Do home cooks still make use of their favorite cookbooks? We wondered which titles continue to rotate from shelf to counter top despite the ease of digital access, and why some cookbooks stand the test of time while others get recycled to Savers? We posed the question, “What’s your favorite cookbook, and why?” to our edible community and share some responses here for you to compare to your own preferences, and as a resource for potential new favorites.

Beloved cookbooks fall into categories ranging from a historical perspective to food culture. From simple comfort food recipes with sentimental value to skill-building tomes concentrating on culinary technique. Today’s blog focuses on cookbooks inspired by Mom.

Sentimental Family Connections

Good Housekeeping Illustrated CookbookGood Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook
by Zoe Coulson
My mother gave me this book many years ago. All the fundamental techniques are illustrated, from folding in egg whites to kneading bread and rolling pie dough to cuts of meat and poultry, etc. Sometimes I can just pick it up, browse through it and become inspired. Thanks Mom!
Shared by Maureen Rossi, eSS&SC reader from Fall River.

Easy Basics for Good Cooking
by Sunset Books
Hailing from a family with five kids, 106694_edibSout_Winter_2017_i016dinnertime was always a challenge. My mother gave up cooking for a short time and forced each of us to prepare a meal for the family. After much pissing and moaning, we each had our evening to cook. I chose Fettuccine Verde from this cookbook. It was my first attempt to cook for others, and I was so proud when it came out well. That cookbook has been a beloved part of my collection ever since.
Shared by Laurie Hepworth, eSS&SC publisher.

Readers’ Digest Secrets of Better Cooking
various authors
I always find myself going to the one my mom gave me–Readers’ Digest Secrets of Better Cooking. I love the tables of cooking times for just about anything, and there are a few super recipes in there we LOVE and go back to over and over again.
Shared by Lorrie Gampp Dahlen, Market Manager, Marshfield Farmers’ Market

Click over to edible South Shore & South Coast for the complete article and many more favorites.

Ultimately, we gleaned that most home cooks are very attached to a favorite cookbook or two; even with troves of online recipes, the comfort of a well-worn page is hard to replace with a screen. Like an old friend, some cookbooks will nurture, inspire, and entertain as no monitor ever can. Dusty but treasured, some cookbooks remain steadfast on the bookshelf because they teach, encourage, and simply keep the cook company–no power cord required.

Bon appétit!

By: Barbara Anglin has an entire bookcase of cookbooks and yet still regularly opens to a 1992 tattered copy of a Bon Appétit magazine special Too Busy to Cook. YES!


About eSS&SC

The South Shore and South Coast has been home to hunting, gathering, fishing, farming––and great eating––for over 10,000 years. We are committed to identifying, devouring, and sharing all that Southeastern Massachusetts has to offer today and preserving local options for future generations.
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  1. kunstkitchen says:

    Women’s Cookbooks that were made to raise money for their league, church, business association and regional food themes are my favorite gems to find new and old favorite recipes.

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