Dedicated Follower of Cookbooks


You know what I can’t stand? People who say “Oh, I never follow a recipe. I just put things in a pan and somehow it all comes together.” Oh yeah? I’d like to see how your souffles come out. Go on, show me how to bone a duck.

I love my cookbooks. I read them in bed. I don’t always follow them religiously and there are at least three in the above line-up that I have never actually cooked anything from. But who cares? Half the joy of food is in the thinking of it and in reading about it. I hate being made to feel bad for not being spontaneous. There’s a reason why recipes exist and it’s to HELP US COOK WELL. I’m willing to subjugate my idea of what might be a really great twist on a meal to the principal of always following a recipe for the first time you make a food. You can always try it with the twist later, but if you don’t know what you’re doing then for god’s sake listen to someone who does.

Occasionally I try to start notebooks (lovely, moleskin ones, from those shops with the froo-froo presents) all neatly with lists and ideas for recipes from cookbooks that I’d like to cook. But then they get messy and out of date and I get cross with them. I just can’t do it. And that’s why I’ll always love my cookbooks.


6 Responses to “Dedicated Follower of Cookbooks”

  1. Eip Says:

    I love cook books as well. But most of the time I find that it is less expensive to take a general idea from the books and change it to use what I have on hand.

  2. bigsky Says:

    Cook books are my favourite things to read. Especially whilst I eat toast for breakfast. My all-time favourite is a book called The Impoverished Gastronome, but I think it may now be out of print.

  3. 101things Says:

    There’s a cookbook I keep meaning to get for you from the Oxfam bookshop – Floyd on Hangovers (or something like that).

  4. verniciousknids Says:

    I don’t currently own any cookbooks, but I do browse online for recipes and ideas. I’m not ashamed to admit that I follow recipes – and that sometimes I don’t as well 🙂

  5. septemberfool Says:

    Some of my favourite cookbooks are written by the Podleski sisters, Janet and Greta. Their recipes aim to be low-fat, tasty and easy to make, and their books are full of cheesy puns and helpful nutritional info. I can truly credit them for making me want to be a better and more careful cook. Viva cookbooks!

  6. helen Says:

    It’s very encouraging to see a cook book fan out there – I have a very large collection, and it includes a few first editions………..A Larrouse Gastrononique (prized possession) and a Jane Grigson.
    I too read them in bed, and in the lounge, and in the kitchen, and in the car waiting for my husband at the airport, and on holiday……………………………………………………. I love the sight, and what a great idea!
    I m slowly getting into blogging and will be up and running by the end of April – I hope

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