Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Confessions of a Cookbook Addict

OK I admit; it's not just a hobby anymore it's more like an addiction. A cookbook addiction.  
I'm not sure if there is a treatment for that… 
But as long as I can afford it I don't think it's such a big problem. 
Except maybe a space problem in our house. For now they are scattered around the house; the living room, the kitchen, the study and even the bedroom!  
My last money at the end of the month is more likely to be spent on a new cookbook rather than new clothes or something for the house. And when we were backpacking in Peru last year and I discovered there were already two volumes of  Tony Custers 'The Art of Peruvian Cuisine', each volume about 2,3 kilo grams in weight, I could not resist buying them both.  A bit crazy, I know.

Fortunately I'm not the only one; many foodies are suffering from this addiction. 
Some of them even devoted a whole blog to it! Like Diary of a Cookbook Addict with lovely posts about her favourite cookbooks written by a Philly native who moved to Dublin. Unfortunately she stopped posting since this year. 
Then there are the other foodbloggers like myself who made confessions on their blogs; Anja & Ianna from the Dutch foodblogs Brutsellog & Beginspiration blame blogging about recipes as the start of their cookbook addiction.
And Dana from The Kitchn even gives some tips on things you can do if you're starting to feel out of control. But I'm not at that point, not yet! 

Although I can't find any actual numbers at the above mentioned blogs;  freelance journalist Dionne Christian admits she has 148 cookbooks in an article about why we're addicted to cookbooks in The New Zealand HeraldI counted mine; 198 cookbooks + so many issues of cooking magazines I don't even start counting them. But that's nothing compared to the cookbook collection of Tonny Eyk, a Dutch pianist, who according to Bouillon magazine owns a cookbook library with 1500 cookbooks! 
A cookbook library; I need a bigger house for that ;-)

Although my cookbooks are not organised by logical order; they are more or less divided into the following categories:

Books I cook from a lot or are frequently consulted; I keep this in my kitchen cabinet.

The 'big' books; either in weight or from big chefs; they are standing on a bookshelf in the living room.

Below it are the culinary novels; with my absolute favourite 'Cooking for Mr. Latte' from Amanda Hesser 

A big part of my cookbook collection I keep in my study...

Then there is always a pile of cookbooks or culinary novels on my bedside cabinet. Along with some culinary magazines and  'normal' books.

Most of my recently bought cookbooks are kept on a sidetable in the livingroom for a while, so I can look for new recipes while sitting on the couch in the evening.

And last but not least the 'cookbook' I use most; a collection of all the recipes I made over and over again in the last few years. I type them in Word and reprint it at least once a year. It's full of recipes from my cookbook collection, recipes I found on Internet, recipes from magazines and from family and friends. 
All updated and provided with hand written notes. When we bought our kitchen a few years ago I insisted on a cookbook holder so I have them on eye level all the time I'm cooking :-D

There was a time that I made the promises to myself that I actually have to cook 1 recipe from each copy, or else I would have to sell them. Well, let's just say I do use most of my cookbooks a lot but I have not gotten around to make anything from 'A day at El Bulli', the amazing cookbook 'Puurst' from *** restaurant Librije in the Netherlands which won the Gourmand World Cookbook award 2013 in the 'best chef' category or from *** Chef Gordon Ramsey. These are more for inspiration and new ideas for dishes I make in a simplified way.

On my wish list are Ottolenghi's Pleny,  Mastering the Art of French Cooking from Julia Child, Nigel Slater's Kitchen diaries and many, many more.

I'm really curious how many cookbooks other crazy foodies have, what's their favourite cookbook and what's on their wish list! Leave a comment to let me know :-)

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