A Treasure of Cookbooks

January 20, 2009

I continue to be thrilled about being connected with the Tuesdays With Dorie group. Last week I received countless welcomes and messages of support from group members. I could not be more thrilled to be taking steps to meet this New Year’s resolution. That being said, I felt mixed about the recipe for this week. Besides wanting to nurture my desire to write about food, cooking, and restaurants, I also have made a commitment to myself to eat locally whenever possible. As I looked over this week’s recipe, calculated the cost (on many levels) of a pint and a half of raspberries (likely imported from Chile), I opted to skip this week’s recipe (I look forward to making it in the summer when there are raspberries at my local, organic farmer’s market) and bake something else that matches the mood of these cold winter months.


One of many things that you don’t know about me is the fact that I have an absolutely huge cookbook collection. I haven’t counted recently, but in the past I calculated that I had 175 cookbooks (and I know that I have increased my collection since that counting).  I would see a cookbook that appealed to me and would buy it hungrily, excited to cook or bake through it much as the Tuesdays With Dorie group is doing with her book.  While I love ALL of my cookbooks and would be hard-pressed to name my ten favorites, I have decided that I want to be more particular as I buy future cookbooks. My latest plan involves “test-driving” all cookbooks before I purchase them. How can I possibly do that? Yes, you’ve got it…the library. I currently have 10 wonderful cookbooks sitting next to my favorite chair, all speaking to me, suggesting that I try their recipes and ultimately buy them for my library. My rule is:  I must LOVE two recipes that I try before I purchase the cookbook for myself. After my weekend baking, I have decided to purchase Nick Malgieri’s new book, The Modern Baker. About two weeks ago, following his instructions, I made puff pastry for the first time as a base for his spinach and feta turnovers. They were incredible! Flaky, buttery, crunchy pies holding a savory spinach, feta, and dill filling. Perfect. Yesterday, in lieu of the TWD recipe, I made Breton Apple Pie.  Imagine a wonderful double layer of vanilla shortbread surrounding a cinnamon applesauce-like filling. My daughters woke up early this morning because they wanted to have some for breakfast. If you knew them, you’d know just what a big deal this was! I hope all of you will consider making the recipe and, like me, get this book. I know I will be finding many treasures between its orange covers.

Breton Apple Pie

Breton Apple Pie



4 Responses to “A Treasure of Cookbooks”

  1. Barbara Says:

    I love Nick Malgieri’s cookbooks! I just picked up “A Baker’s Tour” at a used bookstore — what a treasure trove of interesting recipes!

    The library is a great resource for test-driving cookbooks. I figure if you see lots of spatters on the pages it’s been a hit with other folks too!

  2. juju73 Says:

    The pie looks beautiful!

    I am currently doing a one year challenge on my blog, using all of my cookbooks in one year.

    I think test driving is a great idea!

  3. Megan Says:

    I have his book, and have made several wonderful desserts from it.

    I had to get rid of some of my cookbooks, they were threatening to take over the house!

  4. memalchodi Says:

    Smart idea…I have over 100 cookbooks myself and I feel like I use the same 10 ones over and over again….I am going to copy you and your good idea and head over the library to check some out too!

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