Saturday, December 08, 2018

Weekend Cooking: Cook books?

I recently was looking for a specific recipe and thought I would have a look through the cookbooks that I have on my shelf. I did think that, surely, at least one of them would have the recipe I wanted. It turned out that they didn't actually have exactly what I was looking for but the exercise did have me pondering a couple of things about cookbooks and what their current roles are in our cooking lives?

I wouldn't say I have a lot of cookbooks, maybe 50 or 60 or so, but I am always looking at buying more longingly.

When I looked at my shelves, there are a number from the mid 90s that I bought when I lived in the UK and that I bought back with me when I returned to Australia in late 1999. I can't remember what my thinking was in selecting which ones to bring back although it looks as though any chef whose name is either Ainsley or Delia was a criteria. I am not sure if they were books that I loved cooking from, or perhaps books that I didn't necessarily think I could get here easily. I do know that I left a lot behind though.

When I found the book above though I was surprised to see the tag line there of 'A new edition for the 1990s'

Currently my cookbooks are organised into two distinct groups. There are two shelves of cookbooks by Australian authors, and then another couple of shelves of overseas authors.

I do love looking through cookbooks, and often find inspiration to try new recipes as a result of this. I wonder if this makes cookbooks more glorified coffee table books rather than truly every day items. The truth is though that I get a couple of magazines each month and often these for trying new recipes. And if I am completely truthful, the reality is that most of the time these days I think of a recipe, or see it on a cooking show,  and then search for it online.

So how do you see the role of cookbooks in your kitchen? Has it changed over the years?

And the recipe that I was looking for? I really wanted to make some Viennese biscuits. Normally you can have these sandwiched together with jam but I really just wanted to make the biscuits and then dip them in chocolate and cover in sprinkles because I saw them done that way on Instagram. In the end though it was really hot here so my butter was too soft, I should have put the biscuits in the fridge before baking them so they spread everywhere, the biscuits were too soft to dip in chocolate so I had to just spoon the chocolate over. It was actually too hot for the chocolate to set. So, in the end it was a bit of a baking fail, but gee they tasted good. These were the last two and they are gone now!

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. For more information, see the welcome post.


  1. Christmas cookies seem to be another tradition that doesn't work as well in summer weather. I never thought of that.

    best... mae at

  2. I got rid of a bunch of cookbooks a few years ago and really need to do that again. When I get a new cookbok, I do tend to cook from it for a while, but most of my older cookbooks just sit there. I too use magazines, but-- yeah -- it's so easy to do recipe searches (and research) on line. I wonder if I should do another cookbook purge?

    I would say bummer on the cookies, but seeing as they were devoured, it's hard to feel too bad. :)

  3. As long as they tasted good, but I understand your disappointment at the way they turned out. I’d still eat them.

    I have also been looking over my cookbooks and some are ancient, sone were my mothers!

  4. I tend to turn to blogs or the Pinterest when I am looking for a recipe. However, I do have some favorites marked in some of my old cookbooks that I turn to. I actully started my blog to record my family recipes and my variations of the recipes I make all the time. Many times I look up my recipe on my own blog!

  5. I've long given up trying to have my baking LOOK good, but as long as it tastes good, I don't care anymore! (only because I sort of have no choice since none of ever LOOKS good!)

  6. I used to have quite a few cookbooks but I ended up throwing them away after ripping out the pages with recipes I was interested in. Now I have less than 10. Cheers



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