HERE YOU ARE wondering what to do with all those zucchini, and food editors around the country are beginning to wonder what to do with all those zucchini cookbooks--and carrot cookbooks and omelet cookbooks and all-purpose cookbooks and special-interest cookbooks. The harvest--always a big one--is beginning. Locally, Carol Cutler's newest cookbook--"Pa te': The New Main Course for the '80s" (Rawson, $14.95)--is being released this week. September will reintroduce some classics, beginning with Fannie Farmer and ending with Julia Child, just in time to greet her new "Dinner at Julia's" television series, which begins early in October on Channel 26.
It takes two to trend-set, and these two updated books are reinforcing this as the era of big, fat and juicy original paperbacks. Publishers such as Irena Chalmers, Nitty Gritty and 101 Productions have long brightened kitchenware stores and bookstores with their nifty paperback cookbooks, but these are heavy-hitters that will undoubtedly be prominently featured in bookstores. The Fannie Farmer Cookbook (Bantam, $5.95) has been in print constantly for 86 years, but this will be the first paperback version ("completely revised" with an introduction by James Beard). Julia Child, et al's "Mastering the Art of ----French Cooking" (Knopf) may be a mere 22 years old, but it has sold more than a million copies of the first volume, 400,000 of the second. Now they will be sold in boxed sets or singly for $12.95 a volume, and have been updated to take into account the food processor and to modernize the measuring of flour, the timing of meat cookery and the melting of chocolate. If you already have Child's "Mastering" books, will you need these new editions? According to Child's editor, Judith Jones, the books have evolved as they have been reprinted through the years, and Child's other books have incorporated most of these changes. "The answer is," she concluded, "when your book falls apart you get another one."
Martha Stewart's new "Quick Cook" book, to be released in November by Crown, has already been updated before it comes off the presses--with a new cover that shows Stewart in the garden, wearing pearls and flanked by flowers and a bottle of burgundy. The original cover was much more earthy, with Stewart in an old country kitchen, wearing a turtleneck sweater and flanked by a raw chicken and a bunch of vegetables. The big news, though, is that this book, published by Clarkson Potter, is priced at $17.95, half the price of Stewart's cookbook of last year.