I like cooking. Not just grilling and baking bread but cooking meals. I like the whole process – picking vegetables, shopping for ingredients, chopping, dicing, blending, simmering and serving. I like it all! It makes me feel closer to my family and friends who are the ones that I am usually making the meals for and it helps me appreciate the dishes I am creating. What I can’t do is walk into a kitchen and just throw some ingredients together and end up with something that is edible. I am not built that way. I need directions. I admit it!!!! I am a man and I need directions.
Ironically, this weekend my wife asked me if I had to choose one cookbook to keep – my favorite – which one would it be. Let me explain. She is full speed into “autumn cleaning” mode and is obviously looking at trimming down our cookbook collection. I told her that I needed to think about it. I really did. These days cookbooks are thematic – slow cooker recipes, dessert cookbooks, grilling etc…. – unlike they were in my grandmother’s day when all you needed was
One Cookbook To Rule Them All.
Gotta love those “Lord of the Rings” references.
My wife still has her grandmother’s Betty Crocker Cookbook but I personally don’t use it much. Sorry honey, I couldn’t narrow it down to one so here is my list of go-to cookbooks for guys – everyone really.
- Joy of Cooking
Irma S. Rombauer
This book was first published in 1936 but I have the most recent edition from 2006. There are recipes for everything in this book. It’s my favorite reference guide for cooking.
- The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, 3rd edition
This is my second favorite go-to cookbook. If I can’t find it in the book, I visit the America’s Test Kitchen website or the magazine Cook’s Country . These people know everything. I even look up their product and equipment reviews before we purchase. I know, I am in danger of sounding like a foodie but I love these guys.
- The Moosewood Cookbook
My wife purchased this cookbook back in college. It has survived multiple moves, a kitchen flood and tiny sticky fingers thumbing through it looking at the hand drawn illustrations. We have taped this thing back together more times than you can guess but it still remains one of the best cookbooks we have ever owned. This is where my wife’s favorite apple strudel recipe lives and the directions for my daughter’s orange birthday cake.
- Mastering the Art of French Cooking (2 Volume Set)
Okay, okay so this doesn’t exactly sound like a dude’s cookbook but it is. There are some great basic recipes here and some that sound like they will be complicated but end up being really doable with Julia’s easy to understand directions. She includes easy-to-find substitutes for some of the ingredients making it simple to find everything you need.