I love cookbooks and used to collect them by the dozen. Something has happened to me recently, though, and I seem less drawn to them, at least when it comes to looking for a new and creative recipe.
About a year ago, I realized that my collection of cookbooks had outgrown their storage spot in our tiny house, so I decided to cull them. Out went the fancy cookbooks that I had barely opened and the esoteric ones I had picked up on impulse, usually while on vacation. In no time, I amassed a huge pile to donate to our local library branch, where I knew, as a former volunteer, they would sell like hot cakes at the next book sale.
On the other hand, I have to admit that there is almost nothing I love more than curling up with a new cookbook, paging through it and imagining what I will cook from it. My latest favorite is “Prune”, the long awaited cookbook by Gabrielle Hamilton, owner of Prune, a tiny restaurant in New York that I’d love to visit. ( Gabrielle is also the author of her compelling memoir, “Blood, Bones and Butter”.) “Prune” is a unique and cleverly assembled cookbook that I’m sure has a firm spot in my collection. In fact, I will be doing a post from it next Friday.
My older collection of cookbooks are dog-eared and stained, and tend to be at least ten years old. Those were the days when I discovered Ina Garten and Melissa Clark, among others, and my cooking turned into a passion that ended up in my beginning a food blog over four years ago.
These days, though, I seem much more likely to draw inspiration from the half a dozen food magazines I peruse every month or the Wednesday Food Section from The New York Times. And if I want a quick, basic recipe as a jumping off point for a post, I usually hit either google or the food network recipe index online.
But I do so love my cookbooks, once again threatening to fall from their crowded shelf above my desk here in the kitchen.
Do you still cook from cookbooks? If not, where do you find recipes that inspire you? Do you have a current favorite cookbook? This kind of question is where I can get into trouble, as a reformed cookbook hoarder…