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.

Have a question about Cookbooks?

Q. Sara is it possible that some compassionate writer has published a book of leftovers? I have just about run out of 'chicken' ideas. - Sheila

A. Hello Sheila, Lucky you—there are at least 2 books of nothing but leftover recipes—the Leftover Cookbook by Kaufman and 500 Delicious Dishes From Leftovers by Northcross. But if most of your leftovers are chicken, try putting in chicken recipes in the keyword area of AbeBooks’ search screen. Just in my books, there are half a dozen with nothing but chicken recipes and most of them don’t call for a whole chicken, so leftovers should do.

Q. Sara, I am a novice cook and would like to have a basic cook book with ingrediates that can be found on any grocery store shelf. Don't want a book that calls for Bulgarian pepper or Russian garlic....your recommendation would be appreciated - Jim

A. There are a lot of good modern basic cookbooks, but my favorite for newbies is the Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook by Coulson . It has easy reciepes, with familiar ingredients and pictures of what to do. It is easiest to find if you search by ISBN (0878510370)--AbeBooks has lots of copies.

Q. What a great column - I look forward to more in the future. My favourite cookbook? Not one - but a set called the Women's Day Encyclopedia of Cooking. I have owned this set since the 1960's when I bought them at the grocery store for $0.79 each - a new one each week. And boy are they stained, dog-eared and so on. And having a genealogist for a husband, I was pleased to pass on the tip about finding family histories in the favourite cookbook. And I am going to start the history in mine. Thanks again! - Franci

A. Hello Franci, It's funny that you should mention Women's Day Encyclopedia of Cooking, actually called Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery. Two of my friends also cited this as their all time favorite cooking resource. It comes in 2 editions, the 1966-12 volume set and the 1974-23 volume set. It was a grocery store item and lots of brides in the 60's and 70's used it. AbeBooks has several of each set listed--no ISBN and be careful of the spelling of Woman's.As for Genealogy, get ready for Father's day with some of these genealogy titles: Marion County Oregon Cemetery Records, Vol IScottish Family History or Genealogical Atlas of the United States. AbeBooks has hundreds more.  You can find these most easily by looking in the Genealogy catalog. Cooking and family--they just go together.

Q. Do you have any information on The Southern Cookbook of Fine Old Recipes by Lillie S. Lustig, S.Claire Sondheim and Sarah Rensel? - Frances

A. Hello Frances, Yes It was published in the 1960s by Culinary Arts Press. AbeBooks has several copies listed. The trick is to put in just the whole name of the author because books are often not named exactly what we think they are. That’s how I found your book. If that hadn’t worked, I’d have used just Southern Cookbook.

Q. Have you come across any Chiu Chow/Hakka cookbooks in English? Or cookbooks in English with large sections featuring or exclusively devoted to Chinese desserts? - Chinese cookbook enthusiast

A. Hello CCE, How about China Moon Cookbook by Tropp (isbn 0894807544). It lists itself as desserts and breads. Or Chinese Dessert, Dim Sum and Snack cookbook by Chang (isbn 0806962720). Or there is Lucille Liang’s book: Chinese Regional Cooking. She has 7 pages of Chinese desserts, including Almond float and Sweet filled Wontons. Chiu Chow and Hakka produce no results on AbeBooks—any of you fellow Chinese cookbook lovers have a suggestion?

Q. I am looking for the following cookbook. I think that this one was probably published in the last ten years. It was written around the idea that cooking and baking involve chemical reactions. There was a lot of advertising at the time and may be even TV appearences by the author. - BT

A. Hello BT, The only thing I can find that fits the time frame and subject is Kitchen Lab by Michael Ross (isbn 0876146256), published in 2002. It has a big blender on the front. I’m not sure it has the hard science in it, because I don’t have a copy. I tried Chemisty and Cooking but that’s a 1975 textbook.


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