I made laksa (with fresh green peppercorns, above) on the weekend from a recipe in "new vegetarian" by celia brooks brown - a book which, in addition to being almost heart-breakingly beautiful, has become my kitchen staple. Wontons filled with spinach and water chestnuts and ginger? yep. veggie sushi? where do you think I learned how? Potato latkes with avocado-ginger creme? Heaven. Pumpkin and tofu laksa? HOW COULD WE NOT BE IN FOR THIS?

I took no photos (the process was long, there were hungry people in our house, and well, there are loads of steps and more than one that involves hot oil), but based on the reactions of this taste test's participants (and the thumbs up to the next day leftovers), there will be a next time...and next time? There will be photos.

Until then, yum! What are *your* must-have kitchen staple cookbooks?