It rained today. It was cold, wet and dreary. I bought a salad sandwich for lunch; it was disappointing (multigrain: my bread nemesis). But I came home after a long day of feeling sorry for myself to find some presents waiting for me. There are always a few books you intend to buy when you get a chance, and every so often I buy them all at once from Abe Books. It's a great site that searches second hand book sellers from around the world. I've found some fantastic, elusive books of plays and poems for much less than their retail price, but it only recently occurred to me that I could buy cookbooks too.
The Spice Box by Manju Shivkaj Singh
An ex-library book, I think it was around $6 US, maybe $15 with shipping. It's in excellent condition, although I can see it getting pretty worn out in my kitchen pretty quickly. I've never attempted Indian cooking before, but I've decided that this is the winter. And after some research, I decided this was the book. I'm already drooling over the recipes for Aloo Matar, Tamarind Rice, Potato-Filled Bread (!) and Vermicelli Pudding.
Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison
I found this book in a shop in town. It came with many, many recommendations - and a $100 price tag. AbeBooks had it for under $20 US, including shipping. And it comes with delightful hand scribbled notes - always worth extra in my opinion. I'm excited just looking at the chapter headings - a whole chapter on breads by hand, one on gratins, one on dumplings! Over 1400 recipes - I can't wait to get started.
Other resources I love when I'm down on my pennies are the Food Blog Search website, Big Oven, and Cooks Illustrated. Happy hunting friends!