Today I’m going to discuss a type of cookbook which I call a recipe book. I define these a being cookbooks which are primarily just a list of recipes. These are exemplified by cookbooks such as a church, school, or junior league cookbook. Other notable examples are:
- The Ultimate Southern living Cookbook
- The New Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook
- The Joy of Cooking
These three are more of hybrid, because they do include information on techniques and ingredients. However, they are still large collections of recipes. These type of cookbooks are nice because they contain a large variety of recipes and are very versatile. I find that the best of these cookbooks have good reference materials and directions on how to handle ingredients, so that you can understand and follow the directions. These are the things that help you become a better cook.
Recipe books published by a church or organization can help you connect with an organization and bring back fond memories in a way that other cookbooks cannot; simply because you have a personal connection to the people and recipes in them.
In my opinion recipe books fare the worst against electronic media. It is so easy to search online for a technique and see step by step instructions and videos, or to search by recipe name, or even ingredients to find recipes that will match what you have on hand. The quality of the editing and the testing of recipes will be the keys to making recipe books viable going forward. The classics will endure, but lower quality cookbooks will have a very hard time competing against online collections.