Too Many Cookbooks?


Mother’s gift to me when I moved out on my own, Encyclopedia of Creative Cooking, on the far left.

Yes, probably, but I will let you know some were gifts, some were things I picked up at tag sales or library sales, and some were outright free from the book exchange table at the Litchfield Farmers’ Market (to which I have added a few of my rejected books on occasion).   I have a few, a very few, cookbooks on my Kindle, mostly free things dating from the turn of the past century, which are mostly of interest as period pieces, although I’ve occasionally attempted recipes from one or two of them.


Food Journeys of a Lifetime was a brotherly gift. There are some vegetarian cookbooks in here, but I avoid seitan (which I pronounce “Satan”) and TVP.

I also surf the net for new ideas, but I find by buying specialty cookbooks based on specific topics or cuisines, I come across ideas I’d never have thought to search for, when I am in the mood for, say, exploring Japanese food.  (My absolute favorite recent cookbook is Japanese Hot Pots, by Ono and Salat, and at some point in the near future I will be posting meals inspired by that book).   Besides, many of my cookbooks pre-date the Internet explosion of good cookery.  I also like the re-working of sauces and condiments in Healthy Dressings, Sauces and Toppings, by Mark Sisson; and having them all at one place at my fingertips is worthwhile.  My friend, Kat, pointed me at Planet Barbecue, by Steven Raichlen, wherein I can explore styles of barbecue around the world — it’s not just a face-off among Texans, Kansans, and North Carolinians….  and especially in the summer, grilling is great fun, and who wants to rely on hamburgers and hot dogs?  (Well, I don’t.)  Nancy pointed me at The Zuni Cafe, a restaurant cookbook when I was visiting once; I think we ate an item or two from it at her place — and I had to order that one.


On the far right, we start getting into my collection of Arthuriana books — you know, those things that relate to early Middle Ages King Arthur. I do read other things in addition to cookbooks.

I’ve actually come to a conclusion.  “How-To” books are to be bought, by and large, as books, as are art-focused books.  Cookbooks are “how-to”, as are home improvement, woodworking, food preserving, gardening, tree-identifying, tiling, home-building books.  I need the big print, rather than squinting down while working or creating.

Art books need a bigger screen/format than ANY Kindle or i-Pad can provide.  They need pages one can TOUCH.  I don’t buy many, but when I wish, I’d like to be able to view them as needed.

Other books, if available, will be bought as e-books.  I really am cramped on space and need to clear things out in my life.  I am also going to rely more on book “rental” from my local public library than I’ve done in my past.  At any rate, when I build my future home, the photo below will no longer be an issue, because there will be a convenient space in or near my kitchen to house cookbooks, WITHOUT having to stack them.   Stacking means you really really have to be dedicated to access any of the lower books in the stack.  Right now, my kitchen has ABSOLUTELY no room for a single cookbook.   (All photos in this post are from my current living room space.)


Need to re-arrange quick for accessibility. Most but not all are new.  Hey, note the little llama down to the lower right?

About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
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2 Responses to Too Many Cookbooks?

  1. Kat Hosinski says:

    Watching the Steve Raichlen shows convinced me I really could use the grill, and introduced me to the charcoal chimney. I’ve never looked back! I actually have one cookbook on my iPad. I won’t get more because electronics and an active kitchen don’t mix well. The electronics lose to steam, grease mist and fine particulates. I also need the (}%}[~%€) recipe to stay in sight for reference while cooking. Nope, I stay with actual books. In fact, once I’ve decided to love a recipe, I copy it to my personal book. Each page is in a plastic sleeve, easy to read, conserves the book, let’s me find favorites fast.

    Happy cooking!


  2. Hey, Kat, that’s a great idea, your own personal cook book with protective sleeves!

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