March 16, 2009

380 Books. 46 Cookbooks. One Cooking Challenge.

I like to think I’m a laid back sort. I figure there are times to kick up a fuss (not too often), times to be detailed oriented (like when booking flights or at work) and times to just be chill (most of the rest of the time).

However, I can be a wee bit anal retentive about some things. Spelling and grammar are one of those things (though I will not claim to be perfect when it comes to either – that’d be stupid).

Another weird anal-retentive habit?

I catalogue all of my books. For the record, I own more than 380 books. This has no bearing on the number of books I’ve actually read. There are plenty of books that I’ve read and then let go – either I didn’t want it on my bookshelves after I bought and read it or because those pesky librarians insist on my returning borrowed books. If I’m being really honest (yuck), I should also admit that I’ve not yet read all of the books I own.

Anyhow, to make things worse, I categorize them into general buckets (e.g. fiction, biographies, humor, philosophy, etc.). Some books even qualify for secondary buckets. This ain’t no Dewey Decimal system, but whatev.

I recently updated the list to include some new acquisitions. Then I sorted the list for giggles, and Excel told me I own a grand total of 46 cookbooks.

Forty-six? Seriously?!

Yes. Forty-six.

Worse yet is the fact that I haven’t actually put all those books to use for even just one recipe a piece, not even the cocktail books. And let’s not even talk about the cooking magazines I purchase each month and read like so much food porn.

To rectify this situation, I’m going to borrow a bit of inspiration from that Julie girl who cooked a Julia Child’s recipe-a-day.

I am no where near as ambitious or organized as that. However, I do like to cook. I do like to host dinner parties. And I do have all these cookbooks and recipes just hanging around…

So, here’s my goal. Before the end of the year, I’m going to use at least one recipe from each of these cookbooks. I just hope I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew. Pun intended.


Monica said...

That is a whole lot of cooking for this year! Are you accepting any new cookbooks? If you are, you have got to try the Donna Hay cookbooks. She's and Australian chick with really cool ideas, although the recipes are far from Texas style.
I haven't counted how many cookbooks I own but there are tons and I have to admit that I think I have only cooked a couple of recipes from them. I enjoy reading the recipes, admiring the beautiful pictures and imagining the ingredients all put together but to take it so far as to actually follow someone else's orders, nah. I usually end up with my own works with good results sometimes and yet at other times I am left wondering why it is so hard for me to follow directions. That is why I can't bake.
Good luck with the cooking! Wish I could be there to be your guinea pig.

Marjorie D. said...

I love the challenge! I have about 15 cookbooks and have thought the same thing..."why buy more when I haven't used these!?" so I fully support your quest. Lately I just follow the 3 or 4 items tacked up on my frig. from my nutritionist and can barely stick to my detox diet more than a week.
Keep us posted on your faves! :-) Marjorie

The Intoxicologist said...

Great goal! I have tons of cocktail books and cookbooks with post-it tabs all over in them. Intentions of getting to recipes is larger than life. So big an appetite, so little time!