The Best Cookbooks On My Shelf
I look at a lot of cookbooks – for inspiration, ideas and entertainment. In my opinion many cookbooks are written more for looking at than actually seriously using in every day cookery. However there are some cookery books I love and go back to again and again. They stay on my shelf, and more importantly, frequently come down off the shelf for consultation. I thought I would share my favourite cookbooks you. I would love to know if you agree. Please do let me know your favourite cookery books.
Some of the books are recent, some much older that I have kept for some favourite recipes. It’s pretty hard choosing a Top 6 – but I feel fairly confident that this is it. Although on another day it might change – a bit like when you list your top 6 films or books – it sometimes depends on your mood!
How To Choose A Cookbook?
When choosing a cookbook, I look for clarity of layout, simple ingredients and easy to follow instructions. Good information and tips that are helpful are very useful too.
And I look a book to be down to earth – not too precious about exact ingredients and certainly not full of difficult to find ingredients. I look for recipes that are suitable for a busy family for mid week suppers, or tasty unfussy meals to share with friends, that will not break the bank.
You will have your own opinions – it may be that you too own all these books!
1. Women’s Institute: Bread
This is a fabulous book with basic bread recipes for wholemeal and white, Tea Cakes and Muffins through to tea breads, pastries and fancy cakes for special occasions. It has a comprehensive section on bread making and covers what and gluten free. There are so many breads in here that you would never get bored of yeast cookery.
Really well laid out and easy to understand, if you were only to have on bread book – this would be it.
2. Complete Illustrated Cookery Course ( Classic Edition )
Everyone’s favourite cookbook! It’s the one that everyone refers to and if you were only to have one cookery book in your possession, this would have to be most people’s choice. Full of information, tips and really easy to follow recipes, I come back to it again and again.
Suitable for the complete beginner as well as the experienced cook it teaches methods of cooking – but is unfussy and always opt for the easiest, most efficient way!
3. The Cranks Recipe Book
This one must be everyone’s favourite vegetarian book – judging by the reviews on Amazon. Many people have bought it as their first vegetarina book and have continued to love the recipes, vegetarian or not! Much more than just nut roast and brown rice, this book has some delicious, simple and innovative recipes. From the more famous homity pies, simple quiches and delicious desserts this is a book vegetarians are rarely seen without!
4. Mary Berry’s Complete Cookbook
You can rely on Mary Berry for a straight forward cookery book that covers everything from traditional recipes and everyday cooking to fancy desserts and dinner parties. With step by step instructions, great advice and plenty of illustrations, you can’ really go wrong. Each recipe tells you how long it will take to make and its calorie count per portion. Even if you are an experienced cook who doesn’t need the tips and help, you may enjoy reading them – to confirm your methods or to learn a few new tricks.
Well laid out and unfussy, this is another book that could stand up as your own only cookery book.
5. Riverford Farm Cook Book: Tales from the Fields, Recipes from the Kitchen
If you love buying fresh, local organic vegetables – or may be you buy a vegetable box – then this is the book for you. Look up a vegetable, find out when it is in season and some wonderful recipes to get the best from it. Discover the ethos of organic farming in general and of Riverford Farm in particular. With tips on storage too, it will tell you which vegetables you should eat the freshest and which you can store and for how long.
The recipes also encourage you to experiment and introduce your own ideas – just what I think cooking is all about! It’s not all vegetarian – there are plenty of meat recipes too.
6. River Cottage Much More Veg: 175 delicious plant-based vegan recipes
A fabulous and imaginative collection of vegetarian recipes – plant-based meals only – no cheese or eggs. Lot of suggestions for substitutions and fairly unfussy too. My current book for new inspiration!