Saturday, January 22, 2011

Weekend Cooking : E-reading Cookbooks

 Beth Fish Reads sponsors this weekly meme where we foodies can chat about cookbooks, cooking gadgets, recipes, or anything else gustatory. Be sure to stop over there to find other terrific weekend cooking posts.

This week I've been reviewing some cookbooks on my e-reader.  It's not the best format for a cookbook, but it is convenient. On my computer, using Adobe Digital editions, I get clear pages, beautiful photographs, and the ability to bookmark favorites, but I sure don't want my laptop on the counter with all that flour being sprinkled around while I'm making bread.  On my Nook I only get black and white pictures, but I get the convenience of propping the recipe up, and having it at my finger tips, but again, who wants sticky floury finger prints all over my new Nook?

The e-format is a great way to get a chance to look at these cookbooks without having a stack of cookbooks I'll probably only use for one or two recipes each.  The best one I've seen of the batch is one scheduled for publication in March.

Title: Simply Great Breads , Sweet and Savory Yeasted Treats from America's Premier Artisan Baker
Author: Daniel Leader, Lauren Chattman
Publisher/Format: The Taunton Press 03/08/2011, 160 pages, e-galley
Source: Net Galley

This one concentrates on small batches, small loaves, and breads you'll want to bake at home for a family.  I was especially impressed with the "Luxury" English muffin recipe.  I never realized that they're supposed to be 3-4" thick!  I have some jam just screaming to be oozed onto one of those.  I'm definitely going to think about taking the time soon to make a batch of these!  Other recipes I want to try are the Ham and Cheese Crescent rolls, and the Stone Fruit Beignets!  In fact, I think we're having the Beignets tomorrow -we have some beautiful pears that will make gorgeous treats to go with some nice fennel Italian sausage we'd planned to have.  There is a very nicely done table of equivalencies, simple to follow and clear instructions.  Ingredients are shown in US and metric weights as well as measurements, and there are plenty of gorgeous full page, color illustrations just begging to jump off the page. The author does not talk down to the reader, but still manages to impart an array of info that definitely would make this one I'd want to add to my permanent collection.

Bottom line on e-readers for cookbooks - I think probably not.  I'm still going to want to have that big book propped up with COLOR pictures and I want not to have to worry if I drip some melted butter, or splash coffee, or just have sticky fingerprints on the page - to me they're the mark of a good cookbook, forming a road-map for future generations to find out which one was lovingly followed over and over.

With the frigid temperatures we're predicted to have this weekend, the fragrance of good yeast bread rising on the hearth is going to be quite welcome.


  1. I don't like the idea of working off an eReader for cooking. Even a color one. Too paranoid about spilling stuff and touching buttons with sticky fingers.

    But the book sounds wonderful. I bake bread a couple of times a week.

  2. This cookbook happens to be on my wishlist! So yay, for you reviewing it :) I've often considered buying cookbooks in e-book format, but it's like you say, not so convenient to have an e-reader/ipad/laptop around in the kitchen, just waiting to get splattered :/

  3. There's absolutely nothing as wonderful as the smell of bread baking. Cook books with lots of color illustrations are just the best. Have a wonderful week, stay warm and enjoy that fresh bread.

  4. I've never even considered using an e-reader for cookbooks! Hmmm...

  5. I actually keep all my recipes on my laptop and have it up and running while I cook. No incidents.
    ok, I do keep it on the island, which is a bit safer maybe..
    Now if I had an e-reader, which I do not, I might consider a cookbook on it.

  6. Oh I keep recipes on my laptop, but I print out (draft mode on old scrap paper) recipes I'm actually cooking because I am the world's greatest slob....

  7. I have a ton of recipes on my laptop but it sits a ways away from my cooking surfaces so no mishaps - yet. I've had my eye on this book too. I'm glad to hear it has some great recipes.

  8. I did review one cookbook that I downloaded to my computer. I don't have a laptop or e-reader. Only problem was that the screen kept blanking out every few minutes. I liked being able to enlarge the font.

    It was from NetGalley and was only able to access it for 60 days (or so) and then it was gone. I did have to buy my own copy so I could re-make some of the cakes. I won't review any other cookbooks that way. I figure if I am spending that much money on ingredients to review 6 or more recipes, then to publisher can send me the book and they are still getting a great deal.


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