Saturday, July 10, 2010

Weekend Cooking: Places to Go, People to See, Cookbooks to Bring Home

Because we're getting ready to go on vacation, I thought this edition of Weekend Cooking would be a good one to share my "places I've been" cookbook collection with you. 

(Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs are all welcome.)

Whenever I go someplace, most often my souvenir of choice is a local cookbook.  The more local, the better.  I like the ones sold by a bed and breakfast or a great restaurant or in a little boutique as a fundraiser for the local women's club, garden club, or Junior League of Wherever I've Happened to Be.

It's a small collection (a world traveler, I am not) and the funny thing is that many of these are gifts, as well as cookbooks I've purchased for myself. What's also funny is that I rarely make anything from them. I just kind of like having them on the shelf in the kitchen as a reminder of the places we've been and the meals we've enjoyed there, and the friends and family who have given them to me.

Here are the titles and where they're from:

Mystic Seaport Seafood Secrets Cookbook  
Our close friends lived in Connecticut at the time, and I bought this during a trip we took with them to Mystic Seaport in 1996.

Culinary Gems from the Diamond State
This was a wedding shower gift in 1993 from a coworker who lived in Delaware. 

A Slice of Paradise: Fresh and Inviting Flavors from the Junior Leagues of the Palm Beaches
A Taste of Florida
Both of these were bought during my first visit to Florida in 1995.

The Dinner-and-a-Movie Cookbook
Remember this show? Is it still on? The Husband went to Atlanta for a conference in 2000 and as part of his trip, toured the CNN studios.  He bought me this back as a gift.

Cook's Tour of the Eastern Shore
I think this one was a gift from my grandmother, from one of the bus trips she took with her church group or something. Either that or I bought it during a day trip to Baltimore in 1993.
Best of the Best from the Mid-Atlantic
The most recent addition to the collection. I bought this in Baltimore this spring as my souvenir from a conference.

The Cape Cod Seafood Cookbook
This one was from my grandmother.

Martha's Vineyard Visitor's Guide and Cookbook
The Black Dog Summer on the Vineyard Cookbook
Summer Magic
The Martha's Vineyard Cookbook
We honeymooned on Martha's Vineyard, but I think only the first one is connected to that particular trip.  It was in a packet of brochures I'd sent away for (how did we ever plan trips before the Internet?)  When The Black Dog cookbook was published in 2000, I had to buy it because we've eaten at the Black Dog and it is one of my favorite restaurants.  (I have actually made a recipe from this cookbook, an incredible main dish called Ravioli Pomodoro.)

The North End Italian Cookbook
Another gift from the husband from a conference in Boston, 2004.  

The Washington Inn Cooks for Friends
Breakfast at Nine, Tea at Four
Cape May Fare
These were all purchased during a trip to Cape May, NJ, probably sometime in the late '90s.  The Washington Inn is a restaurant where we enjoyed dinner, and Breakfast at Nine ... is from a luxurious (and incredibly expensive) bed and breakfast called The Southern Mansion that I've dreamed of staying at.  (At the time, I told The Husband I wanted to go there when I sold my first novel.  Since that's only about 60 pages of a very, very, very first draft, I either need to get writing or come up with a different milestone.) 

Simple Southwestern Cooking
This one was a gift.

Do you buy local cookbooks whenever you go on vacation?  Which one is your favorite?  (Of these, mine is The Black Dog Summer on the Vineyard Cookbook.) 

Perhaps I might have to create a little project where I make something from each of these, especially in the dead of winter when summer vacation becomes just a memory. 

copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


Rikki said...

Oh, I am also posting about a small cookbook I got on my travels today. I just love buying them when I'm on vacation. You have a nice collection here.

Margot at Joyfully Retired said...

I like your habit of buying a local cookbook to bring home as a souvenir. A taste of what the locals eat is a much more personal glimpse at an area.

Anonymous said...

Such a cool souvenir! But I would need to find a vegetarian local cookbook of all places... #fail ;) But I could try to find just 1 local recipe on each holiday?!

Thanks for sharing your brilliant idea :)

JoAnn said...

My vacation souvenirs always seem to include a cookbook, too.... usually from the local Junior League.

Beth F said...

I have bought local cookbooks a time or two. Now you have made me see that I am missing an opportunity. I think I'll be more aggressive about bringing home a bit of local taste.

What a fun way to save some memories.

Miri said...

Terrific collection of souvenir cookbooks!

I too have bought cookbooks-well actually little booklets as souvenirs. My favorite is Hershey's Cocoa Cookbook that we got on a trip to Hershey, Pa with the kids one summer. Its a little paper back and cost 75 cents! I just used it again last night for an icing recipe.

Kim said...

Lovely collection and strangely, being the book lover that I am, cookbooks are not something I buy as souvenirs! I guess I will have to think about that the next time we travel--

caite said...

Mystic, Boston, Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod, Eastern you have some winners there.
Puts me in the mood for some chowder!

Anonymous said...

I love cookbooks!! I'll have to check out some of the ones you've listed!