10 Essential Cookbooks That Got Us Through Lockdown

I think of a good cookbook as the grown-up equivalent of the Argos catalogue (RIP). Flicking through is an exercise in delight and anticipation: with the right ingredients, careful reading and plenty of time, all these treats could potentially be yours. But just as my mum never got me the Barbie with a skirt full of makeup and the tales I spun from the catalogue remained a work of fantasy, many of the recipes in the cookbooks I own remained unmade. Whether because of a lack of time, energy or motivation, I would return to the same few meals over and over instead of delving into something new.
But just like literally everything else, lockdown changed all that. I found myself turning to recipe books time and time again, trying dishes I'd never dared before, cooking things I'd only imagined eating and discovering that delicious meals can come from the most unexpected places.
With that in mind, I asked R29 staffers to share the cookbooks that they've found essential as they home-cooked their way through lockdown. If you're looking for something new, these come with the highest possible guarantee.

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