Cookbook Obsession Breakthrough

I love a cookbook/recipe. Unfortunately (or maybe not ’cause it means tasty food for me and those I love) my love means I have a whole bookcase full of cookbooks. There are some I haven’t made anything out of yet, making me wonder why I bought it in the first place. I even have a pair of binders (one for desserts, the other for everything else) filled with cut out recipes from newspapers or magazines and hand written cards from my Gamma. One of the binders is three inches and it’s almost out of space.

When we’re at Borders, I can’t help it; I haaaaave to browse the cookbook/baking section and magazines, especially if I have a 40 percent off coupon (my latest addition is Gordon Ramsay’s World Kitchen). Don’t even get me started on the bargain bin section. Seriously, who can resist a cookbook for under eight bucks?

I’ll even flip through books that I know have recipes I’d never make, or are too complicated, but it’s so fun to see all the tasty dishes out there and learn all sorts of new techniques and tricks for items I use a lot. Case in point: Food & Wine magazine. Gonna be honest, subscribed because they always put the winner of “Top Chef” in and a year subscription wasn’t as pricy as I thought. However, almost all the recipes are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over my head and the ingredients are outta our price range. After the second issue, I realized it’s more of a foodies’ magazine and I am most definitely not a foodie.

Or am I foodie? Is it possible I’m a foodie, but more in an everyday, less expensive way, if that’s even an option? Why else would I enjoy watching Food Network and Cooking Channel? And why in the world would I own so many cookbooks and feel the need to own more and more of them? I started to wonder if I was slightly obsessed with collecting them.

As it turned out, it’s completely normal. How do I know, you ask? I read in a food magazine (shocking I know) that the average person only uses three recipes per cookbook. That’s not a typo; just three per book.

Just three? Really? But, once I started to think about it, it wasn’t as crazy as it sounded. I started thinking of the cookbooks I used often and how many recipes I had made out of each one. Sure, there’s tons of recipes that sound/look great that we say we’ll make later, but how many of us really do?

In my case I don’t try new recipes that often because I don’t want to make it and find out we hate it and feel like I’ve wasted money. Or, I forget there was a recipe we would eat because I can’t remember what book it’s in or what page it’s on. So, to help improve this problem, I’ve flagged the majority of my cookbooks so I can find things quickly. I know it sounds horribly nerdy and time consuming, but I feel it’s well worth it. I also appreciate that it gives me more meal ideas. I don’t know about the rest of you, but sometimes it’s sooooo hard to come up with lunch/dinner ideas that still use the ingredients you love, but aren’t the same old same old. Certainly makes grocery shopping easier and cheaper since I can buy ingredients that can be used for more than one meal.

I know my cookbook collection will continue to grow over the years, but now when I flip through one, I’ll make sure there’s more than three recipes worth eating.

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