December 16, 2013
Six Great Cookbooks for Christmas
By David Draper
My family knows cookbooks make great gifts for me, as evidenced by the overflowing bookshelf in my kitchen. While I appreciate all of them, more than a few become all-time favorites that I turn to again and again. If you’re making a late Christmas wish list or are looking for ideas for the Wild Chef in your family, here are five new cookbooks worth considering.
Sausage Season: My copy of Eileen Clarke’s step-by-step guide to making fresh sausage is so new that I haven’t had a chance to dive into it very deeply. A quick peruse, however, proves it contains Clarke’s typically thorough and well-researched information on cooking wild game, or in this case, making sausage out of it. She covers not only the classics like salami and brats, but also cheese dogs and sun-dried tomato turkey sausage. An illustrated section on mixing and stuffing takes the mystery out of making meat and, as usual, Clarke injects her honest and usually spot-on opinions on conventional cooking wisdom. Perhaps best of all, Sausage Season is spiral-bound, which every cookbook should be. Website
The Wild Chef: Of course I’d be remiss not to include our very own cookbook with recipes written by the incomparable Jonathan Miles and bits of wisdom from Field & Stream writers, including yours truly. But I don’t like to brag, so check out what the Village Voice has to say about the cookbook and read an interview with Miles here.
Duck, Duck, Goose: Every hunter who buys a duck stamp should also be issued a copy of Hank Shaw’s waterfowl cookbook. Website
Remington Camp Cooking: This is probably my favorite cookbook of the year. From the classic Remington art to the easily achievable recipes inside, everything about Charlie Palmer’s contribution to camp cooks is a winner. Website.
Pickles, Pigs, and Whiskey: Sure I might be suffering from SEC football fatigue, but with a title that includes three of my favorite things, I’ll put my regional bias aside to own this ode to Southern cooking. Chef John Currence is a master of modern Southern cuisine and Pickles, Pigs, and Whiskey shows how and why the New South keeps all of America well fed on more than just cat’s head biscuits and cornbread. Website.
Vedge: What’s a cookbook about vegetables doing on blog about wild game? It pains me to say it, but man cannot live on meat alone. Lord knows I’ve tried, which is why my vegetable cooking skills are so lacking. Hopefully a cookbook like Vedge can round out my go-to recipes—and lower my cholesterol in the process. Website.