What's a winter cookbook?

The summer cookbook has always been a pretty identifiable creature: cocktails, grilling, entertaining, the odd picnic or camping book.  But although you could argue that people enjoy cooking more in cold weather, I've never been specifically sure what a winter cookbook should look like.  There are, of course, dozens of slow cooker cookbooks, but a lot of them seem - at least to me - to be more about not having to cook than about enjoying foods specific to winter.

But "winter" is - possibly - becoming a selling point.  When Winter Cocktails arrived, for example, the appeal was instantly clear to me.  I couldn't think of a previous book focusing on mulled wines and ciders and toddies, or the whole host of festive drinks where alcohol seems to go down all the easier for being warmed up.

Wintersweet, devoted to desserts, strikes me as more purely a savvy marketing move. Because who doesn't like a baked good in cold weather?  And aren't the majority of desserts (setting aside ice creams and custards) baked anyway?  Can you think of a baked dessert that wouldn't be good in winter?  Anyway.  The point is, once they've got you thinking about steaming confections coming out of the oven, it's game over.  Your credit card is halfway out of your wallet before you can even say Baklava.

Nevertheless, knowing I'm being a little manipulated doesn't prevent me from enjoying these books.  So maybe I wouldn't have thought to make spiced wine or bread pudding this weekend otherwise.  So maybe the book gets the credit, or the canny publisher.  Whichever it may be, I'm the one who'll be quaffing and nibbling the happy result..

2 Comments

  • PatriciaScarpin  on  10/30/2013 at 11:05 AM

    I agree that baked goods are especially delicious in cold days (I love using my oven in days like that), but besides that maybe the author is considering wintery produce? The cover of the book looks gorgeous.

  • tsusan  on  10/30/2013 at 11:24 AM

    Yes, some winter-available produce like citruses and pomegranates...

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