Gosh, what a fun poll this was. Thank you all so much for pitching in and sharing your favorite cookbooks! I am always curious to see what people use over and over.
It doesn’t come as a surprise that people mentioned the time-tested classics Better Homes and Gardens, Betty Crocker, and Mastering the Art of French Cooking the most, but it was especially interesting to hear about all the new, unfamiliar titles. Do take a moment to browse through the entries.
Now for the fun part. The random winners of Tom Hudgens’ The Commonsense Kitchen “Deep Springs” Cookbook are:
#5 Alyssa T “So tough to choose a favorite, but I really really have been enjoying a recent one:
An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler. More of a manifesto than a cookbook, really, and I just love people who can wax poetic on the simpler parts of food and cooking.”
#19 elizabeth jeanne “How to cook EVERYTHING by Mark Bittman, which we refer to as “the cookbook.”
Congratulations, winners! You will soon be receiving an email asking for your mailing address so I can ship your book to you.
Once again, many thanks to everyone who participated!
I am so excited about this giveaway, I don’t know where to begin.
This cookbook, written by our friend Tom Hudgens – a former Chez Panisse chef and Deep Springs College cook, is one of the very best in my (extensive) collection. Straightforward instructions, stellar recipes with a Southern touch, elegant prose, and comfortable layout quickly made it one of my favorites.
Not surprisingly, this book is dedicated to Tom’s time in DS – an academically elite, then-all-male college of only twenty-five students, situated on a working cattle ranch next to Death Valley. This unorthodox institution of higher learning is known for its rigorous schedule of classes and ranch work, as well student self-governance and free tuition (Tom himself once went there as a student).
A lot to take in? Let me break it down for you:
Boys read Aristotle.
Boys slaughter cows.
Boys milk cows too.
Boys maintain the grounds.
Boys run faculty and admissions committees.
Boys can easily get into Ivy League after. Many do.
Boys don’t shower all too often.
There’s only twenty-five of them total.
After nearly one hundred years as an all-male college, DS will admit girls for the first time starting 2013.
Which begs the question, will it cause the boys to become clean or the girls to become dirty?
Jacob thinks the girls will become dirty.
He went there, you see, he and his brother both.
Let’s have a peek inside the book now, shall we?
The book is printed on this nice, thick paper, and I love the artwork.
Thematically, the book is divided into the following chapters:
Breakfast: Oats, Grits, Bacon, and Eggs
Pancakes, Biscuits, and Cornbread
Bread, Butter, Crackers and Cheese
Hot Vegetables and Vegetable Soups
Salads and Dressings
Beef, Pork, and Lamb
Chicken and Turkey
Fish and Shellfish
Pasta, Dumplings, Rice, and Stuffing
Sauces and Relishes
Pies and Fruit Desserts
Cookies and Candy
It is a thick, substantial volume, just what I like in a cookbook.
And then there’s this:
My personal favorite! This is the section I’ve used the most, with Tom’s baked custard, snow ice-cream (that’s right), and blackberry ice-cream recipes becoming my personal staples.
Because it’s August and wild blackberries are in season, I’d like to share the latter with you to give you a little taste of what Tom’s recipes are like:
I love the writing, by way, which reads almost like a love story, as Tom is clearly in love with cooking and food. The wild berries I used in this recipe came from just such a hillside.
Here is my version of Tom’s recipe:
Start by placing three cups of blackberries (or other soft, juicy berries) into the bowl of a food processor.
Puree the heck out of them until they are as liquid as they could possibly be.
Place a sieve over a bowl.
Pour in the berry puree and use a spatula to push the juice and the pulp through the holes. Discard the seeds.
You will end up with this nice, thick, seedless blackberry mass.
Add sugar and a tablespoon of lemon juice to the puree to keep the color and the flavor bright (Tom’s original recipe also calls for vanilla extract, but I opted to skip it to keep the blackberry flavor straight).
Pour in the heavy cream or the mixture of cream and half-n-half.
Mix everything together, and either chill in the fridge before churning, or, if you are impatient like me, go ahead and churn right away according to your ice-cream maker’s instructions.
I like to eat this and other non-custard ice-creams freshly-churned because I love the airy, soft-serve consistency, but you can also let it freeze hard first.
Here’s the short version:
Tom’s Blackberry Ice-Cream
- 3 cups of blackberries, raspberries, or other soft berries of your choice
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, or more to taste
- 2 cups of heavy cream (= richer ice-cream), or 1 1/2 cup of heavy cream + 1/2 cup of half-n-half (cleaner flavor)
1. Blend the berries in a food processor.
2. Put the berry puree through a sieve, discarding the seeds.
3. Whisk in the sugar and the lemon juice.
4. Whisk in the cream, or the cream and half-n-half.
5. Chill and churn in your ice-cream maker, or go ahead and churn right away if you are impatient (technically, the cooler mixture should result in creamier ice-cream, but I’ve done it both ways and the difference is marginal).
Now for the fun part:
Two random winners will win a copy of The Commonsense Kitchen: 500 Recipes + Lessons for a Handcrafted Life.
Just name your favorite cookbook and you are good to go!
For a second chance to win:
Share the link to this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter, then leave another comment here stating that you did.
The contest ends at midnight CST on Sunday, August 19, 2012. The winner will be announced here the following day.
Disclaimer: This giveaway is sponsored by Chronicle Books and The Girls’ Guide to Guns and Butter. I have not received any compensation for hosting – I just love Tom and his book. All opinions are my own.