Canadian Cookbooks; Best of 2020 Lists

And a 3,000-page never-ending cookbook.

Howdy cookbook fans!

And welcome to what is hopefully a lovely Tuesday. This past week, paid subscribers were treated to the launch of what will be an ongoing series: The Stained Page News Guide to the Cookbooks of the World.

Up first, cookbook author Simon Thibault treated us to a guide to the cookbooks of Canada, which is now available for everyone to read. I have long been interested in other country’s cookbooks: what books are on every grandmother’s kitchen counter? What book do people learn to cook with as they become adults? Which authors are shaking things up and changing the game? I learned a lot from Simon about the tasty cookbooks of Canada and have opened it up for everyone to read. Head on over!

The SPN Guide to the Cookbooks of Canada

SPN HQ update! Most of my garden died in a freeze last week (despite proper precautions having been taken), so I actually had to buy vegetables and I am cranky about it. Yesterday, though, I made the enchiladas suizas from Mely Martínez’s The Mexican Home Kitchen, which were a balm for the soul as enchiladas always are. Coming up: CHRISTMAS COOKIES! I have some sour plum jam from the spring and pecans I want to turn into thumbprints and am on the hunt for the perfect thumbprint cookie recipe. Will report back if and when I figure it out.

Short one today! The year is winding down and most of the cookbook content out there is BEST OF 2020 lists, of which there are several linked below. But don’t you worry: soon I’ll be sending out a bonus issue outlining big plans for 2021. (Cookbook club, anyone??!!) And in the mean time, consider giving SPN to a loved one as a holiday gift? You don’t even have to mail anything!

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If I had moved to a different city in the U.S., I would’ve not ended up doing the book. There is this thing about Houston, that people are so curious about other people’s stories. It’s really a city of immigrants. Every time that I talk to people about what I do, so many people have been like, “Tell me more.”

Pilar Hernandez, co-author of The Chilean Kitchen, talked to me about Chilean food, gardening, her new cookbook, and Houston over at Texas Monthly.

We took trains, and these were absolutely third class—the coach section—because those are the compartments in which the local vendors climb up and sell between one station and the other. It’s not going to be that way in the first class, it’s not going to be in the AC coach, because those are much more—for lack of a better word—sterilized. That’s not the experience we wanted. So we did that. We traveled by train, we went to Old Delhi, we traveled by rickshaw, we ate everything and anything. [Co-author] Jody [Eddy] was keeping a list—she had her diary, and she was keeping a list of everything that we were tasting. And in the end of seven days, we counted, and we had tasted over 670 dishes. Crazy!

Maneet Chauhan on the reporting trip she took to research her new cookbook, Chaat. [Taste]

Best of 2020

In 1993, she self-published an all asparagus cookbook, and also compiled more than 2900 pages of recipes for a cookbook titled "The Never-Ending Cookbook." She continued copying recipes into this cookbook up until the time of her death. She always said, "Too many recipes, too little time." 

—From the obituary of Helen Joyce Briscoe of Kenosha, Wisconsin, who died recently at the age of 86. [Legacy]

That’s all for today! Friday folks, expect the biggest BOOK DEALS issue ever in the history of Stained Page News. If you’ve got a book deal to announce, you know where to reach me. See you then!