Books for…Cooks?

There are people who are recipe hoarders. They will obsessively collect them from friends, scribble them at the back of bills, in the memo function of phones, badger mothers, aunts and sundry relatives for old family secrets. There was a time when recipes were cut out of magazines and neatly filed in folders to be referred to on a rainy day. But now they are gathered from various blogs and websites. So what about those glossy recipe books which we are told publishers are happy publishing because they sell so well? Does anyone actually use them? Or, are they just bought as gifts?
PS: I buy them to look at the delicious pictures. Of course there is a hope in there somewhere that the pictures will inspire me to actually cook something.
LL: I have so many of those but the one book that I really use is an old, tiny book, badly written, published on cheap paper but it has very useful everyday food recipes as well as the more elaborate ones.
PS: I know what you mean, I have a book about cooking for one or two people which I bought when I was at University. It’s so basic, it even tells you how to make cheese on toast! I have put the book to good use over the years.
LL: I think people buy the glossy, big recipe books because they can justify the price to themselves since they will be using it for cooking for others. It doesn’t seem as self-indulgent as buying just another novel.
PS: Somehow when you look at the books everything seems do able…
LL: I know, you think you can make wine, bake bread, the most magnificent cakes and it’s all possible because the book makes it look so beautiful. That feeling of omniscience lasts until you actually start collecting the ingredients and then give up half way through.
PS: And then one goes back to the old tattered, comfortable recipe which has been tried and tested.
LL: Which is why I like the blog recipes because they have been tried and tested by someone and those people give you little, handy tips. After a while you develop a familiarity with particular blogs and know who you can rely on. It’s the modern day alternative to depending on family and friends. No one actually writes recipes in hand into a book anymore. Which I think is a pity.
PS: I do. Not in a book but I write them on pieces of paper which I punch and file.
LL: That’s just OCD.
PS: It’s easier to pull them out for use. And more practical than buying yet another glossy book.

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