dust magnets

estimated 2 min read

I’m still sick and I think I was overly ambitious to shovel out the front walk and top of the driveway when I got home. But that hasn’t unstuck a little thing I’ve been hearing about more and more.

Are cookbooks a thing of the past? (Along with store catalogs?)

I’ve been seeing more and more about this (when I have the time and energy to chase up relevant sources I will and update this post). Not are books dead, but specifically wondering if cookbooks passé?

I always forget the rice vinegar:sugar:salt ratios when making sushi rice. I opted to do something that I’d not done in a while as was proven evident by the dust billowing from the kitchen shelf and the threat of avalanche as I disturbed the order.

I took down and opened a cookbook.

Yes, I’m surprised it wasn’t written on the bottle too. I’m going to write on a label and stick it on.

I was surprised when I realized that it had been a while since I last took down a cookbook. When I wasn’t napping this weekend and was too tired to read or knit I thought about this phenomenon. If I call up mum and ask her how to make X Y or Z, she tells me to google it. If I don’t know what to make and it doesn’t fit into one of my standby dishes, I start plugging things into big oven or I just list ingredients in the search box and find something.

Privacy concerns aside and in my scenario potentially moot, I wouldn’t mind having my grocery receipts feed into a database on our home server and various algorithms help me figure out a balanced week of food with minimum waste and maximum variety. It’d need a separate interface to log in farmer’s market and home-grown items too, but that’d be cool!

One of my first experiences with electronic recipes was The Jewish Food Mailing List. It was awesome to open and save and develop a database of recipes I enjoyed that could be searched faster than my handwritten index card system (my new printer will print 3×5 cards so I might try again at analog).

My current reading of cookbooks is much like that of Kevin, as a novel or thriller. I rarely cook from recipes I find there, and more often than not use a search engine to help me concoct lunch or dinner.

Perhaps TMI, but this is what I think about when I’m sick. You don’t want to know what happened while I had the plague back in ’96 and had just read Preston’s The Hot Zone. I didn’t sleep for a week and was wary to eat anything for a while.

Are your cookbooks been gathering dust?

PG with a chai latte

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2 Replies to “dust magnets”

  1. Actually, no — I use mine at least weekly. Okay, a couple of cookbooks may be gathering dust, but the notebook of collected recipes plus 3-4 actual cookbooks are kept in a very accessible space in my kitchen and consulted often. I also have a collection of recipes in my pda, but if I find something online, I print it out to work from, and if we like it enough to do it again, it goes in the notebook.

  2. I guess I missed this the first time around. And I will also print recipies I find online to try, and add them to my collection.

    My “working cookbook collection” is two (Spice & Spirit, and the Better Homes & Gardens one from circa 1996) – PLUS the pile of recipies I have accumulated from non-cookbook sources. The paper pile could do with some trimming, as many of the recipies are rarely if ever used, but others are regulars on our dinner table.

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