Discussion Forums - Cooking Cooking

Topic: Why buy a cookbook?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Why buy a cookbook?
Date Posted: 11/1/2013 10:29 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2012
Posts: 266
Back To Top

I have two entire shelves full of cookbooks and since I've joined the cooking club I've begun to wonder why we buy cookbooks.  For me I am looking for stupendous recipes that are worth all the cooking and cleaning up.  Nothing less than spactacular is appreciated.  Then there are cookbooks that I have bought for menu planning and the ones that teach techniques for cooking.  I have one that has awful recipes in it but as the title says there is a recipe for everything in the book.  So it's a jumping off place for those recipes that no one else covers.  I have also found that each cookbook has it's own taste profile.  Some I like some I don't.

What criteria do you use when buying a cookbook?  What do you want from a cookbook?

  

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 11/1/2013 2:09 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
Posts: 5,767
Back To Top

I don't anymore. Honestly I never was a huge cookbook fan but since the internet I don't see a reason to buy a cookbook at all. It is much easier to print out a recipe and you don't have to worry about it getting dirty, you can just print another one.

Date Posted: 11/1/2013 2:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2012
Posts: 266
Back To Top

Since my computer dies every so often and I'm left to have to start over finding everything I've learned to keep hard copies of those things I want to make sure I don't lose.  But that's just me and the computer murphy.

Date Posted: 11/1/2013 3:57 PM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2011
Posts: 2,230
Back To Top

I have TONS of cookbooks - probably several hundred.  (It's an addiction, I admit!)  I'm always looking for healthy recipes, so anytime a new weight watchers or Cooking Light book comes out, I'm right there.  Other than that, though, I like anything that's pleasing to the eye.  I tend to sit down with my cookbooks and go through them like I'm reading a novel, so anything 'pretty' is a winner for me.

As Barb mentioned, there are SO many options to be found online, and I actually do that quite often.  But, there's still something about having that book in front of you.  And, I don't stress about getting marks/stains on them, since I think this gives the books character.  In fact, after I make a recipe, I usually make notes right in the book with things I may have added, subtracted, etc.  I also might throw in a quick rating that my husband gives it, so in the future, I'll know if it's a keeper or not.

(Going back to the 'stains' issue - my mom has the Betty Crocker Cooky book from the 60's.  She *still* bakes out of it, and it brings back so many memories from my childhood, always seeing her with it.  When my great aunt passed away several years ago, we discovered she had a brand new copy of it, which Mom offered to me.  I asked her - don't you want to keep this nice, crisp copy instead, and I'll take the old one?  She said absolutely not - when my dad was in Vietnam, she used to bake him cookies all the time from that same book, and she said the stains and markings are all part of her memories.  I *love* that story!)  :)

Date Posted: 11/1/2013 4:43 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2012
Posts: 266
Back To Top

That is so true.  A cookbook is the only book that I want to see writing in.  Me I paperclip and use sticky notes on every recipe that I use.  And I too rate recipes so I know if I want to do them again.

Date Posted: 11/3/2013 12:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
Posts: 2,353
Back To Top

I also have several hundred cookbooks, as well as four photo albums of clipped recipes with pictures.   I love just looking through them for ideas.  Maybe I have a certain kind of meat or vegetable I want to serve, but don't know what I want to do.  I can look through several books, maybe I'll use a recipe I find, maybe I'll just get inspired to make something new.  The other advantage is the cookbooks often present the recipes in a menu format so I get an idea of what to serve with it.  I collect Southen Living, Taste of Home and Cooking Light annuals, then have a lot of other specialty cookbooks.

For online recipes, I do like Epicurious.  But, I don't print them out, I use my laptop on a table so I can see it but not splatter on it.  The advantage there is I can change the font size too, so I can see it from a distance.

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 11/3/2013 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
Posts: 5,767
Back To Top

Oh, I get some magazines too. The cooking light/healthy type are good and Saveur is one of the best. I get emails from Saveur, anyone can sign up for them. There is a daily recipe and a weekly theme meal. Bon Apetit is good if you like high brow food, but only for that.

Date Posted: 11/3/2013 4:33 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
Posts: 2,353
Back To Top

Totally disagree about Bon Appetit, not always high brow food.  Some of my favorite dishes came from that magazine, like the Corn Chowder in the menu I mentioned on the Thanksgiving thread in CMT.   I will grant that the best recipes were back when William Garry was editor, not so much in recent years.

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 11/4/2013 12:33 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
Posts: 5,767
Back To Top

www.cooking.com  This is a website that sells expensive equipment but they have some great recipe email lists. There's a daily recipe and weekly specialist emails like favorite fall meals, 50 chocolate cookies, 20 potato dishes, that kind of thing.