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Gift Guide 2023: 9 Small-Batch Cookbooks That Feel Handmade


Gift Guide 2023: 9 Small-Batch Cookbooks That Feel Handmade

November 21, 2023

Remember the cookbooks your grandmother had? Spiral-bound and splotched, often souvenirs from roadside taverns or inns, they felt handmade and personal, never mass-produced or fancy, and the same was true for the recipes inside.

Many of our favorite cookbooks this year return to that small-batch style. Spiral-bound (bonus: they lay flat on the counter), independently published, or with hand-drawn illustrations in the margins, they’re more like assemblages of personal recipes and notes than weighty, technical tomes.

Pick one of the nine on our list, tie it with kitchen twine, and, presto: a perfect gift.

apartamento&#8\2\17;s eighth annual cookbook is tuber or not tuber?, and it 14
Above: Apartamento’s eighth annual cookbook is Tuber or Not Tuber?, and it’s as irreverent as you might expect, with illustrations, root vegetables aplenty, and tuber and tuber-adjacent recipes by celebrated cooks and artists (this one is by baker-to-the-royals Claire Ptak). The book is €30 from Apartamento.

Above: The cookbook that started us noticing a shift to the intimate and poetic over polished and packaged: [ ] Is a Breakfast Food by Marjory Sweet. More than a cookbook, it’s “a conversation about what to eat in the morning. Breakfast as a mood, a memory, a moment, a mundane routine, a meaningful ritual”; for anyone “who has woken up and wondered what to eat, or who has just woken up and wondered.” It’s $65 from Vestige. (While you’re at it, have a look at Marjory’s “ghostly” Maine rental home here.)

culinary collective ghetto gastro &#8\2\20;uses food as a platform to spark 17
Above: Culinary collective Ghetto Gastro “uses food as a platform to spark conversation about larger issues surrounding inclusion, race, access, and how food—and knowing how to cook—provides freedom and power”. Their first cookbook, Black Power Kitchen, is filled with 75 recipes, photographs, and writings. It’s $40 from The Post Supply.
carter&#8\2\17;s cookbook \2 is the second volume by sisters carter were (c 18
Above: Carter’s Cookbook 2 is the second volume by sisters Carter Were (cook) and Harriet (Harry) Were (photographer). “We just wanted to create something tangible that people could have forever and that we could look back on when we’re older,” Carter told us when we featured her home kitchen.
the book contains recipes for trusty favorites like rice pudding and greek sala 19
Above: The book contains recipes for trusty favorites like rice pudding and Greek salad; it’s printed in Italy and sewn in sections with a laser-cut soft cover. “Please note we chose three different colors for the cover: blue, green, and brown,” the sisters note. “It is a lucky dip!” The cookbook is $40.
small batch in its approach, table for two—the debut cookbook by food wr 20
Above: Small-batch in its approach, Table for Two—the debut cookbook by food writer Bre Graham—is filled with recipes just right for a pair. It’s $24.99 from Anthropologie.
&#8\2\20;gohan literally means &#8\2\16;rice&#8\2\17; in japanese,& 21
Above: “Gohan literally means ‘rice’ in Japanese,” reads the back of Emiko Davies’ Gohan: Everyday Japanese Cooking, “but also, as Emiko’s mother, Sumie, says, ‘Gohan means the everyday home-cooked meal. Nothing fussy, but…one that is made with love.'” The book feels like a family recipe collection—with photos, dishes from the author’s childhood and adolescence, and sweet illustrations by Indonesian-Australian artist and designer Evi O—published for us all to benefit from. It’s is $32.55 from Bookshop.
the joy of food: a celebration of good things to eat by rory o&#8\2\17;conn 22
Above: The Joy of Food: A Celebration of Good Things to Eat by Rory O’Connell is filled with the Irish chef’s recipes—and charming doodles. It’s £25 from Irish Design Shop.
alternatively, and perhaps better yet? gift the home cook (or the chronicler of 23
Above: Alternatively, and perhaps better yet? Gift the home cook (or the chronicler of family history) a cookbook to fill themselves. The spiral-bound Joy Recipe Journal is $38 from Papier.

For past years’ cookbook roundups, see:

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Product summary  Item 7 156Item 8 157

table for two cookbook bre graham   1 376x282
Cookbooks & Lifestyle Books

Table For Two

$24.99 USD from Anthropologie
5 b95e814c8a
Cookbooks & Lifestyle Books

The Joy Of Food

$25.00 USD from Irish Design Shop

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