Cookbooks by the bed

I’ve been taking full advantage of the Christchurch City Library and their ever-fabulous selection of cookbooks, a pile of which are currently sitting by the bed. I’ve always been an avid reader of cookbooks – in Ireland the Boyfriend accused me of spending more time reading them than cooking from them! – but now it sometimes gets a little out of hand.

I love to dip in and out of different cultures through food, moving from the Mexican romance of Like Water for Chocolate through celebrations of seasonal produce in both New Zealand (At its Best by Margaret Brooker) and France (Amanda Hesser‘s The Cook and the Gardener) as well as finding practical new ways to use my breadmaker (Pizza, Focaccia, Filled and Flat Breads from your Bread Machine by Lora Brody).

There are times when I go looking for something which I’ve been wanting to read for a while (Tamasin’s Weekend Food by Tamasin Day-Lewis, Tessa Kiros’ Falling Cloudberries), and the library ordering service is particularly good if the book turns out to be out on loan or at another branch. Sometimes I refuse to walk down the cookbook aisles for fear that I’ll find a book that I just have to take and read – never mind the other dozen that are at home – a month just isn’t enough to get through them all!

Currently reading:
It’s Raining Plums: Seasonal Recipes by Seasoned Cooks by Xanthe Clay
Like Water for Chocolate: a Novel in Monthly Instalments, with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies by Laura Esquivel
Pizza, Focaccia, Filled and Flat Breads from your Bread Machine: Perfect Every Time by Lora Brody
Sydney Food by Bill Granger
At its Best: Cooking with Fresh Seasonal Produce by Margaret Brooker
The Cook and the Gardener: A Year of Recipes and Writing from the French Countryside by Amanda Hesser
Tamasin’s Weekend Food: Cooking to Come Home to by Tamasin Day-Lewis
Falling Cloudberries: A World of Family Recipes by Tessa Kiros
Plenty: Digressions on Food by Gay Bilson
Feast@Home by Julie Le Clerc



Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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6 Responses

  1. I totally can relate. I have piles and piles of books (all genres) by my bed, on my night stand, and in wicker crates on the floor. I also love getting cookbooks from the library. Have fun with your cookbooks! 🙂

  2. Caroline says:

    I didn’t even mention the piles of novels (also mainly from the library) and odd second-hand books that I’ve been picking up in charity shops! What do you do, Beth, if you fall in love with a library cookbook? Write down the recipes, photocopy pages, go off and buy your own copy of the book?

  3. Barbara says:

    Are you enjoying Plenty?

  4. Caroline says:

    As Plenty doesn’t have to be back for about three weeks, I haven’t had a chance to look at it properly yet, Barbara. I was watching out for it at the library after you mentioned how good it was a few weeks ago. Now I just have to get through the others a bit faster!

  5. plum says:

    Mmmmn, I can’t imagine choosing from all those books. I’ve wanted to read some Amanda Hesser for ages, but she’s not stocked much over here. Have you read Cooking for Mr Latte?And I’ve tagged you for the 23/5 meme – it’s not much work and can easily be fitted in between books! Have fun reading!

  6. Caroline says:

    I’ve read and very much enjoyed Cooking for Mr Latte – there’s actually a review of it here. The Cook and the Gardener is a very different beast. Amanda documents the year that she spent working at a French chateau and getting to know the elderly idiosyncratic gardener. There’s a lot of great recipes and some good gardening insights. It’s definitely worth a look if you come across it anywhere.

    Thanks for the tag – now to figure out what I was rambling about in fifth line of my 23rd post!

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