Cookbooks: introduction

I have been doing some thinking about recipes lately.  More specifically about how we find and use them.  Obviously picking a recipe to cook is a big part of our blog, and we tend to be fairly narrowly focused in what we choose to blog about, since our original stated goal is to explore our cookbook collection.  We have stayed fairly true to our plan to go through our cookbooks in order, picking a new recipe from each one each week.  As we have become more involved in the project we have jumped around some, embracing gifts, seasonal incookbooks-introgredients, and the bounty of our garden, and sometimes just to satisfy personal cravings.

I recently ran across a seafood cookbook with recipe that would kill you (or at least make you very sick), and this got me to thinking about how the quality of cookbooks varies, and what makes for a good (or great) cookbook.  This led into an analysis of the different types of cookbooks and a consideration of the benefits of each.

I’m going to discuss the merits and drawbacks of electronic “cookbooks” (blogs and recipe sites) in comparison with traditional paper cookbooks.  I will also discuss the pluses and minuses of what I will call recipe books, cooking books, and picture books.


I believe that they all have their place.  Some cookbooks are great by being exemplars of their type (The Joy of Cooking), and some excel by combining the best of all three types (Mexico One Plate at a Time).

This is the first of a six-part series on cookbooks, how we like to find recipes, etc. We’ll be posting this series on Wednesdays. We hope these topics are as interesting to you as they are to us, and we’ll be explaining how our cooking has evolved over the course of this project!

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2 Responses to Cookbooks: introduction

  1. Your copy of “Joy” is beautiful! Mine has a ripped off front cover and is missing everything from the wedding cake through the index (enthusiastic puppy.) I have a collection of vintage cookbooks that really bring me joy. I love seeing which recipes were well loved (pages stuck together, spatters) and which were not.

    • Thank you! We have a few puppy chewed items around the house too. We try to keep our cookbooks in decent shape, but splatters and spills do happen. I have the outlook that I would rather them be loved and used than perfect and neglected.

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