I fall in love with cookbooks so easily. They are so pretty, in so many different ways. The pictures are always nice, of course, but there are also other elements. The typing, how many recipes there are, how everything is laid out - they all add up to something special that says - "Yes, you have so many cookbooks that you'll never get through all of them in this lifetime - but look, I'm so special, you must take me home!". And I have no shame in admitting, I listen.
And then I take them home. They are still exceedingly pretty; I love to read them in bed at night (especially ones that tell stories about the recipes - how fun are they!). But when it comes to actually cooking from them...well, I'm actually pretty good about trying new things, so I think I will use at least one recipe from all of them. I hope.
I never had a true favorite cookbook. But now, I find myself going back to one over and over. And it surprises me to say which one it is - The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. This is a cookbook I first found out about several years ago. I first heard of it when my sister gave it to my brother for Christmas. I kept seeing it when I went cookbook shopping, but for some reason, I resisted buying it. Misplaced sibling issues? Goodness only knows. I only gave in and bought it after I had the recipe for marinated potato salad from it at a barbecue at my brother's. It's definitely a fun cookbook to page through - the illustrations around the pages are cute, and the pictures are definitely appetizing. It has good descriptive sections, such as on ingredients, as well as non-recipe recipes, for simple things like stuffed cucumbers. So, it fit my criteria of a good cookbook.
What brings it up to great is that I have found recipes in there that I fell in love with. My number one favorite recipe in the world is from there - Chilled Cherry-Plum Soup. I've made it three times in the past two months, and believe me, for me, that is amazing! And yes, I have not posted about it before (shame on me), but I will - probably on Tuesday, in time for ARF/5-A-Day Tuesday. This recipe has simple ingredients, but when they come together, it's like heaven.
Another recipe that I go back to is Cream of Tomato Soup. The cookbook gives three variations of Cream of Tomato soup; I don't know how the other two are, I never got to trying them because I love this variation so much! It's a funny recipe; I always feel like I am screwing up, but then it turns out so perfectly.
So, two recipes - and this makes a great cookbook? Well, yes, because of how truly great I consider these recipes. These are recipes that I can see myself happily making for the rest of my life. And that's something, in my mind.