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Old 16.07.2017, 13:39
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Cookbooks - How Many Do You Have & How Many Are Used?

Nothing better to do while I wait for Sunday lunch to finish cooking and I've been meaning to ask this for a while. I have 33 general cookbooks (not counting a few that are specific subjects like desserts or bread making), yet I suppose I use no more than 15-20 recipes total out of 6-7 of them.

So how about you all? Do you collect, but basically never use most of them? Try every recipe from every book at least once? Somewhere inbetween?
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Old 16.07.2017, 13:43
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Re: Cookbooks - How Many Do You Have & How Many Are Used?

Before emigration i had about 80 of which i used about 5 or 6 (besides an occasional once every 3 year look-up) after emigration i have 1 which we use very often (big Swedish cookbook), unless some are boxed up that i forget about, the rest just was on the pile of things friends could take freely if they wanted.

We do however often look up on the internet for new ways to prepare a nice piece of meat.
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Old 16.07.2017, 13:44
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Re: Cookbooks - How Many Do You Have & How Many Are Used?

I love to read cookbooks and get ideas. Recipes I take most of the time from my favourite Delia Cookbook, my mom´s cookbook she got when she married and the curry bible.

Have already found a good home for some books that I never looked at.

In the end, I have way too many
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Old 16.07.2017, 13:48
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Re: Cookbooks - How Many Do You Have & How Many Are Used?

I've got around a dozen in the house, I just loaned four to my mum and I know I've got at least twenty in storage. Around half are baking books and at least four are for toddlers. I suspect those numbers are conservative.

I tend to cook "heavily" from them at first then usage tapers. The really popular ones get memorized and I use a lot of postits. There is no system, so when I'm looking for an elusive recipe I can take some time, whereupon I get side tracked and end up making something else.

I've got two books - one on bread and one on chocolatier stuff - that I've never cooked from. But I've enjoyed the pictures!
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Old 16.07.2017, 13:51
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Re: Cookbooks - How Many Do You Have & How Many Are Used?

Yeah, some of mine were from my late mother-in-law (do I really need 3 copies of Good Houskeeping's cookbook?). Gave 2 away and kept one. Also gave some others away, but still too many.

And I still have a look when in the UK to see if any new cookbooks look interesting. Try and resist buying any more, but don't always succeed.

RufusB I have note books that I make my weekly meals list in and when I write down the recipe I also write which book it's from. That way, since my memory is getting worse as I get older, I can find the recipe again when I want it. Also inspires me to use some recipes that have "fallen out of favour" for whatever reason. I flip through the pages, see one and say "Ah, that's a good idea. Haven't made that for ages!"
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Old 16.07.2017, 13:54
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Re: Cookbooks - How Many Do You Have & How Many Are Used?

About 5, the ones that came with the steamer, Elizabeth David, my own folder of grubby notes. Everything else I google (or follow acmilan's dastardly postings here on EF).
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Old 16.07.2017, 14:00
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Re: Cookbooks - How Many Do You Have & How Many Are Used?

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Yeah, some of mine were from my late mother-in-law (do I really need 3 copies of Good Houskeeping's cookbook?). Gave 2 away and kept one. Also gave some others away, but still too many.

And I still have a look when in the UK to see if any new cookbooks look interesting. Try and resist buying any more, but don't always succeed.

RufusB I have note books that I make my weekly meals list in and when I write down the recipe I also write which book it's from. That way, since my memory is getting worse as I get older, I can find the recipe again when I want it. Also inspires me to usej some recipes that have "fallen out of favour" for whatever reason. I flip through the pages, see one and say "Ah, that's a good idea. Haven't made that for ages!"
Yeah. I have a much abused ring-bound hard back notebook I've had for years that I write the favourite ones in, or the variations that work, or ones from friends and the internet. Some are just loosely rammed in and the whole thing is secured with a massive elastic band. It's not exactly a system and it ain't pretty but it works.
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Old 16.07.2017, 15:41
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Re: Cookbooks - How Many Do You Have & How Many Are Used?

I have many. About 100 around the house and another 30 or so in a box. I have some because they are old, some because they are beautiful, some because of the writing. Lots of second hand books. Lots of ethnic books - Mexican, Indian, Spanish, Italian, Middle Eastern, Dutch, Asian (Chinese, Indonesian mostly). Some books in Dutch.

My husband loves to look through them too.

I have some that I've had for 40 years or more - my mom bought me the Fannie Farmer Cookbook when I graduated college and I still have it, falling apart.

One book I've never had is "joy of cooking". I looked through it, but decided to pass. Not sure why.


I love MFK Fisher and Elizabeth David's writing.


I also have lots of recipes from the Internet, and since I've gone to lots of Laughing Lemon classes, lots of their recipes, which I use all the time.


Last week, I used a recipe from my Tagine cookbook, one from my Fig cookbook, and a couple of Laughing Lemon recipes from a class. This weekend, I used two from my new Chinese (an older book by Irene Kuo). Since we're having Tacos tonight, no recipe needed. I do memorize recipes that I use a lot - like a standard clafouti recipe, one for Chinese pancakes, some Mexican recipes. I used to make chocolate chip cookies for my dad from the recipe on the nestle chip bag. I think I actually remember it still.
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Old 16.07.2017, 16:05
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Re: Cookbooks - How Many Do You Have & How Many Are Used?

I have two bookcases of cookbooks in the kitchen. They vary between ones I use a lot to ones I look at but never use. I imagine the latter give me inspiration or simply the gratification of being lovely to look at. Others I admire for resilience and ingenuity in the face of economy and isolation, such as the old Australian cookbooks put out by many schools, religious and community organisations etc in the past. I do use these as well, but if I didn't, I'd still keep them!

There are lots of things I cook regularly for years but still need recipes for - I cook a large array of Indian dishes but there wouldn't be more than a few very simple ones that I keep in my head. I try to keep a record of anything I make up.
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Old 16.07.2017, 16:22
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Re: Cookbooks - How Many Do You Have & How Many Are Used?

70 or so, in all four Swiss languages plus English and Norwegian.

I use them for reference, as I do my motorcycle and electronics books.

Very rarely do I actually follow a recipe more than 80%

Tom
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Old 16.07.2017, 16:36
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Re: Cookbooks - How Many Do You Have & How Many Are Used?

Hmmm, looking over the counter, I have 4.

Cooking for students (from the Mr.)
German Baking Today
Baking with chocolate
Scandinavian Baking

You might notice a trend. I use regularly all my 3 baking books rather regularly, the German baking I've been doing a recipe at a time every time I visit the in-law family. Otherwise, I use the internet. I hate books that are nothing but a dust collector, so I only bought the books I knew I was going to use.
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Old 16.07.2017, 16:56
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Re: Cookbooks - How Many Do You Have & How Many Are Used?

I have about ten but my favourite, by far, is the one my youngest sister gave me years ago for my birthday: she bought one of those books with blank pages and wrote down her favourite recipes, dozens of them, the easy ones, so I grew to like cooking.
Every time I open it, it gives me a warm feeling
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Old 16.07.2017, 18:21
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Re: Cookbooks - How Many Do You Have & How Many Are Used?

Around 60, some used more than others but none would I get rid of. Thinned them out last year so these are the ones we dip into for inspiration.

I love big tomes that are more than just a cookbook, Claudia Roden's The Book of Jewish Food to name one. My Mum gave me her Mrs Beaton recently which is also now a favourite.

Depending on what is left in the fridge, freezer or what was at 50% in the supermarket, then what genre we fancy, Italian, curry, French, British or just a mishmash we will them trawl through for ideas. I also have a folder for all those taken off the tv or internet.

Love food and love books, what more to say?
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Old 16.07.2017, 18:45
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Re: Cookbooks - How Many Do You Have & How Many Are Used?

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I have about ten but my favourite, by far, is the one my youngest sister gave me years ago for my birthday: she bought one of those books with blank pages and wrote down her favourite recipes, dozens of them, the easy ones, so I grew to like cooking.
Every time I open it, it gives me a warm feeling
What a thoughtful gift!

I only have a few cookbooks. The one I use most is my trusty Fannie Farmer. I have a few from American's Test Kitchen and hubby has one that's a collection of recipes from around the globe. These days I mostly find recipes online (including acmilan's here ) and then modify to my taste. I save the ones I really like on my computer.

By the way, if you like the recipes in the Coop magazine, you don't need to tear out the page and keep it. Just do a Google search - most of them are online and in PDF format already.
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Old 16.07.2017, 19:28
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Re: Cookbooks - How Many Do You Have & How Many Are Used?

I don't own a single one. Reading through these posts I wonder if I'm missing out on inspirations beyond what the internet has to offer, but maybe I just have to do some more creative Google searches
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Old 16.07.2017, 20:08
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Re: Cookbooks - How Many Do You Have & How Many Are Used?

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I don't own a single one. Reading through these posts I wonder if I'm missing out on inspirations beyond what the internet has to offer, but maybe I just have to do some more creative Google searches
I often search bbcgoodfood.com and allrecipes.com first, and then if nothing that suits me turns up on them I do a generic google search. Maybe that would help to narrow it down for you? Allrecipes is in imperial as opposed to metric, but I use cups and scales, and there are online conversion charts, so it's no problem for me.
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Old 16.07.2017, 20:51
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Re: Cookbooks - How Many Do You Have & How Many Are Used?

Ooops, make that 130+, plus leaflets and printouts (just counted).

Tom
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Old 16.07.2017, 21:43
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Re: Cookbooks - How Many Do You Have & How Many Are Used?

I have about 10-15 books mainly from different cultures (indian, italian, chinese, japanese, french, greek,...) or specialized (all recipes with potatoes). With time i realize I'm using more Youtube or selected blogs to find and execute recipes. And i tend to focus on certain type of cuisine for a couple of weeks before switching to another one.
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Old 16.07.2017, 22:11
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Re: Cookbooks - How Many Do You Have & How Many Are Used?

A couple of hundred on book-shelves in this house, probably the same again in storage in the UK. A wide variety; baking, icing, vegetarian, french, italian, chinese, indian, etc. if I read a good review and it sounds interesting I go shopping through Amazon. Picked up some bargains over the yeats, often spending more on postage than I do on the book itself (Picked up a recent Jamie Oliver from Amazon, France for 1 centime!).

Not daring to think about the two kitchen drawers stuffed full of cuttings, nor the file boxes of foodie magazines; A la Carte, Good Food, Olive, Delicious, etc.

Probably read most them properly once, then flick through occasionally to look at the pretty pictures for inspiration. But I mainly cook by instinct as I've been at it a long, long time and my memory's stuffed full of ideas.

#2 son and his fiancée have already called dibs on inheriting the growing collection.... nice to know someone else is interested and hopefully the lot won't eventually end up in some charity shop.
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Old 16.07.2017, 22:13
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Re: Cookbooks - How Many Do You Have & How Many Are Used?

Anyone who wants to donate cookbooks before that? We have someone here who happily finds space for any cookbook (EE)
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