I have been collecting cookbooks for quite some time now, and there are always some that I peruse through more than others. There is one in particular that is so badly in need of replacement simply because I am constantly using it. It is a cookbook that I swear by, have yet to be disappointed by, and haven’t seen one quite like. While it has been around for awhile, it’s still worth investigating, especially since its renowned author, Sheila Lukins (as in The Silver Palate Cookbook, and who succeeded Julia Childs as PARADE’s food editor in the 80’s), passed away last year.
I’m an international foodie—I love exploring recipes from different continents, but I also like exploring ones that are accessible and easy-to-make. This is why the All Around the World cookbook is the one I would take with me (should I ever be stranded on a desert island). Aside from the great selection of recipes from her travels around the globe, Sheila also includes anecdotes from her experiences in those countries, making it feel like a fabulous travel guide with treats included.
In the middle of the book is a section where she has created international meal menus, from breakfast to dinner, as well as celebration meal ideas and afternoon teas. Each menu includes three or four selections and when appropriate, wine selections. Here’s a taste: Russian Nights (which includes Wild Mushroom Blinchiki with sour cream), A Taj Table (includes Curried Golden Squash Soup), The Andalusian (includes Steak Rollos), Santa Lucia Dinner (includes Osso Bucco with Artichokes and Mint Gremolata)… My personal favourite is the Chilean Tastings offering Empanadas and Avocado Salad with Lemon-Mint Yogurt Dressing as two options.
Another fun element in the book is her Chicken Soup graph, where she looks at how different countries create this classic recipe. In China, it’s filled with garlic, ginger, mushrooms, bean sprouts, snow peas, cilantro, bean curd and noodles. In Scandinavia, it’s a soup with mushrooms, beets, potatoes and red cabbage, spiced with tarragon, dill and chives.
So while there are plenty of new (and wonderful) books on the market, I still treasure this wonderful internationally-themed book that still continues to surprise and inspire me.
What’s your favourite cookbook?