I’m obsessed with food. I’m constantly thinking about what I want to eat next. At least once a day, I find myself searching the internet for a recipe. I might Google an ingredient or look on Pinterest to see what others have pinned. Sometimes I even (gasp) leaf through my own cookbooks and collections of recipes. Which leads me to ask,
“Does anyone use cookbooks anymore?”
Honestly, I rarely use mine. And I have such an eclectic collection of cookbooks that I’m sure every recipe I would ever need is in there somewhere. I still have my first cookbook, a collection of recipes from ARAMCO wives illustrated by the woman who gave me art lessons when I was eight. And the Betty Crocker cookbook I bought when I was in college in Switzerland and I searched every bookstore for an English cookbook that had a recipe for Russian Teacakes (aka Mexican Wedding Cookies). I have the edition of Cooking Light’s Annual Recipes that has a picture of Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie on the cover – let me just tell you, if you could only eat one more piece of pie in your life, this should be it:
The most expensive cookbook I ever bought was “A Taste of the East,” it cost $25, and I bought it because I wanted the recipe for Sweet Cucumber Cooler. It has a lot of great recipes from Thailand and India and it’s beautifully illustrated. The only problem is my dishes rarely look like the pictures (except for the cucumber cooler). I have vegetarian cookbooks and seafood cookbooks and kid-friendly cookbooks. You name it, I’ve probably got it.
But when I start craving something I inevitably look for a recipe online. Granted, I’m on the computer a lot so it just makes sense to look for something on the internet. And when I’m done reading through ten or so versions of something like “Asian Noodles” and the comments that go along with each one, I’ll attempt to make the dish.
I realized the other day that I pretty much make the same dishes over and over, and what I’m basically doing when I search for a recipe is looking for a different twist on the same old dish. Or maybe I’m just looking for the version that I remember making a long time ago, maybe before the internet became my go-to medium for information…..in fact, just maybe, I was looking for the recipe that is in one of my cookbooks on the kitchen shelf!!
So here’s what I’ve decided to do:
Before I Google another recipe, I will go through all my cookbooks and try every dish that caught my eye at some point. Then I will put the keepers in a notebook – or better yet, scan them – so that when I am thinking about making something I will only have to look at my own file to get a recipe I know I will like. And I won’t waste so much time surfing the web and making things that don’t turn out quite like I expected them to. I would then be able to spend more time eating and less time thinking about eating.
I’ll let you know how it works out – right after I look up something to make for dinner tonight.
What about you? Do you still use cookbooks or are you a recipe surfer like me?