OK. It's getting to be that time of year when 'hounds new and old look for cookbooks, either to give or to receive.
So, here's my variant on responding to these seekers: if you could only have 5 cookbooks, which 5 would they be (why 5 you ask: because it's arbitrary and capricious, that's why!!)? Note that the question is NOT what are the five best cookbooks. The answers to that question would likely be very different for many of us....
My answer to my question is, in alphabetical order:
American Cookery (James Beard)
The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking (Marcella Hazan)
The New Making of A Cook (Madeleine Kamman)
The Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook (Gloria Bey Miller)
The Victory Garden Cookbook (Marian Morash)
This list probably betrays my bias towards cooking rather than baking, as it were, but thems the breaks!