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maggiethecat

Cookbooks – How Many Do You Own? (Part 5)

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I work at a library from which it is far too easy to bring discarded cookbooks home.  After work tonight I got a ride from a kind colleague who asked: "What is your favorite dish?"  I said I don't have a favorite dish.  "OK, what are your top five?"  Chicken Tetrazzini, I replied.  And then I had to think.  I stammered lobster Newberg.

 

During dinner I reflected on how I classify cookbooks.  This being MY apartment, I can leave Dewey at the door.  Many if not most of my cookbooks are of the sort how to prepare X from any corner of the globe.  Think Time-Life The Good Cook.  Useful, but not inspiring.  Then I could classify by heat level:  Stendahl's Spicy Food.  Or by sexual orientation:  Cooking with Honey, What Literary Lesbians Eat.

 

I decided for my purpose it is most useful to classify cookbooks by national origin of the cuisine (I don't include American):

 

Italian 14

Japanese 7

French 3

Indian 2

Mexican 1

English 1

Chinese 1

Spanish 1

Moroccan 1

 

 

Forgive me if I missed any.

 

 

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15 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I decided for my purpose it is most useful to classify cookbooks by national origin of the cuisine (I don't include American):

 

Italian 14

Japanese 7

French 3

Indian 2

Mexican 1

English 1

Chinese 1

Spanish 1

Moroccan 1

 

Now that sounds like fun.  

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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On ‎6‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 4:18 PM, liamsaunt said:

The completed bookcase. I now have lots of room for more cookbooks!

 

IMG_4317.thumb.JPG.fddd3079fa539d8f4ebb4bbb3d8f26b1.JPG

How perfect!!!!  And now that I see it finished, I can agree with the mister about the rolling ladder.

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I have too many for the size of my house, and one reason is that there are too many badly formatted (basically, unformatted) Kindle cookbooks. I feel cheated when I open a Kindle cookbook that is just a collection of PDFs, with no links from either the Table of Contents or the index. 

The following kindle cookbooks DO have a functional index - I have many more that are just unusable. Not all of these are good cookbooks, of course - I'm just incurably curious and have a weakness for amateur books. Drink-related books ore notable for their good formatting though!
Ottolenghi's Plenty
Venegas' Taco Feast (because for me, tacos are an exotic food that I don't understand very well!)

Binnur's Turkish Cookbook

Bittman: What I Grill and Why

Duguid: Burma: Rivers of Flavor has only a section index, which I normally dislike, but each section head contains a list of recipes, and even individual recipes have hot links for every reference.

Wilson: The Book of Marmalade (TOC and hotlinked index)

Buhner: Sacred and Healing Herbal Beers (chapter TOC and hotlinked index)

Beranbaum: Rose's Heavenly Cakes

Gee: Sweet on Texas

Lucia: 20 Best Italian Desserts (not very Italian but yes, it does have an index...)

Bobrow: Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails

Holbrough: 100 Years of Cocktails (Chapter TOC and hotlinked recipe index)

Loeb, Garces: Shake, Stir, Pour - Fresh Homegrown Cocktails  (Chapter TOC and hotlinked recipe index)

Brears: Jellies and their Moulds (Chapter TOC and hotlinked recipe index) This even has hotlinked FOOTNOTES and as a cookbook it deserves a shrine more than a mere shelf.

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Well, I have two more cookbooks than I did yesterday. My copies of Feasts od Eden, a book of recipes from the regionally renowned Red Apple Inn on Eden Isle at Greers Ferry Lake, and my Unforgettable Paula Wolfert both came in. And my duck confit and saucisses de Toulouse for her cassoulet are due in today. Cassoulet in the summertime? Why not? I have RG tarbais beans in the fridge...


Edited by kayb To fix the damn autocorrect. (log)
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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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I have 2.

A Trickier Stage and Practical Magic for the Modern Cook.

Enjoying and learning allot.

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Host's note: this post and the ensuing discussion were split from Hoarding Ingredients - suffering from Allgoneophobia?

 

 

Does anyone else hoard cookbooks? I have over 200 cookbooks that I never use and can't bear to part with. I have spent so many hours reading them and dreaming about things that I would like to cook that they have become like old friends. Most of them called for ingredients that I would never find here. For the most part, I used them to find innovative ways to prepare the things that I could find. I rarely followed a recipe exactly, but I spent hours surrounded by books looking for the perfect one.

Now with all the knowledge and pseudo knowledge on the web and recipes from every corner of the world, available for the asking, my cookbooks have become nothing but dust catchers.


Edited by Smithy Added host's note (log)
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1 hour ago, Tropicalsenior said:

Does anyone else hoard cookbooks? I have over 200 cookbooks that I never use and can't bear to part with.

 

Yes, of course, there are topics on this forum specifically devoted to the subject!

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~Martin :)

I try to find the good food in every situation!

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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20 hours ago, Tropicalsenior said:

Does anyone else hoard cookbooks? I have over 200 cookbooks that I never use and can't bear to part with. I have spent so many hours reading them and dreaming about things that I would like to cook that they have become like old friends. Most of them called for ingredients that I would never find here. For the most part, I used them to find innovative ways to prepare the things that I could find. I rarely followed a recipe exactly, but I spent hours surrounded by books looking for the perfect one.

Now with all the knowledge and pseudo knowledge on the web and recipes from every corner of the world, available for the asking, my cookbooks have become nothing but dust catchers.

 

Well I got beat to it again by liuzhou with this link to the Cookbooks How Many Do You Own thread. I've never posted there, I don't think, because I only have about forty, most of mine are old and not trendy. I do own Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything". That is about as trendy as I get. I like it fine, but it's not my favorite nor most referred to. My collection is dwarfed by many of the members' descriptions and photos of their cookbook libraries on that thread. We all do realize that forty cookbooks is a lot by "normal" (non-eGullet) standards, right? :)

 

I still do use my cookbooks. The net is invaluable for researching a new dish, technique or ingredient, and I love YouTube videos on how to make dosas, pizzelles or naan or whatever. I've been known to go down a rabbit hole watching Indian street food videos for hours. :wacko: 

 

I still do refer to my cookbooks though frequently. My old copy of "The Joy of Cooking" is quite distressed from my love for it and frequent use. I just hauled it out tonight to make sure I hadn't forgotten an ingredient in my tartar sauce. I hadn't. 

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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ThanksfortheCrepes, I also have way too many cookbooks that I don't use (though, like you, not in the same league as those who have hundreds). I am about to dispose of my copy of "How To Cook Everything," because I find it useless, but parting with any of them is hard.

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2 hours ago, BeatriceB said:

I am about to dispose of my copy of "How To Cook Everything," because I find it useless, but parting with any of them is hard

We each seem to have our own personal reason for clinging on to a particular cookbook. I have one old favorite that I'm sure no one here would even give shelf space to. It is called Better than Store Bought and when I moved here it became my Bible. It had recipes and instructions for all those things that we have become accustomed to just grabbing off the shelf. I made things in large batches because I was never able to be sure that I would find the ingredients again the next time that I went to the store. That's probably the Genesis of my hoarding problems, which was difficult to do in our first apartment because my kitchen was 6 by 6. I wound up turning half of my 9 foot clothes closet into a pantry.

Then there was also the language difference. Not being totally fluent in the language I made some very disastrous and hilarious mistakes. Like the time that I tried to make pudding with laundry starch instead of cornstarch. Another time I thought that I had found some great flaky kosher salt. I set about to make a large crock of dill pickles only to find out two days later that I had tried to make them with epsom salts. I can't even describe the smell or the texture of that mess.

Sometimes hoarding has its advantages and sometimes not. My little book is tattered and it splattered and it wasn't in very good of shape when I bought it second-hand, but I know that that's one book I'll never part with.


Edited by Tropicalsenior Self editing (log)
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I don't know if anyone is still keeping some kind of count on the forum, but my contribution is about to go down.  So far I've put 64 cookbooks on the dining room table to dispose of in the next few days: first to friends, then to the library, then to a local charity.  It was time.   


Edited by Darienne (log)
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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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40 minutes ago, Elizabeth Harrod said:

I have around 2,500 cookbooks

Whoa! Please tell us more. And thanks for resurrecting this thread.

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"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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20 minutes ago, Alex said:

Whoa! Please tell us more. And thanks for resurrecting this thread.

My thoughts exactly....


Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Too many. But I organize them as follows, cookbooks which in my mind are technique and dictionary books ,  cuisinebooks that are more internationally or ethnic focused, and then recipebooks which are compilations of recipes from magazines, ingredient (olive oil, meat, etc) driven recipes, or broadly focused on something like BBQ.

Just makes it easier for me to grab what I want.

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Too many!!!    Someone asked me, how do you know which ones have which recipes to follow?   I usually tell them, I don't really copy specific recipes in practice, all of these books I read are really just for ideas, techniques, but I rarely copy a recipe verbatim in practice.

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On 4/18/2019 at 9:10 PM, Owtahear said:

Too many!!!    Someone asked me, how do you know which ones have which recipes to follow?   I usually tell them, I don't really copy specific recipes in practice, all of these books I read are really just for ideas, techniques, but I rarely copy a recipe verbatim in practice.

Glad to know someone else does this. I will sit down with a cookbook and read it like a novel, but when it comes to needing a specific recipe for something, unless I'm going to a tried-and-true in a specific cookbook, nine times out of 10 I'll look online.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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On ‎4‎/‎21‎/‎2019 at 4:34 PM, kayb said:

Glad to know someone else does this. I will sit down with a cookbook and read it like a novel, but when it comes to needing a specific recipe for something, unless I'm going to a tried-and-true in a specific cookbook, nine times out of 10 I'll look online.

Bingo!   That's exactly what I do.  I know I have seen something....but usually will look it up.   Like I said, they are fantastic resources for ideas and techniques.  

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I have a lot of really good cookbooks and I want to use them instead of the internet so I use my Eat Your Books account.  It is a fantastic resource and many users make good comments about the recipes.

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@Okanagancook, Eat Your Books no longer has a lifetime membership and it's really, really pricey. And I have an issue with someone else controlling my data. I mean that I'm the one who'll have to organize all that stuff. What if I live another 40 years? OK, unlikely. How about 30? Or even 20?

 

Think of all the used cookbooks that could buy! 🤣


Edited by TdeV (log)

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 I find the site very useful.  I am there everyday.

I like the daily articles, book reviews and comments about recipes made by members which are usually right on.

  For all that I am not sure I would classify it as really, really pricey.

 

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When EYB came along, I was at a point where it was hard to justify purchasing any more cookbooks because it was easier to look up recipes on the internet, though the results were often of lesser quality than what was in my cookbook collection. 

My membership was the key to making good use of my books and generating quality search results from the blogs, magazines, newspaper columns, etc. that I follow. 

The current annual membership of $30/year is around the cost of one newly published cookbook.  Certainly more pricy than what I paid for a lifetime membership but it's a trade-off I'd make in a minute.  

@TdeV, it sounds like you would be happier investing that $30/year in lots of used cookbooks.  I can see that side of it but I'm happier making good use of the collection I own and adding to it judiciously.   It's all good!

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