How many recipe books do you have? How often do you pull them off the shelf and cook from them? Maybe you have memorised or copied out a few favourite recipes and not found the time to go back to the books or perhaps you choose a new recipe every week to try.
The aim of our challenge this week is to renew our pleasure in the cookbooks in our current collection. Remember how it felt to acquire each one? How motivated and excited you were about all the dishes you were going to prepare! Let’s rediscover that joy and add a new favourite to our menu.
Choose one of the following approaches:
Level 1: One book, one recipe
Choose any cookbook. Browse to find a recipe you’d like to try. Organise the ingredients and cook it within the next week.
Level 2: One book, right through
Choose any cookbook. Start browsing from the front without missing any pages. Stop at the first recipe that seems reasonable to try—even one you might not have considered before. The aim is not to cook every recipe in the book, but to cook each one that appeals in some way. Because we tend to choose meals similar to what we already like, this option will not only broaden our menu plan, but also our cooking techniques and tastes.
So, choose a book and start browsing!
Finally, here’s a simple way to see if there are too many cookbooks in your collection. How would you feel if I asked you to take this technique and apply it to every recipe book you own within the next year? Is it reasonable to think you might cook from each cookbook at least once? How many have remained on the shelf unopened during the last twelve months?
If there are many books that never come down from your shelves: you might cook from memory; you keep them only to browse and admire (I have quite a few in this category!); or you have too many books. Is it time to let some go? Once the volume is not so overwhelming, you might be motivated to dip into them again.