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Completionism


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Yesterday my dear adult granddaughter asked if I'd ever cooked my way through every recipe in a cookbook.  Today I read of the passing of Julie Powell who apparently had.  If anyone here has achieved that feat, I'm guessing possibly @blue_dolphin.  What say you, folks?

 

My most recent acquisition is 1000 Indian Recipes and it's not happening anytime soon.

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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Somewhat along the same idea, and probably inspired by her endeavors, I once cooked every recipe from every issue of Fine Cooking magazine that was published in that one year.  The magazine was having a Cook the Issue contest, and I took it a wee bit too far.  That was at least 10 years ago (probably more), and my husband still mentions it from time to time (not in a fond way).  Some of the desserts were really amazing, including a delicious pumpkin brown butter cake and a huge croquembouche, but we are not a dessert family, so I've never made them again.   I do still use the salmon burger recipe they published that year, but that's the only one that has stood the test of time for us.  

 

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The only one I would ever conceivably contemplate doing that with is my grandmother's handwritten recipe notebooks, scanned and converted to PDF format by one of my cousins and subsequently distributed to any family member who wanted a copy.

 

It would be something of a sentimental journey, but realistically it's one I'm not likely to undertake.

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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I *almost* did it with Wolfert's "Slow Mediterranean Kitchen". 

 

It was the year after my mother died, and I was clearing out the house.  [Yes, I now realize that other people undertake this process in a matter of a few days; but it took me seven months.]

 

Anyway.  I was closing a door, pretending that my life was something other than horrible, feeding my brother, soothing myself.  

 

Really, I could not have made a better choice.  

 

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I considered it years ago, but in a similar vein to @blue_dolphin there were always recipes using ingredients that I would never allow in my house. 
I have nothing but admiration for @liamsauntcooking her way through a year of Fine Cooking. That only one recipe survived from this exercise startles me.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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1 hour ago, Dr. Teeth said:

Why make food you don’t want to eat?   

I'm always nervous that I'm missing out on something delicious.  I wouldn't do it if I didn't have a pre-existing confidence that the author Knows What's Good.  

 

Having my mind blown in a different direction by some recipe is, really, the only non-work-related adventure of my youth and young adulthood.  

 

I am glad my life has broadened; but I do miss what that felt like.  God.

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Let me ask another question:  If you could, feasibly, cook your way through any cookbook, what cookbook would that be?  For me it would be any work of Giuliano Bugialli.

 

Or perhaps more practically, Jessica Harlan's The Little Book of Takoyaki (eG-friendly Amazon.com link).

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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I would have to wait until I retire to have the time to cook through any of my cookbooks; however, I have made more than half of the recipes from The Cake Bible (admittedly I use these at work so....), from The Way to Cook, and the Silver Palate cookbooks.  My roommate at the time and I impressed a lot of dates with dinners cooked from those first two Silver Palate books!

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2 hours ago, JeanneCake said:

I would have to wait until I retire to have the time to cook through any of my cookbooks; however, I have made more than half of the recipes from The Cake Bible (admittedly I use these at work so....), from The Way to Cook, and the Silver Palate cookbooks.  My roommate at the time and I impressed a lot of dates with dinners cooked from those first two Silver Palate books!

 

By percentage I've done more recipes from The Cake Bible than from most cook books I own.  The Cake Bible was brand new when I carried a copy on the plane back from a conference in Minneapolis long ago, where I was presenting a paper on TDI (Time Delay and Integration) Imaging.

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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As a young poor newlywed with almost no cooking experience, I was gifted Pierre Franey's 60 Minute Gourmet when it was first published.  I made all of the recipes in it as we didn't have budget for any other cookbook, nor was there an internet. 

 

I give him credit for introducing us to better foods in a format that was easy to read/understand with recipes containing ingredients that were affordable and readily available.  

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