Favorite Cookbooks: Emi Guner Recipe
Some of you might know Emi Guner from her Letters to Marc Jacobs website, or Letters from the End Consumer - Emi shares her favorite cookbooks with us today.
Emi Guner is my Swedish internet friend. We've never met in person, but we have friends in common, common interests, and I've been a fan of her writing and websites for years. I started reading Letters to Marc Jacobs early on, moved on to Letters from the End Consumer, and now I even Run with E on occasion (when my Nike+ sensor isn't broken). Emi is smart and funny, and in the photos on her site she often has adorable, small children crawling all over her. Her photos make me smile and I particularly love the ones featuring her son clothed in head-to-toe Spiderman.
When I asked Emi to share a bit about herself she said,"I write for money. I write in Swedish or English, I've written about everything and nothing. I used to write letters to Marc Jacobs. I wrote 400 of them before it finally got to me that perhaps he wasn't reading. I love writing, reading and eating, kids, fall, red wine, Scrabble and mummies."
EMI'S COOKING STYLE (in her own words):
I don't really know how it happened, but I've almost quit cooking altogether. Instead I've turned into a female version of a 50's man who comes home and asks "what's for dinner, honey?" Luckily for me, my man cooks great meals. He's a dedicated runner and needs to eat well so I get to savor lots of vegetables, fish, seeds and an incredible variety of bulgur, quinoa and whole grain rice. I cook for the kids, but it's not very passionate. I've lost interest in cooking, but not in eating. I often have a bowl of yogurt while I read about fantastic food and amazing meals. It sounds sad, but it's 100% pleasure. I may be a lousy cook, but I'm a voracious reader. I have a big collection of loved cookbooks that I keep in a special cabinet in the kitchen. I'm a happy eater and will gratefully eat whatever you serve me. Once, a potential mother-in-law served me kidney and very little else. It was the first time I ate at her house, and it felt like a test. I think I passed, because I ate it all and held conversation going. Unfortunately her son didn't pass my own test, but that's a different story.
FAVORITE COOKBOOKS (the ones Emi turns to most often for inspiration):
I use cookbooks to dream, not really to cook, but if you want to dream with me I can recommend Susur-A culinary life by Susur Lee because the level of his cooking is so advanced it's like art.
I also often look to my grandma's vintage Betty Crocker to travel back in time - I'm so happy I'm not the one who has to stand there in her apron serving up casseroles to a man whose profession and pay I'm jealous of. Likewise, I turn to The Fine Arts Cookbook II cause I love the introductions to the dishes. Blizzard Soup "First made during blizzard of '78; make it when you have pork shoulder and put away for the next snowstorm." Thank you Mrs. Marsden P. Earle of the Ladies Committee, the next time I have pork shoulder, I will! And because it offers so much more than just recipes, I love reading Claudia Roden's The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York. It has history, anecdotes, food and a few great jokes thrown it. I also like The Farmhouse Cookbook because the author seems so pleasant and her travels across the states to find great produce gives you the nice opportunity to read about a kind of farming that you wouldn't think existed anymore.
Other times, I buy and judge books by their covers. That's the reason I bought Breakfast, Lunch, Tea: The Many Little Meals of Rose Bakery by Rose Carrarini. It's the fastest and easiest trip to Paris I've heard of. Prettiness is also the reason I bought the tempting Made in Italy, a purchase I've never regretted. It stands next to Silver Spoon which I hear is THE book if you're about to cook yourself a great Italian meal, which I hope someone I know will do for me soon!
I sometimes buy books on food just because of their titles. I mean, who can resist a book called Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant - Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone?
And since I'm more interested in the enjoyment of food (and the kind of social interactions that go so well with food), I love books on food that go beyond mere preparation. If you're like me in that aspect, dive into The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook, any of Ruth Reichl's foodie memoirs, or Alan Richman's book Fork It Over: The Intrepid Adventures of a Professional Eater.
- Like to jog? Click here if you also want to Run with E. It's a lot of fun, Emi sets up challenges, does interviews - people from all over the world run with Emi.
- Emi's site: Letters from the End Consumer
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I find that as I progress in age, my cooking styles have changed. When I was younger, I would make all these complicated and yummy tasting dishes. Then when I worked, I bought a slow cooker and made different yummy tasting food. Then when I became disabled, my cooking became a lot simpler. If it had more than 3 or 4 ingredients, I didn't make it. Now, while I can stand and cook for a period of time, I have kept my simplier cooking style and that's a good thing for me.
Christina! Doris says hi!
im in africa. ingredients used are quite expensive. gut il get there one day. thanks.
Please tell Emi I miss the Parker Quintuplets. One of them was a Food Dork, iirc.
I have a huge collection of cookbooks that I don't use much anymore, but it isn't that I don't like to cook (unlike the person profiled in this thread). I simple LOVE to cook, but I seldom need guidance for what I do on the majority, just because I know what I do frequently well -- but, if I need help, I just turn to my collection and it's usually already there (I love the old Betty Crocker too). 101 Cookbooks is a great resource for me, and otherwise, I just enter the name of what I need in Google and, tuh duh!, I've usually got more than I can possibly use (both bad and good). Happily, 101 Cookbooks is ALWAYS good!
Emi's blog is sooo delightful. Thank you for shining a light on it for those of us who didn't know.
What a wonderful, eclectic, unusually delicious group of cookbooks. I have already taken the Claudia Roden out of my library and checked Amazon for all the other titles. What a Christmas list I'll have this year. Thank you.
Hello, I'm a french reader, and we have a collection of little cookbooks published by Raphaele Vidaling that would please your friend ! They have title that I could translate as "taste this and marry me" or "The cooking of elves and hobbits ", and so on...
I thought I was okay until I fed my dog curry. He was my foodie buddy for a bit... but that didn't go well will him so "Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant - [. . .]" will have to serve as a guide to accepting my new fate.
I love reading the "Tables for Two" bit in the New Yorker while eating something blah...it makes me dream just like what reading cookbooks does to you.
Looking Forward to reading your book I just got it as a gift !!! thank you what a great cookbook :) Have a great weekend ~
Heidi, I have just this week received your cook book and look forward to making that my favourite. Thanks for all the good cooking - and eating.
I love this line! "Unfortunately her son didn't pass my own test, but that's a different story."
I loved that Emi included one of Susan Hermann Loomis' cookbooks in her list! I was fortunate enough to attend Susan's cooking school in Normandy, called On Rue Tatin and the subject of the book by that name. You can see pics and food from that trip on my travel journal blog: http://traveljournalbymichele.blogspot.com/search/label/On%20Rue%20Tatin
I always get great inspirations from old cookbooks too -- I have a second edition Boston School of Cooking book (aka Fanny Farmer!) and this excellent one by an author I can't even remember... but it's the kind that also has "Household Tips: How to Hire Help". But it's amazingly helpful for when my drains were rotting, or the lace is dingy... :-P Definately have to look up some of these fun books! Tegan
Great post. I'm loving Michel Roux's book Pastry right now...
i also loved Breakfast, Lunch, Tea. and totally agree that cookbooks are more for dreaming, fantasy,then actually following instructions.
Wow, that sounds a lot like my wife's cooking "style." Just like Ema's husband, I'm a runner and do almost all of the cooking. And my wife finds lots of recipes for me to make. It's fun to see people still inspired by the classic cookbooks. I really want to read Alone In the Kitchen with an Eggplant!
I love instructional books,(like cookbooks), even if I am not actively engaged in the activity. Over the years I have collected many beautiful volumes. Some of my books are very useful, especially the reference books for cooking, home maintenance, and of course the encyclopedias for my work, (gardening). My favorite books though are the inspirational table-top types... with gorgeous photographs. When a book's pictures are beautiful, I am drawn in and then back out. A good cookbook sends me on a voyage: into the cupboard, the kitchen garden, the 'fridge. All good instructional books do that. I want to create, stretch, and do. A good website does the same! I look forward to visiting Emi's site. And I always enjoy this one. Thanks to both of you... Michaela
"Breakfast, Lunch, Tea" is my favorite cookbooks too!!!
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