Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cookbook Challenge - Do you actually use your Cookbooks?

I have confessed before: I am a cookbook junkie. But after salivating over the newest one, marking lots of pages with post-its, trying out one or two recipes - do I then ever use my books? Some yes, most not all that often, and some, I am ashamed to admit, not at all. So I had an acute attack of creative jealousy when I read about my fellow blogger Michel's Cookbook Challenge. Why didn't I have that idea? And I did not exactly feel better when I found Foodfreak's Challenge from 2009 "Mein Kochbuch, das unbekannte Wesen" (My Cookbook this unknown Entity) where you are asked to take a cookbook of your choice, ideally one from which you have never cooked before or haven't used for ages. Write about the book, why you bought it, where you bought it, what you like or don't like about it and what you think about it now. Prepare a recipe from the book and blog about it. Foodfreak even created a logo to go with the challenge:

Since this is such a great idea, a big thank you to Michel and to Foodfreak for the inspiration. So here we go and I'd be real happy if one or the other co-junkie out there joins me.
 My unknown cookbook # 1: 
This book about vegetables cost a mere 0.95 € and came as a Saturday supplement with one of the French national newspapers (I don't remember which one) when I had just started developing  Cuisine de Provence cooking classes and was looking for inspiration. See all those post-its? Actually, looking at the recipes again, they are simple, straightfoward and sound rather good - which we will know once I have done some shopping and start chopping. So stay tuned!


  1. ha! this is a good question. I probably have a thousand cookbooks. at one time, i used many of them. now i mostly use the internet. however, there are some recipes i am sentimental about and i still go to the cookbook for them. i started out only liking cookbooks with pictures and now prefer ones without photos.

    1. A thousand cookbooks Joyce! And I thought I was bad. But I do prefer books with pictures.

  2. What a great idea! I have 150+ cookbooks and definitely haven't used them all! I've looked through them all at one point too but that's about it. :-) I have some tried and true ones like Joy of Cooking and a few pastry books.

  3. I am very happy that you liked my challenge and shared it with your readers on your delicious blog. Like you, I definitely prefer pictures with recipes as they sometimes help explain what the author of a poorly worded or edited recipe meant for the recipe reader to do. Other times, it is obvious that the photographer and/or food stylist has modified the dish to make it pop for the picture.

  4. I do love cookbooks but always go back to the same ones or more often, print recipes from my blogger friends and the cookbooks simply collect dust.

  5. This is such a cool idea, I'm no different, I buy, I look, I might use one or two recipes, then the lovely covered books get placed where I can admire them, or have others admire them thinking 'does she really cook from all of them' Now I feel as if I should make use of the more neglected books. Fun post.

  6. Such a wonderful idea! I wouldn't know which cookbook to start with among the 100's that I have now!