I love cookbooks! Here is my current stack of favorites:
I could spend all day in the cookbook section of any used bookstore - so fun!
I started reading cookbooks in high school when I was babysitting. After the kids were safely tucked into bed, I would hurry down to the kitchen and start perusing the family's cookbook collection.
I still own - and frequently use - my first 4 cookbooks. When I was fifteen I spent a summer as an exchange student with a Belgian family, just outside of Liege. I then returned home to my tiny town in northern New York where, needless to say, you could not find crepes, croissants or gaufres. So the next Christmas, my mother gifted me my first cookbook: Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
In between high school and college, I spent a year in Istanbul as a nanny. I returned to the US with 2 Turkish cookbooks.
And before I headed off to college, I got myself a two book set of The Joy of Cooking.
It's telling to see which pages of these cookbooks they fall open to and which pages have taken the most abuse.
NOTE: I am a messy cook! I love my cookbooks but I don't spare them the excitement provided by the act of whipping cream or mixing up a batch of brownies.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking:
French Onion Soup
(I NEVER cut corners with this recipe. Julia tells us this will take about 2 1/2 hours to make and I give it the full 2 1/2 hours.)
The Joy of Cooking
Never Fail Hollandaise Sauce
I have been told that this is a tricky sauce to make but this recipe has never failed me - and eventually I memorized the very basic recipe.
Kabak Dolmasi (Stuffed Zucchinni)