Readers share their picks.
I was raised on the Betty Crocker cookbooks and still use them a lot. However, my new and irreplaceable favorite is CookWise by Shirley O. Corriher. She provides info about the chemistry of preparing all kinds of foods, tells what goes wrong, and suggests remedies, and the recipes are unique, beautiful, and delicious. When I'm problem-solving for any recipe, I find myself reaching for this book again and again.– Kathy Hollenberg, Elkhart, Ind.
I enjoy Edward Espe Brown's cookbooks. My copy of The Tassajara Bread Book is tattered and stained from teaching me about breadmaking. His Tassajara Cooking brings quiet joy to the vegetable experience. These two books, along with his Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachings further my respect for wheat, beans, and rice and calmly explain how to sharpen knives and the simplest way to wash dishes. They also encourage fearlessness of butterfat and a celebratory attitude toward tomatoes.– Anita Alvarez Williams, Boulevard, Calif.
I enjoy the 1975 edition of Joy of Cooking, by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker. This is probably the best American cookbook ever written. The line drawings are helpful in following the simple yet explicit – and often amusing – instructions. It is an encyclopedia of food preparation, preservation, nutrition, and customs.– Yvette Sabin, Port Angeles, Wash.