I have always loved cookbooks. From the time I was a little girl flipping through the pages of my mother's binder-style "Better Homes & Gardens" cookbook, I loved to look at the photos of the finished dishes and scan for dishes that appeared particularly appetizing. I READ cookbooks like some people read fiction!!!
I was so enamored with my mother's cookbook that she bought me my very first cookbook of my own - and I still have it!
I am particularly fond of this one, which I received as a wedding gift some 28 years ago. The author, Jane Justin, was the wife of the founder of Justin Boots, and it was from this cookbook I learned to make meatloaf.
Eddie Dale has definitely fostered my love of cookbooks. Now this is the cookbook I gave him our first Christmas together, so now it's kinda mine by association. Tom Perini is special to the two of us because my husband proposed to me at Tom's steakhouse in Buffalo Gap, in front of a roaring fireplace in the back room! A cowboy and a steak...how romantic!
I am a huge fan of Jan Karon's Mitford series, having read every single one of her books and salivated over the many sumptuous dishes described in tasty detail. My dad and I share a love for her wonderful storytelling and he gave me this beautiful book. I love this cookbook because it intersperses bits of the stories in with the recipes. I still don't have the courage to attempt Esther Bolick's Orange Marmelade Cake!
Junior Leagues across the South put out some of the best cookbooks anywhere on a regular basis. I found this one published by the LaGrange, Georgia Junior League in a shop in Fredericksburg a few years ago and, although it has no photographs, it has some of the best Southern recipes - particularly desserts.
I absolutely adore Paula Deen - her cooking, her style and sense of humor, her spirit and spunk. My sister gave me this book a couple of years ago for Christmas and it is chocked full of great food and Paula's amusing and touching anecdotes. I just love it!
The most recent addition to my collection is one of the most fantastic cookbooks to have ever been published, in my opinion at least. She may not be Julia Child, but Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman, put this baby together all by herself and it's a masterpiece. From the photography to the tasty and practical recipes, it is an absolute gem and I can sit and look at it for hours!
Something else that makes it special is that is autographed to me! I don't live anywhere near where a book-signing was held by this amazing woman, but Eddie Dale mailed it to her and she signed it and mailed it back in time for me to get it for Christmas!
As I am packing these books away, I realize that they are among some of my most precious possessions. They have taught me not only to cook and provided the inspiration for tasty food for my family, but they have brought me endless hours of enjoyment.
Do you have some favorites in your cookbook collection that you would like to share? I'd love to hear about them!
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