15 January, 2010

91 Cookbooks

For cryin' out loud, I have a crap ton of books. And about a quarter of all books in my household are books related to cooking, food, or some facet of gastronomy. I counted the actual cookbooks tonight (books with actual recipes--not books on how to pair wine with food, or tips for cooks) and I counted 91. I used to own 250 such books, but have paired down over the years, in particular when I moved to (and then back from) Belgium. When moving overseas, downsizing is pretty much imperative.

Suffice to say that I'm fascinated with the science of ingredients, flavor, texture, aroma. People who can write about food, and make me long for a bite of something exquisite simply from their words, are geniuses in my mind. M.F.K. Fischer is one of those brilliant food writers. I could read and read and read her. But lately, I've read some amazing contemporary books on food, one of my recent favorites being "The School of Essential Ingredients" by Erica Bauermeister. I was immediately captivated by her culinary prose. I can't wait to read more by her.

I have used most of my cookbooks, but find that I have 4 or 5 favorites that seem to get all the attention. I've decided, rather than to allow the majority of my cookbooks to continue collecting dust on my shelves, that I need to take time to make at least one recipe from each cookbook.

91 recipes. This will be fun.

I have cookbooks on nearly everything, such as gluten-free baking, Bavarian cooking, a 1960s version of Good Housekeeping, candy-making books, crockpot classics, Croatian cuisine, vegetarian dishes, and gourmet raw food recipes. I'm looking forward to pouring through each book and picking "the recipe" from each one. I intend to make at least one new recipe (possibly two or three) from one of the books per week. I'll mark my progress here (and perhaps with photos of the finished product). I don't, however, really want this to turn into a food blog. I have so many more topics to write about. However, cooking is certainly a deep passion of mine and one that gets a lot of airplay with me, perhaps in an attempt to verbally cook out a market full of processed and preserved bits, not fit for consumption. Good, fresh food is not gourmet. It should be a human right.

I never get tired of reading about food, preparing it, and consuming it, preferably with loved ones.


  1. I'm very much looking forward to hearing about your culinary adventures! :)


  2. Yum. Can't wait to read and devour every word! :)Regardless of topic.

  3. First up - yay, you picked my favourite name! And secondly - you're kinda making me think it's time to go through my mountain of cookbooks and pick some recipes. I was just sitting here tonight looking at one of the shelves full (the other being my kitchen window sill) of them, and thinking it was well past time they were used again...

  4. I have been collecting recipes from Grandparents, aunts and other relatives from around the world since I was 16 - and while I've cooked through some of them, I decided to start cooking through all of them and talking about them in a blog, plus some favorite recipes of mine that I've enjoyed through the years. I'll also be talking about great wines that I've enjoyed. So, my blog will be up soon ... it's called Palate Pleasers and is about my collection of recipes and wine. I look forward to reading your blog and will add it as a link in mine. (Cousin Susan G)

  5. Congrats on starting your blog! Looks great. I can't wait to read your next posts. I have a ton of cookbooks too (although not as many as you), and you're inspiring me to break out some that I've (ahem) never actually cooked anything in...

  6. How fabulous!!! Let the cooking begin! :-) Can't wait to follow your progress and adventures...