Cooking solo can be lonely. That’s why every month, members of Chowhound’s Home Cooking discussion board pick one or two books to cook from, then share their experiences for a project called Cookbook of the Month.
November’s pick is The Gourmet Cookbook, a sprawling kitchen reference edited by Ruth Reichl. It combines the breadth of recipes that you'd find in Joy of Cooking with Gourmet's wide-ranging palate and sense of style. There are over 1,000 recipes culled from the defunct magazine’s archives, scattered side notes and ingredient profiles, even a few illustrations on technique—how to chop an onion, say, or butterfly pork loin. The design is kitchen-compendium basic (no lush photographs or glossy paper stock), and the thousand-plus page count gives it biblical heft, perfect for laying open on the counter while you perfect chicken Kiev or London broil with ravigote sauce.
Scroll around the Chowhound Cookbook of the Month archive to get your bearings, start spattering the pages of The Gourmet Cookbook, then share your experiences on the November discussion thread. Chances are you'll feel like you're bumping elbows with other cooks, even when you're all alone.