Monday, August 22, 2011

Reader Challenge!

As a lot of you are aware I have more than a few cookbooks (for those of you that are new to my blog you might want to take a look here). As I have mentioned before I love cookbooks, I love my cookbooks and I love my little library. But the truth is I use my books more as a source of education and inspiration rather than actually following recipes.

It had always been my intention to review books on this blog but since I am always making up my own recipes it's hard to deviate and cook from the books! Of course you can review books without making the recipes but I don't think that gives a really honest account of the book. It's one thing to have a book full of beautiful recipes and fantastic photography but unless the recipes actually work and are successful what's the point?!

So recently as I was looking at my collection and deciding which books to read next I decided to come up with this reader challenge. There are 3 main reasons for it....The first and foremost is for me to actually use my books, try them out and not just read them like they are novels! Secondly, my sister who has been living close by for the past year is going back home to Scotland in September so I will be fairly miserable and need thing to keep me occupied!! And last but by no means least, it is a fun way to get me to finally write reviews of some of the books I have but more so reviews of books you want reviewed, not just what I pick!

So this is the reader challenge......take a look at my collection of books and everyone that wants to participate can pick ANY one book from my collection that you want me to cook from! That's right – ANY book you want! It can be a book you are interested in buying but would like to read a review of first; one of your favourite books that you love to cook from or just a completely random choice! Simply post a comment at the bottom of this post with the name of the book you have chosen (and if you want to give a reason why you chose it please do so but this is by no means necessary). The deadline for suggestions is August 29th 2011, upon which I will use a random number generator (to keep things fair) and it will pick the book from all of the suggestions!

Once I have the chosen book removed from the book shelves and on my kitchen counter I will cook 3 recipes from it....The first will be something that I just really like the look of that I think is one of the top recipes in the book. The second recipe will be something that looks a little more advanced and not generally something I would ordinarily make, and the third recipe will be something that I have never tried or eaten before (subject to being able to get the ingredients)! Sound good? I think so and I hope that you agree, and if I get enough interest in this reader challenge then it will become a monthly challenge!

So there you go – my first reader challenge! Now since it is my first month of doing this please be kind and don't all pick books such as The French Laundry or the The Big Fat Duck – ease me in gently!!


  1. It was very hard to choose but i've gone for Lotte's Country Kitchen – Lotte Duncan

  2. Great choice! We're off to a good start! Thanks hness : )

  3. The Richard Corrigan Cookbook. My God!! You have a whole library of cookbooks at your home!!!

  4. Okay, having some Scottish in my heritage, the Scottish cook books caught my eye but then I saw this one I Love Bacon – Jayne Rockmill....mmmmmm bacon!!

  5. All fantastic suggestions!!

    Purabi Naha - I know! It literally is a library! : )

    Lo-Mo...yep Bacon always seems to win doesn't it?!?

  6. You have an amazing collection! It was hard to choose, but then I saw the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory cookbook and I had to go with that one!

  7. Holy Smokes! It was tough looking through them all to make a decision, but my vote goes to Grand Livre de Cuisine: Alain Ducasse's Desserts & Pastries

  8. Seen as Heston Blumenthal is off limits I'll go with
    The Clatter of Forks and Spoons – Richard Corrigan.... Believe it or not I went to Cooking School in Dublin with Richard a long time ago.

    Reading through your list something struck me that I had never thought about before. Your collection is very British and quite different from what you would probably see in an American collection. I grew up on Delia an Jane Grigson but doubt if people here in the US would be familiar with them. One of my favorite cookbook authors is Elisabeth David

  9. I'm choosing "Leaves from the Walnut Tree". I love that book - it makes me feel nostalgic as well as having great recipes.

  10. oh Lynds, choose 1? There's 3 I really want to suggest... but, if I have to just do 1... Vegetarian Supercook by Rose Elliot ;-)

  11. I have to say, I'm loving all of your chosen books so far! I had a sneaky suspicion someone would pick Alain Ducasse! Rachel as of now you win for the most intimidating and challenging book choice! That being said I love it!

    Mike - you got it in one! It really is a UK cookbook library! Although I now live in Canada I only moved here 6 years ago and the lady I inherited most of the books from lived in Scotland as well. I am hoping in time to have more North American authors but for now I'm always drawn to the ones I know and love from home! Elizabeth David is definitely a favourite of mine and i love all of her books! How interesting that you went to cooking school with Richard Corrigan! Great choice!

    Keep the suggestions coming! : )

  12. Oh my giddy aunt!!! So many books.
    Okay I am choosing Cookbook by Martin Wishart as I haven't seen any of his recipes before or been to his restaurant but I will be spending a day at his cookschool later this year.

  13. ...and I thought I had a lot. So glad I am not alone! Difficult to choose but in the end I went for one on my shelf - and because of my love for all things French:

    The French Kitchen – Joanne Harris & Fran Warde

    Hopefully not too much of a challenge for your first month... I have the French Market companion book too - some lovely things in both of them.

    Happy cooking, whatever you choose. I shall be watching with interest!

    'Meanderings through my Cookbook'

  14. So excited for this!! I choose Barefoot Contessa at Home!!!

    Chels :-)

  15. 3 more great choices! Thank you all : )

  16. Eating for England. Nigel Slater.

    Well, it's nearly rugby world cup time and you know what that does to my patriotic self!

    Cannot believe you have that many books! What if we pick one that's in a storage box, do you have to hunt it out?!

  17. I think I picked a book that doesn't really have recipes?! If I did, then chnage of mind, to How to be a Domestic Goddess, Nigella -in honour of you - because you already know how ;)!

  18. Haha thanks Abby! Both great choices, but yes Eating for England doesn't have recipes in it so Nigella it is!

    If you can believe it, that list of books doesn't include the ones still in storage! Yep - those are just the ones I have out in the house....there are about another 500 still in storage!! x

  19. What a brilliant idea - I'm just like you, love to have my books for inspiration but rarely cook from them. I can't resist suggesting Diva Cooking – Victoria Blashford-Snell & Jennifer Joyce.

    If you'd like to challenge me back my book collection I'd be thrilled (its not as extensive as yours sadly: hubby has had me on a strict no-buying, no-asking-for-as-pressies rule for 5 years now whilst we live in a minute flat):

  20. Lynds,
    What a great idea! I'm impressed at your collection. You must have super storage facilities. Should I go Scottish? Mmmmm tempted but I'd like to see a recipe from Thomas Keller so Bouchon it is!

  21. I choose La Potiniere by David & Hilary Brown. It's one of my favourites!

    Judith x

  22. More great choices!!

    Souperior - I would love to challenge you back! Im off to have a look at your collection now : )

    Jacqueline - not great, just a spare room full of sagging shelves that are crammed full and a crawl space full of unopened boxes! Breaks my heart that I have so many books still in storage! Another challenging choice - Fantastic : )

  23. A book has been chosen! Check out my post 'Reader Challenge Choice' to see which book was randomly picked. Thanks to all of you that chose a book, they were all fantastic choices! : )


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