Omni Crush of the Decade: Cookbooks and Food Lit

With today's look back at the Books of the Decade I naturally gravitated to the subject I'm most passionate about: food. Last night I scanned the shelves at home and then did some research on Amazon this morning to make sure I didn't miss any favorites. Of all of the books listed below there is one that I turn to regularly--at least weekly--and that's Matt Lee and Ted Lee's The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook. I became friends with Matt and Ted after their book came out in 2006 but I promise this selection doesn't stem from any personal bias. And I'm not the only one who just loves this book--it won top honors at both the James Beard and IACP awards.

I was cooking from the early galley edition prior to publication and in the years since it remains my most reached-for cookbook in my collection. I've made grits every which way, along with fried chicken, pork butts, pickled peaches, pies (sour orange, sorghum pecan, buttermilk-sweet potato), biscuits, plenty of cocktails, corn cob wine, crab dip, hoppin' John, collard greens, butter bean pâté, pimento cheese, and many more spectacular dishes. The book also turned me on to so many new ingredients, like sorghum, Carolina gold rice, spicy Blenheim ginger ale (which I now order by the case), country ham, scuppernong grapes, and, of course, boiled peanuts (per the bumper sticker, I "brake for" them at any occasion).

When compiling these lists, I came back to the books I cook from the most in addition to a few that I simply enjoy reading, cover to cover, like a novel, for their narrative approach, to a couple that I'm too intimidated, still, to even think about cooking from, but remain a resource of inspired ideas.

My Favorite Cookbooks (and a Couple of Cocktail Collections) of the Decade: 2000-2009 (alphabetical by author)

My Favorite Food Lit of the Decade: 2000-2009 (alphabetical by author)


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Consider adding The Cook's Book edited by Jill Norman. This book has inspired me to study haiku poetry and kaiseki dining.

Posted by: Kirsten Dixon | Monday January 18, 2010 at 9:52 PM

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