Thursday, April 19, 2012

cookbooks and chaos

A Facebook conversation with the lovely Allison from Life in a Pink Fibro this morning made me think about my cookbook addiction.

I used to keep my cookbooks and recipes in a drawer, then on a shelf. Now they have progressed to the point where they have their own cupboard, except for the 'good' ones which are on display on a kitchen bench. This is an attempt to fool people into thinking I'm a Good Mum who whips up delicious treats for the kids and serves gourmet meals every night.

The truth is, I hardly ever cook anymore. We live on pasgetti, bangers n mash, and ribs and salad.

Because I have two children, who view new foods with suspicion, and greet onion and garlic with outright horror. Plus my husband is hardly ever home. And when he is, we're in such a whirlwind of activity, I don't have time to really cook.

I have a recipe for a gourmet meat pie that takes hours to prepare. I used to serve it with bacon-wrapped green bean bundles and caramellised baby onions. Now I fling a Mrs Macs in the oven and fry up a hash brown.

One day, I hope my kids will enjoy real food as much as I do. In the meantime, I'll watch MasterChef and Heston, and buy cookbooks and drool over websites and Nigella, and dream of the day when I can once again pretend to be hosting my very own cooking program.

What about you? do you collect cookbooks but never use them? and have you EVER pretended you were hosting a cooking show? please don't leave me hanging in the wind, here....


  1. I confess to doing the same thing. I bought cookbooks when I was in Alaska with recipes on how to cook moose, elk, and things they don't even have in Texas or Florida.

    When I was in Arizona for a family reunion, I bought a cook book for cooking with Tequila. Unfortunately, there was never enough left for any of the recipes.

    I bought cookbooks for German food because of my heritage, but would rather go to a restaurant for it.

    I have taken cooking classes, however, and learned to cook Thai, German, Indian, sushi, and Moroccan foods. Foods that were wonderful and fancy, and never anything I would cook just for myself. But there was free wine with the classes, and that was as good of a reason to take the classes as any.

  2. HAHAHA I laughed all the way through that comment, Cindi!! I'm pretty sure you're my soul sister.

  3. Cookbooks are almost nonenties in our house. I cook everything in them I am interested in and then write down the keepers before passing them on.

    Except for the Cake Decorating book that Mum used to use! That is on display cos it makes me feel at home. I spent so much time as a kid looking through the pretty pictures, or choosing what cake Marmie was going to make for each birthday. :-D

  4. I too have collected 'oodles' of cook books in the years i have been married, and now all but a FAV FEW live on the bookshelves in hubby's study, collecting dust ... but my FAV'S ( mainly Nigella's 5 wonderful books in my collection) ... live on a shelf in my kitchen for me to admire, browse thru AND COOK my fav recipes from ALL THE TIME !!!!

  5. I've rationalised the purchase of multiple cooking magazines many times by cutting out and meticulously filing the recipes that appeal to me!!!

    I once gave a killer cooking demonstration at a family Xmas for 30+ when several kids were watching. I was SO good I think I've scared several of them off cooking for fear of never being able to compete!!! Either that or they hated my concoctions!!

  6. i have ONE really good cookbook. i really shouldn't be using it anymore, tho, especially in public view. its mankey with drips and spills, but it does help me turn out a decent scone, the ole Day to Day cookery book!

  7. Toni, I should send you the recipe for Frozen Margarita Pie. It is the only recipe I have that I actually save a little tequila and Grand Marnier for because it only calls for a few tablespoons, and the pie is wonderful during the summer for parties.

  8. Cindi, you DEFINITELY should do that.

    AND I've been after the ole Day to Day cookery book for freakin YEARS!
    I'm starting to think Queensland is the only state where it ever saw the light of day.

  9. I love cookbooks.
    Have heaps - and read them like fiction or fantasy - because that's what much of the content is in this household!!!
    :-) xxx

  10. The trick is to keep serving, without fuss, the foods that you want them to eat.
    Start small.
    Serve the bacon wrapped green beans alongside the Mrs. Mac's and hash brown.
    Eat your portion saying something like "these are so yummy with the bacon, what do you think?"
    Camouflage the onions and garlic in the pasgetti sauce by mincing them instead of chopping, gradually increasing the size until they're accepting finely chopped.
    And so on.
    Serve them small portions and don't make a fuss about it, but eventually insist they try ONE bite.
    After that of course you keep serving things you want them to eat, you're educating their palates and eventually they'll eat everything, or almost.
    Think of the girl in the news a while back, in her late teens, she ate nothing but chicken nuggets since age two and collapsed one day. Because her mother indulged her in this restricted diet.
    You're not doing that of course, but a little re-educating in the meals is not a bad thing. Aim for 1-2 new foods per week.


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