Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How many cookbooks does Julia Child have?

Whenever we move, I have to pack a kitchen box solely with cookbooks. After 18 years of marriage, we've picked one up here and there, but I'm torn now because I'm in a throw out mood. But what to throw out?

These two, for instance, were wedding presents. The one on the left was perfect for beginner cooks/young marrieds/college students that didn't have to cook for many people. The one on the right had some good desserts but a lot of the recipes are a little complicated for me. They are both well used - pages falling out, electrical tape to patch the binding - and we plan to get a new copy of the "Where's Mom" book when our kids finally leave the nest. But should I allow these to clutter up my present nest anymore? I hardly use them now.

And then there are the cookbooks that were put together by different Relief Society sisters in past wards we've lived in. Even if I did a different dinner every night for a year, I wouldn't be able to do all of them. Some recipes are deceptive - they look simple, but then I read through them and they require some pot or pan or cooker that I don't have or have never seen (a double boiler?). Most of the sisters' faces have deserted my memory so I don't know who contributed what recipe.

And then there are the "specialty" cookbooks. Having a diabetic husband can be a challenge sometimes. He's type 1 so it's not a question of low carbs as WHAT carbs. Most cookbooks don't have carb counts for servings. The ones that do? Well, let's just say that if it's light on the carbs, it's heavy on other things and TASTE is not one of them.

My husband and I love Chinese food. We are not so great at cooking it. So-so. I look in these and I can't make heads or tail of them, or the ingredients are hard to find, or again I don't have some essential equipment (what's a rice steamer?) I thumbed through these and have never opened them since. My husband found them somewhere....

This one is just annoying. It's not just for those who want to stop type 2 diabetes with diet, but those who want to be rid of animal foods entirely. Do you know how much nutritional yeast costs? $6.00 a pound! And my husband can't stand tofu. There goes half the recipes in the book.

This one is of the same type: get rid of most of your animal products and buy egg replacement (?) and some other vague substitute for real food. Everything is either formulated to be bland or spicy. There were a couple of recipes that worked well enough (pizza dough and pizza sauce and taco soup) that I used to make them frequently. Now the pizza stuff is too labor intensive and my family never wants taco soup again.

And then there are the binders of course. I have a 2 inch binder filled with stuff I used a few times, or are seasonal things, or just stuff I ripped out of magazines. There is also this one. My mother-in-law's most requested dishes, some of which I can't face because they are, again, labor intensive. I'm not going to get rid of this though. The few things I can do are good and the kids fight over who will get it when they move away from home. I've neglected to mention copy machines.

So. How many cookbooks do YOU have? And why don't you get rid of it?


Karilyn said...

wellllll.......... I refuse to count.

I absolutely love the "Taste of Home" magazine! I know they have a website, but it's so much more fun to flip through those pages...

I adore the Ward R.S. cookbooks, which I pick up at various yardsales whenever I see one.

I used to have my children pick one new recipe each month, then we'd make it... I kept the "T.of H." magazines down in the laundry room, so I could do some day-dreaming while waiting for the washer to fill up.

I won't even go into the 'specialty' cookbooks - I just like the regular ones, myself. Unless, of course, you consider a cookbook totally devoted to desserts or chocolate a specialty~

LOVE cookbooks, I do!!

Pam said...

HAHAHAGive Karilyn some of the cook books!!
Use the ones that are known to be successful for you and throw the rest away or give them to a library, then you can go check it out if you want to use it again.

Mamma Christine said...

This makes me feel bad. I should probablyhave more, but I don't love to cook, so I'm rarely tempted buy buy more. I probably have 10 and I use something out of all of them, except the church cookbooks. I almost never use those. Come to think of it, I'm going to throw those out. Thanks.

Lourie said...

Oh my goodness...I have a cookbook graveyard in that useless cupboard above the fridge. The recipes I normally use are in a 4x6 photo album that holds 100 pictures. It's not full. Not because I can't fill, but because I am lazy and forgetful. As for what to do with the books. Pick your favorites, scan them, and then put the books in a box and take it to a used book store or thrift store.

Sarah Bishop Jackson said...

I have never counted.....am afraid to. :)

Uncle Newell has as many or more gardening books!

Lisa S said...

I have more Relief society cookbooks than I care to count. What makes me laugh about those cookbooks is the fact that one recipe is submitted by 10 women and they are all included. Why cant they just print the recipe once and list all the submitters below it.
I have a Joy of cooking my mil gave me for Christmas one year...hardly ever look at it. No pictures...too much writing. But I love having all these cookbooks around...but my go to cookbook is the Betty Crocker cookbook.

Nicole's crazy Blog said...

I have a ton. With our move I too got rid of a bunch and only kept the ones that meant something or that I really use. And a few that I hope to use because the covers are really pretty.