Cookbooks, Cookbooks, and Not a Thing to Eat

Been on a cleaning out and fixing up kick around here lately. Out with old furniture, in with new; painting walls — kind of my version of Spring cleaning only in the Fall.  (ok so I’m running behind a little.)

I have what I thought was a mini-project in my kitchen.  Turned out to be a little more work.  A solid oak 3-shelf bookcase resides at the end of my kitchen counter and it is chocked (and I do mean chocked) full of cookbooks.  Oh yeah, plus the flashlight, pencil sharpener and that weird sticky thingy that spins and you roll it on your clothes to get rid of Golden Destroyer hair.

The latest idea was to replace that bookcase with a pie safe – and no, not for pies but for closed storage.  The pie safe came from the ‘unfinished wood’ store and Devoted Spouse lovingly stained it and made it gorgeous.  And it’s done.  Most projects taken on by Devoted Spouse take a few years to complete (he’s busy) but this one was finished in an extraordinarily fast time.  So fast, that I haven’t had time to sort out my cookbooks and get ready.

Wednesday morning all the cookbooks came out of the bookcase.  Oh my aching back.  Why would anyone collect Southern Living Cookbooks dating back to the 1980s?  What was I thinking?  Do I use them?  No.  Those ‘southern’ recipes have too much fat and sugar in them and I’m basically too lazy to re-invent them. And there’s also that little problem of chopping and dicing — I tend to chop and dice my fingers, not the chicken.    But I can’t get rid of the books.  You see….I’m a closet cookbook hoarder.  There…it’s out.

I have hundreds and hundreds of cookbooks, most of which are stored in the basement.  And now, my beloved Southern Living books are there too…with the exception of the current edition, last year’s Christmas edition, and the 40th Annual edition.  And then, I HAD to keep the Barefoot Contessa books, and my Hungry Girl books, and a few crockpot recipe books, and, and, and, oh crap where are all these stupid books gonna go in the new pie safe?  The pie safe is supposed to hold all the miscellaneous cooking gadgets I don’t have room for in my cabinets.

I truly enjoy collecting the cookbooks;  I love to read them, but I rarely use them.  I may pick a recipe here or there but I’m just not the cook I used to be.  That’s how I packed on 45 pounds – home cooking.  So now so many poor books sit in the basement all alone with no one is gazing at their lovely pages or marking their recipes.  They’ve been relegated to the dungeon.  The shame of it all.  But get rid of them?  NEVAH!  … sigh

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11 thoughts on “Cookbooks, Cookbooks, and Not a Thing to Eat

  1. We won’t even go into my cookbook obsession. It’s legendary. Only thing I can say is that I use them often. When we moved into the smaller place I put 3 boxes worth into storage and now I WANT THEM BACK!
    I so understand – it’s on my list to actually use more of mine – but now that we’re so into healthy eating I hafta do some serious updating on ingredients and experiment. uh-oh sounds like my Cajun grilled cheese! rofl

  2. I feel your pain, Linda…I haven’t relegated mine to the basement…they are stored in a 5-shelf (6-foot tall) bookcase in the family room, and I just brought home a bunch more from our bookstore a couple of days ago…

    Here’s a post I wrote about my cookbook collection a few months ago:
    http://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/2010/03/28/a-pinch-of-this-a-dash-of-that-2/
    oooh – good…. I’m not alone in this cookbook obsession. I particularly enjoy picking up regional books, local community cookbooks and church cookbooks coz that’s where you find the old family recipes! yum yay 😉

  3. Hey Linda!

    I have an idea – Lets start a support group for “Recovering Cookbook Hoarders”! We have a TON too!

    Great post – and – I do think the pie safe should be used for pies. LOL!

    Dr. Rus
    Hi! I’m Linda and I’m a Cookbook Hoarder. HI LINDA! snort rofl oh…no pies no no no 😉

  4. Move to Florida. You won’t have a basement and you’ll have to get rid of them. 🙂

    My secret hoarding obsession (says the Professional Organizer) is gift wrap. We have a fair number of cookbooks, but hubby does do a bit of cooking. I use them for ideas, but rarely use the actual recipes. I don’t think I’m all that creative – I’m just too picky (or ADD) to use a pre-done recipe. 🙂

    @juliebavi
    I wouldn’t mind moving to FL and I could do without a basement (no more sump pumps to worry about!) but get rid of my cookbooks? NEVAH!!! I’m clearing out other things like gift wrap – we end up with too much, too. I just am so attached to books of every nature – I get rid of what I can but it’s like giving up a treasured friend, ya know? lol 😉

  5. It’s nice to know I’m not alone with a collection of cookbooks, some of which I’ve never used. I do try and make different and/or unusual dishes from one of the books at least once a week. Keeps from having boring roast chicken or fish. And of course just Google something like bourbon glazed salmon and see what your choices you get. How do I stuff the internet into my cookbook bookshelf?
    Oh Steve…if I start w/the internet recipe collections I’ll NEVER get off this computer!!! ROFL

  6. Oh, I totally get you! I love a new cookbook–the lovely pictures, the brilliant ideas. All the wonderful dinner parties I’m going to throw now that I know about ancient middle eastern cuisine! I already know which one I’m buying next–My Calabria, which comes out the first week of November. I rarely cook anything in any of the books, and even if I do, I’ll make a recipe once and never again. But I still like to page through them for ideas and inspiration while drinking a cup of tea in the afternoon. It soothes my nerves!
    I, too, love to look at the pictures, but what I make rarely looks like the pics – the joys of special photography!! LOL I once found out that the pictures on tv of a bowl of Cheerios? The milk actually has Elmer’s Glue in it to make it look creamier – cheaters!!!! rofl I do every once in awhile get something from the Barefoot Contessa books or from my Mediterranean cooking books and try but since I’ve been on Weight Watchers it’s just too hard to figure them all out points-wise so I’ve been cooking very simply. I won’t give them up entirely – I think I’m just culling the herd so to speak. 😉

  7. My name is Kelly and I am a Cookbook Hoarder (Welcome, Kelly!) Regional cookbooks, obscure cookbooks, Church cookbooks, vintage cookbooks, I love ’em.

    Do I actually make anything from these cookbooks? Good heavens, no. I just love to read them.
    HI KELLY!!! (applause, applause)…. I knew we were related sistah! rofl C ya at the meeting! snort

  8. I have a ton of cookbooks as well as hundreds of hardback books and it is difficult to part with any of them though I have managed to swap out some of my books through BookMooch but I tend to get back new ones for everyone I give away. Horrible book hoarder.
    You and me both sweetie – I tried to give away w/BookMooch but I don’t want to give up my collections. ack I’ve been taking some of my books to Half Price Book store and selling them – at least I get a few bucks for them – but I’m keeping most of my mystery collections and I wouldn’t part with my Sookie Stackhouse collection for all the tea in China!!! 😉

  9. It looks like most of the world hoards cookbooks. I am no exception. They are lining the shelves of my den. And I am constantly printing recipes online or cutting recipes out of the paper and I don’t know if I’ve ever cooked anything from most of these books! BTW, I just took The Skinny Italian cookbook out of the library and there was some cool looking stuff in there. Yeah, I copied some of those recipes and added them to my bulging folder.
    I don’t have The Skinny Italian yet but I’m adding it to my collection soon. I also have two wooden recipe boxes stuffed to the gills with recipes I’ve cut out or have been handed down to me over the years — I’m trying hard to get rid of alot of those, too. ack.

  10. I love cookbooks, but I have more torn out pages from magazines. At least with cookbooks, all the delicious recipes are contained. I have loads of single recipes littering my house. And, when I go through to weed them out, I just can’t get rid of them because they look so yummy, and I just know I will make them some day…
    I do that, too. I even went so far as to put many of them in plastic sheets and in binders but do I ever open the binders….rarely….sigh…

  11. I have a really hard time getting rid of books. Any books but especially cookbooks.
    It is killing me to get rid of these books – they’re like treasured friends. I’m simply running out of room to store all of them. Ack. I seem to be able to part with other treasures – clothes, purses (ok maybe not purses), but shoes, knick-knacks, certainly furniture, even some china but books are my first love and I’m afraid in about 20 years I’ll end up as one of those old ladies on Hoarders whose entire house is nothing but large stacks of books! ROFL (actually that should be ROFReading!!!) 😉

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