My Love Affair

I have ended my love affair, that is my love affair with cookbooks and recipes. I have in my possession at least 40+ cookbooks and that doesn’t include the loose recipes or magazines I collect and hold onto because something interesting caught my eye. I love to cook. I like the idea of making something for someone else that they will enjoy and relish. A tasty morsel that will linger on another person’s mind or taste buds. I can cook off the cuff but when I really want to do something special I use recipes as guides. Sometimes I follow them to the letter other times not.

When I cook, often I don’t even taste my own creations. This is especially true if it is any meaty dish other than fish. I don’t eat meat but that doesn’t mean I can’t cook up something scrumptious for others. This weekend I decided to cook up a storm. I don’t know why, especially with Thanksgiving right around the corner. After making several large dishes, which are happily stowed in my freezer I decided to vet my overstuffed cookbook bookcase. But before I could do that I had to thumb thru the dozen or so cookbooks I got from the library. I set out with new rules and new attitudes. If I knew I wouldn’t try the recipe in the next 2 weeks I wouldn’t bother keeping it. This worked well for the borrowed books. Only 3 were worthy keepers. One on Chinese cooking, another on fish and lastly entertaining suggestions. I even limited myself to no more than 6 recipes from each book.

Next onto the the loose recipes. I happily whittled these down from 400 to less than 70. These seem to make up the bulk of my everyday cooking ideas and inspirations.  I was on a roll, next I quickly discarded the Eating Well, Food & Wine and Vegetarian Times magazines after reviewing the dogeared pages. In the end only a few items were kept.

Here I sit only half elated. I am now looking at my books…and seriously wondering if I should give them away. Some I haven’t opened in years and still a few I have never even used. This will be the harder task and I will leave it until tomorrow when I hope sleep will recharge my bunny battery.

My love affair with cookbooks is officially over. Although, I still have several cooking magazine subscriptions I will remember my rules before ripping out any more trophies. And today I vow to not purchase another cookbook!  Excuse me now while I modify my Amazon Wishlist.

Pots & Pans

I need new pots and pans. Besides the fact that they are constantly falling apart and requiring the handles to be tightened some have burned bottoms that aren’t getting any better. I had heard a few rumors about various styles of pots and that some are better for your health than others. After doing some research, primarily from an article in the Green Guide, I have it down to the following companies:

All-Clad Stainless Steel with Aluminum Cores
Le Creuset (enameled cast iron skillet)
Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

I already have a few cast iron pans. I like them but I don’t use them often. They are all frying pans so I will need to invest in some actual pots. If you have any of these brands let me know what you think.

Gourmet Palette or Temple

I eat pretty healthy for the most part but I am quite discerning about indulging in certain foods. At lunch the other day I had some leftover brussel sprouts, with just a dab of butter (real of course). My colleague said that it was nasty and how could I eat plain steamed vegetables. I said not everything I eat has to taste great in fact quite often it doesn’t taste fabulous. I eat healthy things and they aren’t all great but what do you think? Should everything you eat always taste good or is it acceptable that sometimes you are going to sacrifice a little on taste to get a healthy meal? Is your body a temple or your palette? I know where I stand.