Don't be surprised if my blog takes an English accent today. This will be a mere execption because although - as a result of more than 15 years of using English at work - I am not doing quite too bad speaking and writing it, but I feel far more inclined to write this blog in my mother tongue. Before becoming myself a blogger, I had been blog-reader for a long time. I started reading culinary blogs in late 2003, and have to admit that by then my absolute favourites were English language blogs, Clothilde and Louisa being my top two.
When I kicked off my own blog in november last year, my blog-roll included almost 90 % French language blogs. This has not changed much by now, but I've since come to make one wonderful addition, only quite recently discovered : Yvonne's lovely Cream Puffs in Venice. One of the amazing things on her blog, other than all the delicious recipes she prepares and the not less gorgeous photographs she publishes to make us mouth-water, is her incredible cook-book collection. She is quite discrete on the actual number of cook-books she possesses, but almost shamefully admits that she has "more than 100 and less than 1000 ..." I was thus not estonished to see her responding to a Cook-Book Meme last week, but pleasantly surprised finding myself tagged to respond to it. Which of course, I will do graciously, in English, as a matter of courtesy to the one who passed the Meme over to me.
So here we go :
How many cook-books do you own ?
Well I must say I'm glad this is not a competition because I am far from owning as much as Yvonne. I have about 25 cook-books, which I all use more or less often. My tiny little collection includes regional cook-books, cook-books from famous chefs, special gifts from loved ones and my own "grimoire" (you will hear more of it later).
Which is the cook-book you bought most recently ?
I have not bought cook-books since we live in Germany, which means 4 years. Two exceptions : I ordered Pierre Hermé's gem, "Mes desserts au chocolat" and recently bought an Indian cookbook as I am eager to explore the delicious indian gastronomy.
Which cookbook did you read most recently ?
It's a book called "La cuisine du Comté de Nice", written by former mayor of the city of Nice, Jacques Medecin. There's everything in it from chickpea & sauge soupe over panisse, the delicious chickpea flour and olive oil bread, the conca où balico, a fine basil terrine, and seafood recipes full of golden sunshine. I needed this read very badly, as it lead me instantly to a virtual trip down to the Riviera, while tons of snow kept falling here.
Name 5 cookbooks that mean a lot to you
The first (and foremost) is called "Le livre de la Bonne Cuisine" by Marianne Constant. I bought this book, which has been my gastronomy "bible" for many years, as a young wed woman in a small book store in Paris. It teaches you everything about French cooking, fresh products, where to find and when to buy them best, more than 500 great French classic and inventive recipes, a short introduction into matching whine and food ...
Then there is a book particularly dear to me, about the cooking in the Black Forest area where my mother comes from. This lovely region in the south ouest of Germany sits just opposite the River Rhine from Alsace and this vicinity has transcended to gastronomy as well. The book called "Kulinarische Streifzüge durch Baden", which can be translated as "A culinary trip to Baden" is a gift from my mother. It contains all the childhood dishes so expertly prepared by my mother and my grand-mother.
Another book dear to my heart is "Cuisine de Méditerranée" by Rena Salaman. This book represents the other part of my roots (Provence) and the rest of the Mediterranean I am so very fond of. It is certainly not just a random fact that my husband is Italian. And then there is of course Pierre Hermé. I do not own his famous "PH10" yet (it's only a question of weeks now really) but am the proud owner of "Mes desserts au chocolat". I have tried 3 recipes of his book yet, and all have been a huge successes.
Finally there is what I call my "grimoire", my spellbook. It's an orange little thing, half book half foulder, by Sophie Dudemaine. No recipes in it but my own. In fact it's an "empty book", conveniently compartimented to write in and add all your favourite recipes. Each time I have successfully tried and loved a wonderful recipe, I write it into my grimoire.
My daughter has already claimed the right to inherit the "grimoire", once she will have her own household and I admit I like the idea ...
So far about my cookbooks, needless to say that there are a few more that I will add to the existing clowd, once we will have moved back to France.
Thanks again to dear Yvonne for passing over the Meme.
As for my part, I simply invite everyone who feels like it to do this cookbook meme.