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An Idea for Too-Many-Cookbooks Gulit

marie-louise's picture

I read this idea somewhere recently & I liked it so much I wanted to pass it on. I don't think it was here, but my apologies to whoever posted it if it was. Anyway...

Every week, pull out one cookbook you've never used/ read/ whatever. Thumb through it & find something new to cook that week. The next week, move on to another forgotten gem.

This week I am cooking out of the The Armenian Table by Victoria Wise. She was a chef when Chez Panisse opened-an updated version of the recipe for the first meal ever served there is in the book. (Braised Chicken w/ Green Olives & Turnips.) I bought it long ago & never even read it. (I grew up w/ a lot of Armenians & always wanted these recipes.) Tonight I'm making Armenian-style pilaf, which has vermicelli in it. It is what Rice-a-Roni copied. Later in the week I'm going to make Marinated Yogurt Cheese, and maybe real String Cheese if I'm feeling ambitious. Then the Braised Chicken.

Then I'm going to put it away & move on to the next book I never used. I'm guessing I've got about 30 cookbooks I bought and never really even read-let alone cooked from.

I think this will be fun.

Risottogirl's picture

(post #62730, reply #1 of 66)

THAT is an excellent idea!


Of course, at one per week, it'll take me a loooong time to go through them :)


Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor


Bobby Flay

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Jean's picture

(post #62730, reply #2 of 66)

I suggested that as a New Year's resolution a few years back.


And like all resolutions---hahaha.  Time to dust it off again under another name I guess. Are you just grabbing a book and cracking it open, or are you putting some thought into it?




My mother's menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it.

- Buddy Hackett

http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Risottogirl's picture

(post #62730, reply #3 of 66)

Maybe I'll just go in the order they are shelved, and they are shelved in no order at all LOL. This may also help me cull, which I desparately need to do.



Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor


Bobby Flay


Edited 5/28/2006 2:06 pm ET by Risottogirl

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

marie-louise's picture

(post #62730, reply #4 of 66)

Well, I'm starting by looking at the books I feel particularly guilty about buying & never using. [Insert your titles here.] So far I've looked at two.

In a perfect world I'd buy less books & use them more-you know, spend six months REALLY learning how to bake bread, or promise myself I'd make every Rick Bayliss salsa this summer. Since I have such a backlog of books, this is about the most I can do right now. And it's nice light evening reading, and a good way to get inspired to cook again.

So... how long did you keep it up, Jean?

shoechick's picture

(post #62730, reply #5 of 66)

You must be a mind reader.  I was cleaning up some of my books, they seem to grow into piles all over the place and just yesterday I was thinking of doing the same thing, pick one per week.

Cinderella is proof that shoes can change your life....

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.  ~St. Augustine

Jean's picture

(post #62730, reply #6 of 66)

Just long enough to ease the guilt a bit. :) I'm building up a back-log again.  I just rejoined QPB club and ordered all cookbooks. I keep telling myself it's a harmless hobby. I'd rather read a cookbook than a novel most of the time.



My mother's menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it.

- Buddy Hackett

http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
MadMom's picture

(post #62730, reply #8 of 66)

Any time DH dares to think of complaining about how many cookbooks I have, I just point out that he spends much more on novels which he tears through in a couple of days.  I can read and reread my cookbooks, besides, he gets to eat the results!



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Jean's picture

(post #62730, reply #12 of 66)

I had to go look to see if I was mis-remembering or not. :)


http://forums.taunton.com/tp-cookstalk/messages?msg=14131.6




My mother's menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it.

- Buddy Hackett

http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
SallyBR1's picture

(post #62730, reply #13 of 66)

Darn it all... I probably got it from YOU then!

:-)

It's nice to have such ####great search engine here!

Edited to add - I don t know why the censor hates me, but it obviously does

"The beauty of a Sally is how neatly she can be divided"
(CookiMonster, Dec 2005)


Edited 5/28/2006 10:32 pm by SallyBR1

AJ12754's picture

(post #62730, reply #7 of 66)

I like this idea a lot -- in going through my cookbooks before the upcoming move I found a Puerto Rican cookbook and a cake cookbook I completely forgot I had as well as a book of salad dressings.  I am going to try your ide starting tomorrow.  (Dance recital tonight).

"Truth is the engine of our judicial system." Patrick Fitzgerald

Cave obdurationem cordis

SallyBR1's picture

(post #62730, reply #9 of 66)

That was my New Year Resolution, maybe 2003?

(shame on me.... it did not last)

OH, well - you inspired me to do it. Seriously.

I promise.

 


 


"The beauty of a Sally is how neatly she can be divided"
(CookiMonster, Dec 2005)

marie-louise's picture

(post #62730, reply #10 of 66)

I have spent so much time reading the archives lately (searching for this or that) I'm not sure where I saw it. I actually thought it was on eGullet, but maybe it was here. But I'm glad I inspired several of you!

I looked through yet another cookbook this afternoon, and it's interesting how there aren't that many "new" recipes that I'm dying to try. Maybe one or two per cookbook. So I'm not as far behind as I thought. I should be all caught up and ready to buy more cookbooks by winter, LOL. Oh, wait. I just remembered I bought All About Braising right before I started school. I don't think I ever opened it. And Paula Wolfert's Slow Cooking book. Those two will take a lot longer than a week to get through-probably all winter. I had visions of whipping up braises while I was home studying, but it was not like that at all. Thank God for take-out food; otherwise I would have starved.

PS Sorry about the typo in the title.

SallyBR1's picture

(post #62730, reply #11 of 66)

Oh, I did not mean to imply that I was the one who first said it!

But I definitely should do it again - originally, my intention was to move one cookbook per week from the bedroom bookshelf (huge), to the kitchen bookshelf (tiny) - and cook exclusively (or almost) from it.

IN the kitchen I keep the FC issues plus cookbooks that I use often - the bedroom bookshelves hold the "other" cookbooks.

ANyway, it was a good thought - but your post made me consider it more seriously

 


 


"The beauty of a Sally is how neatly she can be divided"
(CookiMonster, Dec 2005)

Lword's picture

(post #62730, reply #14 of 66)

>Every week, pull out one cookbook you've never used/ read/ whatever. Thumb through it & find something new to cook that week. The next week, move on to another forgotten gem.


I get stuck on the thumbing through part. I have too many books that I've only thumbed through when what I really want to do is read them. I have hundreds of not just cookbooks to cull, but they're hard to let go of - I haven't read this yet, or want to read it again, or really should read this or cook this before I die, you know all those excuses.


It's a great idea though, just probably not for someone like me who is constantly sidetracked and hasn't found the ideal shelving system for the books and they're often scattered about, surfacing seemingly at their will not mine. Cracking the Coconut just showed up within a stack of non-cooking books for example. Crazy leafy poltergeists! 


 


 


L.
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." Mother Teresa
L.
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." Mother Teresa
transona5's picture

(post #62730, reply #15 of 66)

" they're often scattered about, surfacing seemingly at their will not mine."

"Crazy leafy poltergeists! "

Tell me about it. I find stuff I don't recall ever buying. I found a Sara Molton Cooks at Home book last month in the book case that I KNOW I didn't buy! And Jackie says it's not hers either. Danged spectral enablers!

 

 

Jean's picture

(post #62730, reply #16 of 66)

lol.  I grabbed 4 books off the shelf last night - randomly - and found a Reader's Digest slow cooker book. Never saw it before in my life. For this coming month I'll be making:


Slow Cooker Goulash from the RD Book.


Potato, escarole and country ham soup from the CIA Book of Soups


Summer Garden Vegetarian Minestrone from Ready and Waiting


and Chocolate Hazelnut Brownie Cake from Jacques Pepin Cooks at Home.


I thought if I posted my choices here it would keep me honest.


 




My mother's menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it.

- Buddy Hackett

http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
pamilyn's picture

(post #62730, reply #23 of 66)

How many people here have PILES of printed out recipes from this forum? OMG I'll never get to them all. Pamilyn

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

MadMom's picture

(post #62730, reply #25 of 66)

I put mine into several three ring binders, in plastic cases.  Each binder is separated by a heavy sheet of colored paper into recipes I've tried, and recipes I intend to try someday.  Of course, the ones I intend to try far outnumber the ones I've tried.  If any are "dogs" they can be pulled out and discarded, but that hasn't happened yet.  At least they're divided into categories, so I can find what I'm looking for...sometimes.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

pamilyn's picture

(post #62730, reply #26 of 66)

I have that too, but when I am here at work I just keep printing out recipes you guys say are good and then they never get filed into the binder until a long cold winter day when I don't have anything to do!!

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

Jean's picture

(post #62730, reply #27 of 66)

You'd never believe the size of my files on MasterCook. At least the search function works!



My mother's menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it.

- Buddy Hackett

http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Doughfingers's picture

(post #62730, reply #35 of 66)

I have Living Cookbook and just started putting recipes into it.  I doubt if I'll be using any of the ones that came with it, but I loved the idea of being able to organize my favorite recipes and eventually be able to print them out into "books" for my family, even if those books will be binders.


 

soccermom's picture

(post #62730, reply #28 of 66)

My printouts are scattered all over my home office. I just have to make sure that I never include one with my invoice :)

 


 

 

 

SallyBR1's picture

(post #62730, reply #30 of 66)

I don t think I want to answer your question.....

(I need help)

 


 


"The beauty of a Sally is how neatly she can be divided"
(CookiMonster, Dec 2005)

Doughfingers's picture

(post #62730, reply #34 of 66)

I know just what you mean about books and other things just appearing.  A few months ago I discovered a book called "Baking by Flavor".  I have no idea how long it was there, but it's a terrific book.  Nice recipes with crystal clear instructions and beautiful photograps.  It also cost $45 so I know I didn't buy it!!  I've only tried a few things from it, but none of them have disappointed me.  Love the idea of trying a new recipe a week from books you haven't used.  I'm discovering there are many kindred spirits here.  I oftenl take cookbooks to bed to read; I have more than I could use in several lifetimes, yet that is my favorite section in the bookstores and I am always looking for something new to bring home.  If money is tight (it usually is) then I check out cooking magazines for something new.  Just have to bring something home with me.  It's like some sort of illness.  So it's good to be here and see that I'm not alone!

CulinaryArtist's picture

(post #62730, reply #17 of 66)

Each month I do the same idea with all the magazines.  Fold the page when I read a recipe I want to try.  Make lists from the indices, print out recipes I see online or even from here.  And yet every few days I'm stuck for what to make for dinner.  Then I'll put the mags away and notice the folded pages and wonder why I never made those dishes!!  Too many recipes not enough days!  LOL!


If I started doing that with the 250+  books we'd never eat the same thing twice for three or four years!!  But it's not a bad idea!


Maybe we should have a new category just for the recipes we've finally hauled out of the dust collecting mags and books and critique them!


 


Jimbo the TRAVELING CULINARY ARTIST

Jimbo the TRAVELING CULINARY ARTIST

http//:www.travelingculinaryartist.com

Adele's picture

(post #62730, reply #18 of 66)

How odd that you should bring this up.  I did two recipes this weekend from books I haven't cooked from before.  Chocolate-Peanut Butter Birthday Fusion Brownie from Celebrate with Chocolate. Used a dressing as a marinade for shrimp on the grill from Hot Sour Salty Sweet, which I really feel guilty about not using, as so many here have praised it.  I still have it out, as this was a quick thing & only took 5 minutes. :)


As I sit here and glance at the shelves, I wonder what I'm going to do from The Whole Beast, perhaps Jugged Hare? Pigs Trotter Stuffed with Potato?  I went on an International streak a bit ago too, this will be a lot of fun.


Edit because I hit post halfway through.


But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!


Edited 5/29/2006 8:01 pm ET by Adele

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

RuthWells's picture

(post #62730, reply #19 of 66)

Does anyone else do this?  When I buy a new (dessert, of course) cookbook, it inspires me to bake.  But I almost always end up baking from a book that has already been sitting neglected on my shelf, rather than cracking open the new book right away.  Am I the only one?


 


Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabI...

soccermom's picture

(post #62730, reply #20 of 66)

I do that with every book. They inspire me to cook/bake so I pull out my tried and trues. I really need to get out and try new recipes. But I'm glad I'm not alone. :)

 


 

 

 

helena's picture

(post #62730, reply #21 of 66)

I do it too, my reasoning is that the recipe I end up baking is one I KNOW will be good ;o). Of course, that one had to be made for the first time too to find that out!

RuthWells's picture

(post #62730, reply #22 of 66)

my reasoning is that the recipe I end up baking is one I KNOW will be good


For some reason I end up trying new (untried) recipes from old books, not my old fall-back stand-by recipes....


Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabI...