Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Obsession with Cookbooks

This post combines both food and décor (sort of…). I think people are born collectors or not. I was born in the former category. I have felt the pull to collect things from a young age, such as Montréal subway stubs and stamp collecting. I also used to have a small coin collection and hockey cards (for the cute players!). Now I have my Canadian House & Home magazines and a collection of recipes on my laptop.

I also have quite the collection of cookbooks. Side note: my first cookbook was Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa. I was given a gift certificate at a bookstore as a graduation present. I figured I could use a cookbook and I liked that each recipe had pictures. I find this rule holds true for most cookbooks since pictures attract my attention first. I selected the book not knowing who Ina Garten was and have been able to use many recipes since. My favourite recipe is the fresh corn salad and I always make the gazpacho soup in the summer.

Not only do I buy cookbooks that I think I will use, but I also buy cookbooks because I find the pictures are pretty, such as Williams Sonoma. I'm not sure that I use them sufficiently to justify their purchase, especially since I later found out that all the recipes are online!

Williams-Sonoma cookbooks and a couple of Weight Watchers ones.

I also like to buy inexpensive and quirky cookbooks. Quirky cookbooks are usually not very useful. Since I have not used them, I thought I would at least share them here, so I can tell myself I did not buy them for naught. Not only does the Alcatraz Women's Club Cook Book share recipes, but it briefly describes like "on the Rock" for the women and children. I picked up Any Idiot Can Cook with Simple Southern Recipes on a business trip to Kentucky (don't ask!). The recipes, including Coca Cola Salad, are accompanied by silly drawings.

Alcatraz Women's Club Cook Book.

Any Idiot Can Cook with Simple Southern Recipes.

I will also buy a cookbook if a friend writes one like The Vegetarian Manifesto by Jay Fothergill.

I stole this from my mom. Supposedly, I met Jean Chen when I was a baby and he thought I was adorable.

I had a subscription to Saveur for a year and I collect the free LCBO Food & Drink magazines.

My two most recent additions were Christmas gifts. I'm a lucky girl! My roommate G got me David Rocco's Dolce Vita. David Rocco has a Canadian TV food show. I also received Secrets of the Red Lantern: Stories and Vietnamese Recipes from the Heart, all the way from California from my friend The Gastronomer. I have flipped through both the books and will have to start cooking soon.

My Christmas gifts.

And you might wonder "How many recipes do I cook from these books?". The answer: "Not nearly enough!". But there is always tomorrow! What are your favourite or quirky cookbooks?


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Anonymous said...

I'm totally a cookbook addict too! Pretty food pictures tug at my heart strings. My favorite? The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. It's perfect for making the basics. Btw, David Rocco looks hot on that cover ;-)

Bernard said...

Great post! I shared this post with the readers of my blog which is specifically about "Quirky Cookbooks." Check it out if you get a chance: