a few more to add to this list, then again, it would no longer be a short list. well, i was hoping to add more to this post, but the day has gotten away. perhaps this will be continued...

Mulled Wine, Glühwein
thanks to my friend Suzanne, who i met in Korea, for this great recipe. i threw a party, & she made this at my place, it's that quick & easy. per bottle of vegan red & in a large enough pot, steep together...

2-4 Tbsp sugar
3-4 mandarin oranges, or 1 navel orange
juice of half a lemon, little less than half (usually use half of a lemon for 2 bottles of wine)
3 or 4 cloves
a cinnamon stick or 2

for a few mins let the flavours combine, but don't bring to a boil. *sip carefully*

here's a few finds that i'm looking forward to trying... Hot Cranberry Cider & Glögi, a traditional Finnish winter drink.


give the Bard of Cornwall a listen while you chill out, he's good.



mollyjade said...

Bad indexes in cookbooks is my pet peeve, too! I'd rather have a good index than photos any day.

dN said...

:) i imagine it's a lot of work to put one together well, but it pays off. most cookbooks do not take the time. wrong page numbers is another peeve. ;)

Katy said...

I don't have my Madhur Jaffreys cookbook with me at present, and really wish I did!

dN said...

actually, i don't have my copy at present either, it's in canada. but it won't leave my shelf once i return. :) Katy, your profile is blocked, what is your blog?