Summer 2024 Cookbook of the Month nominations - Jul, Aug, Sept

Let’s continue this experiment of quarterly nominations for COTM, and nominate some books for the July-September quarter.

The nomination process is as it always has been: To nominate, put the title of the book in ALL CAPS in the comments below. Titles not in all caps will not be counted. You can nominate as many books as you like. Please nominate with the intention of cooking along should your nominee be selected. At the end of the nomination period, the nominations will be tallied and three selections will be chosen to cook from for the upcoming quarter. There will NOT be a vote unless it is needed to break a tie. There may be some coordinator discretion in the selection of titles to make sure we get a good mix of books. We’re looking for variety in the cuisines represented as well as the difficulty/accessibility of the book. We may not get something for everyone, but I hope we’ll get something for most.

Nominations will close on June 21, 2024 at 10am EDT. If a vote is needed to beak a tie, it will be posted that day and run until the 24th. Otherwise, the selections will be announced immediately. Reporting threads will go up for each book on July 1.

A list of previous cookbooks of the month can be found in our archive thread. There is still plenty of time to participate in our second quarter books, Dakshin, Zahav & Israeli Soul, and Tenderheart.

All the SILVER PALETTES Cookbooks.

To be clear about what this would include… The Silver Palette Cookbook, The Silver Palette Good Times Cookbook, and Silver Palate Desserts. The New Basics is also by the same authors. Would you intend for that to be included as well or just the ones with Silver Palate in the title?

Yes, all please.

The idea behind the experiment was to create two categories of book — one for folks who wanted something easy & everyday to encourage greater participation, a second for folks who wanted something more involved to challenge themselves / learn something new in the spirit of the old COTM on chowhound.

The choices of the last quarter didn’t seem to address or solve the participation issue.

Is there some reason not to revert to what we used to do before, and have everyone vote for each of the book categories?

This would be very simple given the site software — there’s an in-built polling function (under the settings wheel).

A single voting thread can have 2 polls, so there is no additional effort required to tally votes, unless a tie has to be broken


I didn’t, and still don’t, see the point in nominating if we don’t get a vote.


That would leave the coordinator the task of dividing the nominated books into categories. And we have not really specified that we have to have certain categories, or what they would be. It might be that the nominated books just don’t sort into three categories. We want different types of books, but trying to put them in boxes could be a difficult task.

The way I see it, the nomination IS the vote. I’m not sure what a separate voting process accomplishes. The books with the most nominations are the selections, unless they are all too much of one type, or we need to break a tie.

I’m listening. If you can explain to me why the vote matters and will be worth the work, I’ll consider doing it.

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Last time people specified which category they were nominating for – either “easy / everyday”, or “project”.

Doesn’t seem it will take much additional effort for everyone to note what style of book they are nominating, which would create two separate votes/polls naturally.

And preserves a vote towards the decision, because we all have changed our minds in the past after seeing something someone else nominated, so a nomination does not equal a vote, as it did not in the past.

Seems odd to be debating the merits of voting, when it’s always been a vote, and a poll feature is available to take the work out of the actual vote counting.

A vote also implies someone intends to participate. Nominations last time did not result in actual participation.


Well, let’s see what others have to say. If there is a consensus that people are dissatisfied with doing nominations only, we can change it. Looking back at last quarter, most people did not specify a category for their nominations. And we haven’t defined specific categories. Just as an example, how would you break it down if we had the following nominees: A Chinese book, a seasonal vegetable book, a grilling book, a Scandinavian book, a book from an American restaurant, an Italian book, a seafood book, and a book like Indian-ish?

I’m not concerned about the work of tallying votes - that is minimal. I am concerned about categorizing nominations.

If we say at the outset that people should be nominating for

a) an everyday / easy category that many people can participate in
b) a project category in the spirit of the old chowhound COTM

there should be no difficulty — that was the whole point of the experiment of expanding the number of books

And only 1 person has nominated anything so far

I’m still confused as to why no-vote has become the default option, when that was never even discussed when we discussed increasing the number of books to try and expand participation

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And what would be the third category, since we are selecting three books?

I would prefer to vote. Perhaps we could do something like take the top 6 nominees and then vote for 2 books. I don’t think they necessarily need to be in categories.

This quarter, only one of the 3 books was available at my local library. I just recently got Tenderheart off the hold list and am going to try to cook something from it. I personally would like to see the most popular nominees and then have the opportunity to research them to see what I might actually be able to find at the library and cook from. I try to only vote for things that I could feasibly cook from.

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I never thought we needed 3 books when I suggesting expanding to more that 1 book

Iirc 3 books was proposed only to get to 12 for the year, which doesn’t seem to be a critical goal vs actual participation (we’ve had fewer books when we repeated a COTM in the past).

Perfect may well be the enemy of good in this case, when we are down to participation lows

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Three makes it a bit more likely that someone will be able to cook from one of them.

We tried 3 with no voting last quarter and it didn’t seem to help

So maybe we go back to voting, whether it’s 2 or 3, and see what happens

I think debating over 2 vs 3 doesn’t get us much further, the choice of books matters more.

But taking away voting wasn’t discussed at all, and if it doesn’t add any work then there’s no reason to not vote.

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I don’t think three is necessarily optimal; the idea was to have more than one of different types for a longer period to give more people more chances at participation. Discussion ended up with a maximum of three so things aren’t hopelessly splintered. I can see things shaking out at three depending on how nominations go, but two might also work just as well or better. This is still an experiment in progress, after all.

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I’m indifferent about whether there are categories or not

The idea of 2 types of books — easy and more involved — was introduced to address two different issues with participation

  1. many people said they wanted to participate but life got in the way, so if there was an everyday-type book that could help them get dinner on the table, they’d be more likely to be able to join in and cook along with COTM

  2. some people were frustrated by the easy nature of many books — probably driven by nominations and voting driven by 1) — and missed the chowhound COTM days of more interesting, project-y books that pushed their boundaries and expanded their knowledge Nd repertoire

The idea of 2 separate books came from that.

So while yes, we don’t need 2 categories, we also don’t want to ignore what people voiced which were 2 completely sets of goals and drivers to participation.


Alright, how about we try this: when you nominate a book, categorize it as either, “easy,” “project,” or, if it doesn’t fit neatly into either of those, you can use “other”. And depending upon how the nominations shake out, we will have a vote on the “easy” and “project” categories, and if there are enough nominations that fit into “other”, we’ll have a third category, which might end up being something like “international” or “seasonal” or something else, at the coordinator’s discretion.

Does this sound reasonable for a start?

Maybe they didn’t specify BECAUSE we hadn’t defined specific categories.

“Just as an example, how would you break it down if we had the following nominees: A Chinese book, a seasonal vegetable book, a grilling book, a Scandinavian book, a book from an American restaurant, an Italian book, a seafood book, and a book like Indian-ish?”

It would depend on the book, wouldn’t it?