Veggin’ Cookbook Chronicles Challenge: The Set-up

June 16, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Cookbook Chronicle Challenge Print This Post Print This Post

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We are definitely a reading household. Our house is absolutely filled with books of all types. Among the biographies, science fiction, novels and classics, I have seem to have accumulated an insane number of cookbooks.

I’ve picked these cookbooks up in bookstores, used book sales, library sales, from friends and some I have no idea how I got. (I think people left them on my shelf thinking they were giving them a good home.)

Walking past my bookshelf one day, it hit me dead in the face – why am I not using these cookbooks more often? Well, the biggest reason is that it’s easy to type ingredients or recipe title into Google, let technology sort through the information and provide me with interesting choices. It’s fast and easy, but, there’s something missing.

I finally put my finger on it – it’s the thrill of the hunt that’s lacking. Searching the internets is just not the same as looking up ingredients in the index, flipping through the pages to see what other recipes exist that weren’t in my original search, and checking out the philosophy of chefs, authors or creators of the entire cookbook.

So, that’s why my Cookbook Chronicle Challenge was born. I’m going to work my way through my cookbooks on my shelf and see what I can find, cook and eat. I also hope to share some recipes that aren’t already floating in the ether of the internet and inspire you to take some of the cookbooks off your shelf and try something new. After thumbing my way through these cookbooks, I have a feeling some might not earn a place back on my shelf while others earn a new honored spot.

So, what sorts of cookbooks do I have currently?

Well, many of the cookbooks I have are vegetarian, vegan or vegetarian friendly…

while others are not.

Meanwhile, others are classic kitchen mainstays…

antiques…

obscure…

and, random.

Regardless of the cookbook, it’s now time to dust off the volumes that I’ve got and get into the kitchen. Come back and check it out!

(By the way, I’m ashamed to admit, after I had gathered what I thought were all my cookbooks, I stumbled upon several others upstairs that didn’t make it into the group shot. Sadly, I’m sure I have some others lurking in the rafters…)

4 Comments to “Veggin’ Cookbook Chronicles Challenge: The Set-up”


  1. Good idea! I have the same problem….way too many cookbooks, but I get so distracted by all the lovely recipes I see online that I forget about them. I have been making an effort lately to cook out of them more though, and you’re right that you can find a lot of recipes that aren’t already floating all over the internet. Good luck with your cookbook ventures!

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  2. The cookbooks in our house fall under two categories (with the second one having three subcategories).

    1. Cookbooks that are used: These ALL the cookbooks purchased by L.–he has never bought one that he hasn’t used at least several times a year–and about 7-8 purchased by me.

    2. Cookbooks that are not used:
    2.a Cookbooks purchased by me, for special occasions, in an effort augment or find the best of a certain type of cooking or baking cookbook for a developing cooking or baking interest of L.’s (e.g. 3 of the 4 cheesecake cookbooks I got him one Christmas, only one of the original lot made the bookcase in the kitchen, which is where all the books in 1. reside).
    2.b Cookbooks purchased by me under the pretext of being for L., but really for me to read when I am in the mood to be an armchair chef. These are mostly the ones with great illustrations and/or lots and lots of accompanying anecdotes and stories and random tidbits, that make it less of a cookbook and more of a culinary chick lit. book.
    2.c Cookbooks purchased for L. by people (all family members) other than me. Not one success story among them. Heck, I’ve lived with him more than any single member of his family ever has, and I don’t get it right more than once every couple of years!

    There are also two cookbooks that were purchased specifically for me by people who should’ve known better. They’re with the books that will eventually find another home.

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  3. Megabeth says:

    I love it “culinary chick lit book”. I have lots of those. I’ll eventually get to my favorite cookbook that is exactly that…

    As for purchasing cookbooks for someone else, it’s kind of like buying shoes as a present. The shoes are very appreciated, and will be worn, but the fit is most likely not going to be right.

    I have to flip through cookbooks, get a flavor for them, and they have to “speak” to me. Some cookbooks leave out instructions that, seriously, I need to know how to cook it before I add it. Such as when a recipe starts out saying, “Cook **random ingredient** meanwhile chop onions.” No, I need to know *how* and *how long* to cook that random ingredient. Hence my need for Joy of Cooking and Fannie Farmer as reference…

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  4. I’m sorry, I got stuck singing “Fish heads, fish heads, yummy yummy fish heads . . .”

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