I bought the Science Teacher Culinary Artistry for Christmas one year. Towards the end, the chefs featured in the book rattle off their desert island lists, the ten or so ingredients they would choose to spend eternity with if stranded on a desert island. I seem to remember that olive oil recurs the most.
Enter the desert island cookbook list.
With our impending move to Tbilisi, we're in the position of drastically downsizing our cookbook collection, which, while not huge, contains well-used books. Unlike Foreign Service families, we don't get over a 1000 lbs of freight; instead, we'll fly with everything and pay for a few additional duffles for the extras. Space for books is at a premium and has to be divvied out among cookbooks, teaching books, and fun books.
The question is what to take. I'm leaning towards How to Cook Everything Vegetarian and Joy of Cooking (new edition). But my beloved Jane Brody cookbooks (Good Food Book and Good Food Gourmet) and the Moosewood Daily Special are clammering to come along--and I use them all of the time. And there are the books like the Moosewood Book of Desserts, which I use for inspiration and just love reading. We're definitely planning on copying a bunch of recipes from our other cookbooks and taking them along.
What two or three cookbooks would you take with you?