* THE REISSUES, THE REPRINTS,
...all reflect a boom in the cookbook publishing business. A paperback reprint will lower the cost to the purchaser, and also give a publisher a chance to correct egregious errors or add a postscript. Some will reissue a book in paper covers with a new layout or photos. Others will rearrange existing material to present it as more informative text while keeping the focus tight. Here are some recent "re-editions"...
WILD GARLIC, GOOSEBERRIES
THE ILLUSTRATED STEP-BY-STEP COOK; more than 300 updated recipes from DK's classic Look & Cook series (DK, 2010, 544 pages, ISBN 978-0-7566-6753-5, $35 US hard covers) is based on material from Anne Willan originally published in 1992 through 1995. This is virtually a brand new book since all the preps have been modernized. The whole range is covered: starters, salads, vegetarian, one-pots, comfort food, bread, pies, cakes, desserts, and midweek cooking. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, and there are tables of equivalents on the inside covers, a boon. All recipes have been photographed to illustrate techniques (each prep gets a two page spread), and there are symbols to indicate service, prep time, cooking time, and the like. A good book of basic foods, such as onion and Roquefort quiche, Asian noodle salad, tuna Nicoise salad, Nori-maki sushi, cod and mussel chowder, blackberry and apple pie. Quality/price rating: 85.
THE I HATE TO COOK BOOK. Updated and revised (Grand Central Publishing, 2010, 208 pages, ISBN 978-0-446-54592-1, $22.99 UD hard covers) is the 50th Anniversary Edition of an American classic. It was originally written by Peg Bracken in 1960. Here, it has been updated and tweaked, with new material by Jo Bracken, her daughter. The original had 200 recipes and many "hints" and "tips"; it sold some three million copies. Indeed, I had just read that this Anniversary Edition had already sold 24,000 copies by August. Classics shouldn't be reviewed: they get annotated gracefully. Bracken and her friends wanted to shave a few minutes off the cooking chores, and to some extent, they succeeded. The emphasis was on quick and tasty. There was no concern for preservatives or for dairy fats. As her daughter says, you can now use fresh food or yogurt as appropriate, relevant substitutes. And everything works well. It's all pretty basic, and Bracken continued with eight other books and many articles. So: the steak is made with an onion-soup mix, the stew with the peas and carrot plus a can of thinned down soup, and the stroganoff with a cream of chicken soup can. Some of the others are quite tasty, such as a basic lamb shank recipe with no additions or a meatloaf with swiss cheese. The book has some menus (a boon for any home cook) and some last-minute suppers. Quality/price rating: 85.
THE GREAT DOMAINES OF BURGUNDY; a guide to the finest wine producers of the
THE VEGETARIAN COLLECTION; creative meat-free dishes that nourish & inspire (Transcontinental Books, 2010, 288 pages, ISBN 978-0-9813938-0-3, $22.95 Canadian paper covers) has been pulled together by Alison Kent and the Canadian Living Test Kitchen (with its team of seven chefs and stylists). The preps come mainly from the pages of the magazine, and have been grouped around an ingredient category such as pulses and beans, grains, tofu, seeds and nuts, eggs and cheese, and then forty pages devoted to "vegetables". Recipes are one to a page, and there are just over 200 of them. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Nutritional information is listed, as well as some helpful hints from page to page. Expect a savour-flavour with double mushroom hot and sour soup, crunchy almond noodle salad, wild rice with pepitas, or vegetarian ceviche. Another good book for the home cook. Quality/price rating: 89.
BARTENDING FOR DUMMIES. 4th edition. (John Wiley Publishing, 2010, 366 pages, ISBN 978-0-470-63312-0, $16.99 US paper covers) has been revised to include more hip and trendy drinks. Ray Foley, the publisher of "Bartender" magazine, is the author. Preliminary matter deals with home bar setups and the base drinks. The A - Z alphabetical format has been retained, for about 1000 recipes with illustrations of what stemware to use for each drink. There are lots of charts, websites for producers and suppliers and information, a recipe index, and a topical index. This is a value-driven book in a respected off-handed series. Quality/price rating: 89.
THE FRENCH COUNTRY TABLE; simple recipes for bistro classics (Ryland, Peters & Small, 2010; distr. T. Allen, 159 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-023-3, $24.95 US hard covers) is by Laura Washburn, who currently translates French cookbooks into English and tests recipes. It was originally published in hard covers in 2003 (as Bistro) and in 2005 (as French Desserts). Here are the classic recipes for French onion soup, tians from
ingredients, equipment & techniques. 2nd ed. (Robert Rose, 2010, 695 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0245-7, $27.95 Canadian paper covers) has been compiled by David Joachim who has authored, edited or collaborated on more than 30 cookbooks. It was originally published in 2005, with 1,500 fewer substitutions. The new edition also has five new ingredient guides and measuring tables, plus 50 new recipes. It's also physically larger, with about 70 more pages. This is a solid reference book emphasizing, through over 1500 complete entries, more than 6500 reasonably approximate substitutions all of it cross-referenced and arranged alphabetically. The ingredients are listed with both avoirdupois and metric measurements. There are 175 recipes for larder type items (sauces, stocks, spice mixes, herb blends, syrups, flavoured butters, cheese, dips, spreads, relishes, and beverages). There are handy reference charts for metric equivalents, high altitude cooking, stages of cooked sugar, pan sizes. There are ingredient tables for edible flowers, types of salts and vinegars, oil substitutions, picking apples and pears, dried beans and lentils, olives, mushrooms, potatoes, chilies, flours, and rice. He has useful website listings and a bibliography. Quality/Price Rating: 89.
THE BARTENDER'S BEST FRIEND. Updated and revised. (John Wiley & Sons, 2010, 392 pages, ISBN 978-0-470-44718-5, $19.95 US soft covers) is by Mardee Haidin Regan, an American wine and spirits consultant with a Julia Child Cookbook Award nomination. It's a basic book, originally published in 2002, with over 850 recipes (including new ones such as the whole slew of what are now "new martini"). There's about three to a page, with bold face for the ingredients, making it easier to use in a setting of a dim barlight. It is an all-in-one alphabetical listing of cocktails. There are tabs for easier retrieval, plus an index for retrieval by spirit or form of drink, and a waterproof, wipe-dry cover with a book ribbon for bookmarking. There's also a bibliography but with bad indentations. It is all kept up to date at www.ardentspirits.com. No pictures, which is nice since it keeps the weight and the price of the book down. Quality/Priced rating: 88.
SEASONS; the best of Donna Hay Magazine (HarperCollins, 2010, 324 pages, ISBN 978-1-55468-906-4, $39.99 Canadian soft covers) is by Donna Hay, the foodie Martha Stewart of
EVERYDAY EASY CAKES & CUPCAKES; cheesecakes, muffins, brownies, sponge cakes (DK 2010, 224 pages, ISBN 978-0-7566-6731-3 $20 US hard covers) is a collection of 85 dessert preps from the previously published DK books, The Illustrated Kitchen Bible (2008) and The Illustrated Quick Cook (2009). There's a lot of useful information here, specifically on these types of desserts. As well, the DK photography is pretty good too. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are metric table of equivalents on both the inside covers. The large print is useful, as well as a variety of icons used to show how long to freeze a dish, its prep time, and what kind of equipment is needed. Quality/Price rating: 84.
EXPLORING WINE. Completely revised third edition (John Wiley & Sons, 2010, 792 pages, ISBN 978-0-471-77063-3, $65 US hard covers) is by Steven Kolpan, Brian Smith and Michael Weiss all professors of wine at the Culinary Institute of America. It is meant as both a textbook for hospitality students, especially those at the
of the minor grapes. We do not really know which will be the next "star". Quality/Price Rating: for this price, try 90.