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Urs Truly has a lot of cookbooks. I surmise there must be about 3-4 dozen of them sitting on the top shelves of the food pantry. They range in style from fancy gourmet types to plastic-bound Church women’s basement cookbooks. Once upon a time I continually consulted them for old favorites and new adventures in cooking. It was a pleasure to see them all in their rows, arranged in bulk. Then the internet came along and put them all out of business. Nowadays when I see my collection it elicits not pleasure but guilt. Alas it is much easier to open the Epicurious or Betty Crocker app, or just google search the titles of the desired dishes. These get recipes quick as a quarter note and it is far easier than rummaging through the cookbooks in a trial and error search through indexes, hoping to find what you have in mind.
Someone once proposed I get rid of them as they are obsolete as typewriters, but I haven’t the heart to do so. There is something comforting and pleasurable about running my fingers over the printed pages with their lovely photos. The favorite recipes are often dog-eared and having cooking stains. Some of them were gifts.
I have a box of TV recipe cards (thanks Annette Fabry!) and a series of Better Homes & Gardens cookbooks from the late 60s and early 70s (oh those photos!) Then there are the lovely Ruby Anne Boxcar Trailer Park Cookbooks which are rubbing elbows with Julia Child’s French cookbooks. Oh the joy! How on earth can I give up these lovelies, I ask you.
I recently heard in a podcast about some clever woman who put all her cookbooks in a database so she only has to type key words and hey presto! the programme tells her which cookbooks to pull down and where in them to find what she is looking for. What a find, if this is true. I would be blithe to have this. Anyone know of such?
All the same I feel sad about the cook books sitting up there, untouched and gathering dust. I sense they sit up there holding their breath, hoping someday I will close my eyes, reach up, and randomly pick out one of them and make something delicious, something I haven’t had in ages or (better yet) something new and adventuresome.*
Spo-fans are invited to tell me about their favorite cookbooks. I have a gift card from Amazon.com to use!
*I have just returned from the pantry where I did said ritual. He is what I pulled down:
Hot puppies! I can’t wait to make Chinese Orzo Vegetable Salad !