Our cookbook expert Sara Croft has been busy in the kitchen cooking up the answers to your cookbook related questions. Read more about Sara Croft here.

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Q. I want to buy a book with the very basic techniques on how to boil meat and how to see if it is ready...etc. - Grigoris

A. Several standard cookbooks have editions for beginners. Try Better Homes & Gardens Complete Step By Step Cookbook for lessons with pictures. Good Housekeeping's Illustrated Cookbook is very similar. All the verbs are explained and there are pictures of the final product.

Q. I passed on a hard covered bookbook with a blue cover that had simple cooking on the cover. It had really unusual receipes, but don't know the name. Any ideas?

A. Well, how about Simple American Cooking by Beilenson. The cover is bluish, and the book is decorated with pictures of qulits. It has recipes from simpler times and cultures, such as the Amish.

Q. I am looking for a first edition Fanny Farmer Cookbook - HELP! - Jan

A. Well Jan, the first edition was in 1896. There are a few early reprints and a few reproductions listed on AbeBooks. But if you truly want a first edition, your best bet is to put a Want on the list, so when one comes up AbeBooks will notify you.

Q. My family has been looking everywhere for a recipe that cousin Sue remembers when she was little (now 63, East TN resident, daughter of German/English/Scotch/Irish). It was called Cherry Pig and seems to be cherries and pudding covered by a sauce baked in the oven. At some point hot water was poured over it. - Chandler

A. What you are talking about with the hot water sounds like a pudding cake recipe. I've seen chocolate and butterscotch, but never Cherry. Perhaps our readers will have a memory.

Q. I am looking for a cookbook from the College Point area of Queens NY. My friend who is a gourmet is turning 95 this summer and I would dearly love to get her a copy of a book from the era of her childhood there. Do you have any suggestions? - Marsha

A. I think we need to ask our audience if they know of a community or fundraising cookbook from the area from about 1910-20. Anybody in NY help us out?

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