Home cooking is fast becoming a lost art. I have had a number of requests for good starter cookbooks. I would recommend:
Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon
Recipes and information about nourishing traditional food preparation methods.
Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection by Jessica Prentice
“Moon by moon” seasonal cookbook based on seasonal local foods.
The Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer
This is a reprint of the original 1931 edition or get any copy between 1932 and 1979. Later editions start to go low fat and do not have much information about food storage and cuts of meat. I like the 1930s and 1940s editions best.
On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee
Not a cookbook but full of information about the science of food and cooking.
Thompson Rivers University has a Culinary Arts Program and Retail Meats Processing Program. If you are looking for inspiration, The Culinary Arts Program runs a Cafeteria and Bistro. The Accodales Dining Room is run by Chef instructor Ron Rosentreter, and has won awards for their fine foods.
For online videos and courses, you might want to have a look at Rouxbe Online Cooking School. There are free videos that explain basic cooking techniques. You can get a membership and take courses. The website is supported by Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver.
Updated November 23, 2009: I have just found a link to an online library of classic American cookbooks from the late 18th to early 20th century. Feeding America is a good source for old-style recipes.
Updated June 22, 2010: We have been having a discussion about favorite cookbooks on the Weston A Price Leader’s Board. Two suggestions caught my attention. Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child was recommended by Suzanne Waldron of the WAPF Memphis Chapter. Here is a link to The Self-Sufficient Homestead: Surviving Civilization on the Homestead which has audio presentations and links to some early American cookbooks.