Sunday, 30 August 2009

More cookery books...

Hello my name is Anne and I *love* cookery books. I am now on 105. How did this happen! 5 years ago I only had 3!!

Seriously, I can't resist them. I don't feel alone though, this does seem to be popular 'hobby'. You can find like minded souls over at the fab UKFBA Website, its well worth a visit!

Unfortunately the bookshelves are now fit to bursting. And this week brought 3 more to find space for. One was donated to me by a friend, its an older book called A Meal in A Minute, by Annette Wolter. Think along the lines of Delia's 'How to Cheat' but slightly more interesting/ disturbing..My least favourite (there are several!) is a soup suggestion consisting of a can/ bag of potato soup, combined with a tin of corned beef and topped with slices of fried onion and peppers. Makes me shudder just to think about the appearance, yet alone the taste...

On the good front, my new purchases came via the local hospice shop (I keep telling myself its for a good cause, would have been wrong not to buy them both..) First up is French Leave by John Burton-Race, which is a mix of recipes and about his time in France cooking and eating. I enjoy reading foodie travel books almost as much as cookery books so am pretty pleased to have this addition! Secondly was a copy of Ainsley Harriott's Low Fat Meals in Minutes, which so far looks like a really great collection of recipes, where you wouldn't even notice they were healthy! Am really looking forward to cooking from this one, especially the lemon garlic chicken with coriander and hot grilled peaches with pistachio brittle mmm! Who would of thought low fat could still be tasty! Will of course blog any goodies!

You will notice below how our poor bookshelves are starting to bend under the weight. And yet I still can't help but buy more! Though am just as bad for other books, there are 2 further same sized bookshelves with fiction etc, though I fear some may have to be rehomed to fit the expanding cookery section!


  1. I pick up most of my Cookery Books in charity shops these days - then I don't feel quite so bad if I just read them and never actually cook from them! LOL! Latest bargains were Gordon Ramsay's 'A Chef for All Seasons' and 'Nobody Does It Better', a book on French home cooking by Trish Deseine.

    Because of lack of room I have started sending some books to charity shops - the ones I have never used in the past 10 years or so - unless they have some historical value (roughly pre 1970). Although it makes me sad to do so, I can't fit in new ones without losing some.

  2. My collection has grown rather rapidly too, 4 years ago I didn't own a single cookbook, now I have about 20. I love browsing the cookery section in charity shops, although I have to be quite strict with myself as I don't really have the money to buy all the books I want!

  3. Wow! I thought I had a big collection! I have a lot of cook books that I've never actually used but I read through and I'm sure they give me ideas that I can use inn my own recipes.

    What would you say is your favourite 'must have' cookbook?

  4. Ooh, I really like French Leave - although I am not the biggest fan of the author. There is a recipe in there for stuffed mussels. Truly delicious.
    I have over 150 cookbooks, Mr Greedy was making a fuss. I had to promise to cook out of them at least twice a week. I do - we're much happier now :0)

  5. I don't dare say how many I have, although I have curtailed buying them in the last few years.
    Charity shops are a great place to find them.

  6. Mmm, glad it's not just me. I know I already have too many cookery books and don't need more, but I still buy!

    I haven't raided the local charity shops(yet!), but tend to get mine from The Book People or Amazon, and then at least I feel like I'm getting a bargain (whereas actually I'm just spending loads more to avoid the postage......).

    Also glad to see I'm not the only one with a stash of magazines too!

  7. Ahh nothing wrong with a cookbook habit. I have 218 listed on my blog right now but I know I've been a bit lapse in keeping it updated, so there's probably at least another 30 or so to add. My bookshelves are certainly at bursting point.

  8. The cookery book issue is a tricky one, because we just can't turn our backs on them and keep buying more!

  9. Wow, I thought with my 20+ that I had a lot. You definitely beat me hands down!

  10. Suelle – I used to buy mainly new but tend to scour charity shops and ebay nowadays – I got an old but great condition Jamie O one the other day for £3 inc p&p on ebay, so very glad I waited as still over £10 in the shops. I did spot a GR 3* chef book in the ‘posh’ hospice shop but resisted, don’t think I would probably ever use it!

    Jenny – So glad I am not the only one who’s collection has shot up, though admire your self control with only 20!

    Sam – I must admit I use the majority for inspiration and quite often adapt a recipe, especially if I don’t have or like a particular ingredient. Capers are my least favourite thing to it so I always leave them out!

    I can’t think of a single favourite must-have book, due to so many not being followed to the letter but there are definitely ones I frequently flick through more than others!

    Pictures and feel good wise I really like ‘Jamie at Home’. I love the layout of the book and the pictures make me feel that I can actually make my dish resemble something similar! The cooking method for the ‘Incredible roasted shoulder of lamb’ is excellent, the meat just falls off the bone and was a huge hit with the in-law’s! I have 4 of Jamie’s books and frequently peruse them, though had some mixed successes with the recipes but think it was me not reading them through properly! Can really recommend his ‘Ragu of tiny meatballs’ from ‘I can make you a better Cook’ book, a little chilli and a hint of lemon really makes them that bit more special :)

    Another favourite is a vintage ‘Cooking for Today' by Good Housekeeping, from 1973. My mum has had the book since new, which I frequently snagged, however about a year ago I found a near perfect-condition copy for 50p in a charity shop and now have my own! The main recipe I use is their pastry, its never let me down! I just love reading this book, it has such an array of classic recipes (even though its 11 years before I came into the world!). Also, it has lots of extras, including techniques, storage advice, cooks tools, glossary of terms, conversions and a small section titled ‘operation rescue’!

    Still in the foodie criteria but less about the recipes, I really enjoyed reading ‘A Cooks Tour’ by Anthony Bourdain, which I picked up after seeing several of the TV shows on an old freeview channel. The way its written at points made me feel like I was actually there too and can really recommend it.

    Closer to home, I also really enjoyed Cornucopia: A Gastronomic Tour of Britain, which was written in a diary style, as the author travelled around Britain, trying to find regional specialities. Also it only cost me 10p in the ‘bookends bin’ in a cheapy shop, a steal if you ask me!

    Greedyrosie – have just finished reading French Leave, I did enjoy it though was a little short, though I do read pretty quickly so might just be me!

    I did vow at the beginning of the year to cook at least weekly from the books and it started well, but then in April I got made redundant and it all went to pot! I’m back working now, though on a reduced wage compared to before so I am cooking again but more budget recipes!

    Nic – come on, you can tell us, we wont tell your husband how many there really are……;-)

    C – I used to have a special members card with the Book People due to over-ordering and had to gently wean myself off! ..Yes, too many magazines, well spotted! Think there’s about 61…and 3 DVD’s! That’s also excluding all the little mini-mag’s that regularly arrive with Olive…

    George – I think my boyfriend would disown me if my collection gets as big as yours!

    Margaret – Totally agree, they sit there all lonely on the shelf just waiting to come on home with us! Whilst I ahem, have several, I find the lure of new finds so very appealing!

    Palidor – It sounds like your collection will grow……;-)


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