In the Justification of My Cookbook Collection

Cooking for me has always been therapeutic. In my personal expansion of that therapy, I have evolved to be one of those people that reads cookbooks in the way that most people read novels, which has led to an expanding collection. I grew up in a family filled with PHENOMENAL cooks. Recipes and moments shared with these people have a very strong grasp on my heart. Yet, for my growing collection of cookbooks, I can only count a handful of recipes I use out of each of them to have my own special moments with those around me. As we begin 2018, I have decided (admittedly, at my husband’s request) that I will cook from each cookbook I own this year. And I thought, why not write about it?

The Goal:

As of January 4, 2018 I am the PROUD owner of 61 cookbooks. The basic goal is to cook from each cookbook that I own at least once by December 31, 2018.

Quick Math in my head- 365 days / 61 cookbooks… that’s a cookbook every 5.98 days. (okay, that math may have been on my phone, not in my head). Crap.. I’m already behind schedule.

The additional, elongated, drawn-out version of this goal is to leverage the books that I have already enjoyed reading so much and find ways to incorporate them into my life and make memories out of food, the way I grew up doing. I cook dinner nearly every night and have a tendency to get in ruts with food. Working a full-time job but finding dinner important, it’s just too easy for me to run into Publix and get the same thing over and over that I can make with my eyes closed. Food is meant to be enjoyed, and there are always stories behind recipes. I aim to spend time with each of these books, and share with you my experience in cooking from them, and what I took from the stories they shared.

The Books:

I’m not going to give the exhaustive list here, but the highlights include:

  • A handful of regional, fundraiser, church, and local cookbooks (most have been given to me by my Uncle and they formerly belonged to his mother, so I am completely unaware of what awesomeness they contain)
  • Several older versions of Southern Living Cookbooks, including a few specialized, focused books
  • Some canning cookbooks
  • A Thai cookbook (true story, no idea where this came from. I might have stolen it from my mom).
  • Pioneer Woman, Trisha Yearwood, Giada de Laurentis, and several other Food Network Stars that I appreciate.
  • “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” (Guess I get to have my own Julie & Julia moment).

You can keep up with the books that I cook from here: The Books

The Challenges:

A notoriously picky husband whom will have to eat what I cook (or go to Burger King and have it his way, but that is obviously not the goal)Baking = not my forte. Since I have 3-4 books solely focused on baking, this could get interesting.

Restricted diet – I have given up eating a number of things in an effort to be healthier in 2018. On Day Two of The Julie/ Julia Project, upon completing Julia Child’s recipe for Quiche Lorraine, Julie Powell wrote “Oh Sh*t, I’m going to gain 50 pounds this year aren’t I?” Well, not this girl. Luckily, I have 61 books I can pull recipes from so I won’t have to solely focus on French Cuisine. Unluckily, most of them are heavily influenced by southern cooking & cuisine (don’t hate, I like Buttah ya’ll). I will have to get creative on this front.

So, there’s the goal. We will be having our first post tomorrow morning with breakfast!

Comments (2)

  • I just wanted to drop by and personally visit your corner kitchen, because i like to be personal that way when i know someone has a blog. I know just how much effort it takes to start one, get going, as well try to maintain one. Plus your journey is one I can whole heartedly understand and in a somewhat emotional way. I immediately thought of the movie “Julie and Julia” as i remember watching it when I made the decision to make my own project to become a much better cook though I knew some basics. Not exactly cooking through all my cookbooks (110+, countless FineCooking Mags etc) exactly like you, but thought of it many times. But more to focus on actively being better which means practice, practice, practice, being better with all my resources, countless cookbooks that I loved but like you never actually cooked recipes i liked to see thumbing through the pages.

    Being a huge Ina Garden fan myself, who owns ever single BFC show she has ever done and her a huge inspiration of mine. Imagine If i was to cook just half the things I’ve seen her cook too in my show collection. I’d be a far better cook as well and in remembering “Julie & Julia”. So In a way it’s like watching my own journey as well in another person, in someone I don’t even know and that’s appealingly personal. So i backtracked from instagram, saw you recently started your journey, immediately fell in love with your project and found you here. That’s always so cool. As well, putting a comment on a blog, helps to give more life to the space it occupy.

    So just want to say, your husband is right and i’m sure he won’t mind being on your cooking adventure as you cook new and interesting things. You’ll have better memories and even funny moments and memories. And those are the things that also helps to give life meaning as well.

    I’ll follow along, because as much as it inspires me, it will also feel like therapy relief being on the journey as well. I should get back to writing my own, but I’ve been on a break so sometime soon. However going through your old cookbooks, give you the opportunity to learn the recipes and all you in doing them to modernize them as well and in that is a huge amount of learning that will happen and be quite valuable to you. Allot of learning comes from also being good at cooking and goes both ways. It’s always a huge insight to go back to a person’s very first blog post and to read why they are on the journey they are on.

    Journey on..

    Alliey 2 years ago Reply

    Thank you so much! It really is such an inspiration to meet other food bloggers who are sharing what their food and recipes mean to them. Thanks for following along. I hope you get back to writing!

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