Before I started this transformation into FoodBlog World, I used to have more money. I used to have a job. I used to be able to shop. And on occasion, when I would shop, I would be at TJ Maxx and I would pick up a cookbook. Not one that I intended to actually COOK from, mind you…it would be a book with a pretty cover. One that I could sit beside my clean stovetop, in a new cookbook stand, with beautiful color pages open as if I might actually USE it. You know, for company.
I did that. For the first 5 years we lived in our own house, I had an Italian cookbook called – umm, Italian, sitting out, open, never used. Finally I got tired of cleaning around it and shoving it full of take-out menus so I put it away into that crazy cabinet above the fridge. Yeah, you know the one. The one where things go to die. The things you don’t really want to part with but don’t feel like looking at, either. I think I put my dignity up there a few years back.
I bet your thinking-wow, she put take out menus in her cookbook? She’s weird. But you see, I don’t like things on my fridge. Like magnets. Or magnets holding up pictures. Or magnets holding up notes, or lists, or funny articles or take out menus or ultrasound images of when I was my sister and I was pregnant with my first child 7 years ago and have even moved since then, Jennifer*. I like to stash things and yet maintain that my house is clean because Hello? The fridge is clean.
But I digress.
Now, I am pretty much a snob about the cookbooks I buy. I research the heck out of them – follow along with people on Twitter who bake or cook from them, read reviews, snoop on the author’s own blog. And to be honest, in this day and age, you don’t really even need to BUY a cookbook, as there are more than enough recipes online to keep you in chicken stock and buttercream until you keel over. But I love them. And they are convienient. I don’t print off the recipes I find online, I actually handwrite them onto recipe cards. Sometimes, I don’t even do that…I just try to make the dish as I go, sneaking peeks at the computer as best I can along the way. So, cookbooks are really USED here at my house. Poor Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook looks like it’s been through hell, half covered in butter (her fault) and chocolate (also her fault). But I love it, and that’s the way a cookbook should look if it’s a good one.
I decided to do a Droolry Box full of cookbooks because these are ones I have had my eye on for ages now. No, I don’t own any of them, nor do I currently have the funds to, nor are any of the authors in cahoots with me. I just want them. Maybe one day, if I’m a a good girl. (Don’t hold your breath, folks. I’m rarely that good and most of you know it.)
- Ad Hoc at Home – by Thomas Keller
- Desserts by the Yard: From Brooklyn to Beverly Hills: Recipes from the Sweetest Life Ever – by Sherry Yard
- Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes– by David Lebovitz (not out yet, pre-order!)
- The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl-by Ree Drummond
- Junior’s Cheesecake Cookbook: 50 To-Die-For Recipes for New York-Style Cheesecake (Juniors)
- Paris Patisseries: History, Shops, Recipes – by Pierre Herme
What cookbook is YOUR favorite? Did I miss one? Tell me, please!
*Jennifer is yes, my sister. And I may or may not be correct in that the ultrasound is of her 7 year old. It may be of her 6 year old. Or, she may have taken it down in the last couple of months. She’s got bigger fish to fry though at this point. Three boys and a husband and an Atkin’s diet running rampant since the new year. Just stash the ultrasound if it’s still there. I have a spare cookbook you can put it in if need be. :0) (Love ya, Jenn!)