MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH COOKBOOKS

I love to eat, and I enjoy feeding other people, so as you might expect my book shelves are not lacking in cookbooks.  The fact is, I have an insane amount of cookbooks even though I prune them like trees every three or four months.  My bedroom isn’t very big, so I don’t have a large bookcase, and it can only accomodate a certain number of books.  There is a bookcase in the living room too, and my designated shelves are bursting with more cookbooks.  The majority of them are a joy to behold, because I’ve gotten rid of all the mediocre ones.  They have great recipes and the kind of foodie photographs that make you want to run out and buy a huge Viking stove like the pros use.  Every time I get a new cookbook, I turn the pages reverently beholding the beauty and bonding potential of a perfectly roasted chicken or a moist, fragrant carrot cake weighted down by a boat load of fluffy cream cheese frosting.  I determine I will roast the chicken, bake the cake and invite people over to partake of a memorable feast.  Of course, they will gush over my cooking skills and lament about how rare it is to have a homemade meal anymore.  

This mental meal planning creates a need to purchase items like lavender sugar, sea salt with black truffles and double Devon cream, because if I’m going to create a special meal, I need special ingredients, right?  I also require numerous kitchen appliances such as scone pans, mini tea cake trays, and large rectangular bakers, and all of these I have acquired and then some.  That’s why there is currently kitchen paraphanalia under my bed, because, like the book shelves, I’ve exceeded my designated cupboard space as well.

So do I turn to my cookbooks when I plan a sumptuous feast?  No, I do not.  I usually cook something I could make blind folded because I’ve done it so many times before, or, in a pinch, I place my laptop on my dining room table, locate a desired recipe and run backwards and forwards from computer to kitchen assembling the ingredients as my glossy-paged cookbooks sit on the shelves with only each other for compmay.  There are so many of them, and if I started dragging them out trying to find that elusive recipe I’m looking for, I would just have to put them all back afterwards.  Even if I could go right to the cookbook I’m seeking, I would have to bring it into the kitchen with me.  Once pristine kitchen surfaces tend not to remain that way when I cook, so I can only imagine what would happen to my cookbooks if they left the serenity of my bedroom to accompany me into kitchen chaos.  Almost certainly their pretty pages would soon be covered in flour, chocolate or extra virgin oiive oil (three of my culinary staples), and why should I risk that when I have so many reliable recipes in my head and on my computer?

It’s obvious I will never need another cookbook in this lifetime, since I don’t even look at the ones I have, but they do call to me somehow.  However, every time I’m tempted, I’m going to read my own post and be my own voice of sanity! 

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