One year as a cookbook owner, diasporic cooking & book recommendations
Thank you so much for the shout out 🥰 I enjoyed reading your reflections and HEAVILY relate to this: "more often than not, I forget what I learned by the time the first morning light hits our windows. Inspiration is what remains, not recipes." I have been so hard on myself about this, expecting myself to remember everything I read and learn, and getting frustrated when I can't. But this is such a good way to look at it - the inspiration remains, and that's what counts. Because the info can be sought out again, anytime. My most precious cookbooks at the moment are the two volumes of "La cucina molisana," which was published in the 80s. Impossible to find new copies (these are my nonna's). We cherish them!
Loved reading about your experience, Sinù. It makes me think of the blank cookbook I bought when I was probably about 11. It had a red and white checkboard cover and I filled it with all of the cookie recipes that my mom and I made while I was growing up. It's since fallen apart, but I loved flipping through it as I made the same cookies with my son years later. And thank you for the cookbook recs, there are a few I added to my list!
Loved reading this. I grew up in a house where cooking was a chore to my parents and I’m not sure they owned a cookbook! It wasn’t until I got married and started eating out in London that I wanted to be able to cook and the books that helped me the most (which we still have and use) were Delia Smith’s Cookery Course (vols 1-3) they are so well written for beginners who want to learn how to cook. I used cooking as stress relief whilst working (I worked away from home a lot and long hours)and coming home on a Friday and at the weekend it was great to immerse myself in the kitchen with a new recipe for a couple of hours. Now that I am retired I find myself cooking more and more and searching for authentic recipes for dishes from around the world, but particularly Italy, France and the UK. I have far too many cook books (my wife would say so anyway) and some series of recipes from newspapers that I have kept. My favourite 5 books would be (today, anyway!): Delia Smiths Cookery Course, Rick Stein’s Seafood, The Silver Spoon, Francesco’s Kitchen and Richard Bertinet’s Dough. Mind you, ask me tomorrow and I would probably name a different five!
Enjoyed this post! Must get a copy of How to Cook a Wolf :-)
Lovely to hear from you. You write so beautifully, it's always a joy to read your newsletter.
I'm sorry to hear things have been tough for you. Sending warm wishes your way.
Lovely to read your words, as ever ❤️ Oh I love Nigel Slater’s writing. I’m not a cook at all, but will happily read anything he writes!
This was all very interesting! It's fascinating hearing about your family members who left Italy, and that book The Short History of Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce sounds really good! You mentioned so many good books. I love Julia Child's story, and I've always enjoyed reading about her life. I want to look up the Kitchen Diaries now, too! Thank you for sharing some of your favorites with us, I was happy to see your post in my inbox this morning!
I really love this piece, Sinù--both heart-wrenching and heartwarming in its tales of family, new beginnings and finding inspiration in cookbooks new and old.
I’ve got an eclectic cookbook collection that I keep adding to despite being out of space in the pantry shelves where they’re stacked. I ordered the latest, “Mamushka,” by Olia Hercules in March after the start of the Russian assault on Ukraine. It’s a beautiful book of Ukrainian and Eastern European recipes. It was back ordered (suddenly there’s a big demand for everything Ukrainian!) and just arrived this week, so I’m just reading it and loving the pictures. There’s a recipe for Ukrainian biscotti that I may be making very soon! Thanks again for your beautiful blog!
Good to hear from you again! I was beginning to wonder if you were still writing lol...
So good to have you back, Sinù, another beautiful piece. Guess what? My sister-in-law lived in Firenze in the 1980’s and gave me a gift: The Talisman! My copy has a red and green striped book jacket, well worn by me. I also admire Mimi, I have Old World Italian and get lost in looking at the stunning photos. Another book I love is Skye McAlpine’s A Table in Venice. Love your collection, and also, wow! on the craftsmanship on the knives made by your family! Thank you for another lovely post, Sinù! ❤️
What a wonderful collection! I am about to pack up my lifetime of books. Again. and head to Venice!
Funny you should ask! Her absolute favourite is Michel Roux Sr's 'New Creative Techniques from a French Master Chef'. It was published a while back but she loves the way he has adapted some of the classics to make them lighter and healthier
What a beautiful, heartfelt piece of writing about food and family. I'm going to share this with Sabrina who is also a serious collector and voracious reader of cook and food writing.