Do you like cookbooks? Do you have a collection that spills out everywhere? Do you have 2 or 3 cookbooks spread out every time you get ready to cook? Have you been called a hoarder? An addict? Then you’ve come to the right place.
Hello, my name is Amy, and I’m the president of the Cookbooks Open Our Kitchens club – or COOK for short! 🙂 If you’d like to join, come on in and have a seat. And, by the way, I’m not just the president, I’m also a member!
My love for cookbooks began at a young age when I used to page through the ones my mom had sitting on her desk. She didn’t have many – I think I remember maybe 10. However, what she could accomplish from those 10 was AMAZING!! Everything she made was delicious, and for much of it she didn’t even need a recipe. She just threw this and that together and BAM – deliciousness every day! OR – that’s how I viewed it as a child, anyway!
When we got married, I think I had maybe 2 cookbooks. One was The Joy Of Cooking that my new mother-in-law gave me. She said that every new cook needed that book because it was so comprehensive and explained a lot about how to make a multitude of basic food items. The other was a cookbook from my home church. I recognized many of the entrees and desserts in that book, having grown up searching them out at every covered dish supper and Homecoming our church had. This was the book that held secrets of my childhood!
I started searching out cookbooks as a young bride / young mother at yard sales, thrift stores, library sales and such. (I couldn’t cook ANYTHING when we were first married so I needed ALL the help I could get! LOL) I did buy some of them new, and even asked for some as gifts. My collection grew, and then I would give some away when we moved. I always felt as though I had WAYYYYY too many books, and this would precipitate my decluttering of books, thinking that I didn’t need that many. However, almost instantly, I would regret it, and would start the hunt once again.
No matter where I go, whether it’s on vacation, or just to a local resale shop, I always head to the cookbooks first. You never know when you’ll find a treasure that will add something special to your already loaded shelves. Or you might find one with a recipe that you’ve been trying to find for years. Whatever the reason, I can always find a cookbook that I have to have, no matter where I am. I will admit my favorite place to find cookbooks is the yearly book sale our local library has every October. On Friday and Saturday, books are priced individually. However, on Sunday, they have their “Bag Sale.” They give you a paper grocery bag and you pay $3 for the bag – no matter how many books you stuff in it!!! Talk about heaven! My kiddos and I go every year and brave the crowds to add to the libraries we already have. I’m not sure I should admit this, but last year we bought ….. TEN bags …. LOL (does it help to admit some were for my hubby and my son’s girlfriend and my mother-in-law?)
All these thoughts of cookbooks led me to an idea for here on the blog. I want to start my COOK club – Cookbooks Open Our Kitchens – and begin a “Cookbook Of The Month.” At the beginning of the month, I’ll pick one of my favorite cookbooks to share with you. Then, for the rest of the month, I will share recipes from that book on my blog. Some recipes may be different and unusual, while others might be standard fare with a twist. If we see that a month is too long to go, we’ll go to twice a month for a new cookbook. You can let me know what you think. I would love to hear from you about your favorite cookbooks and we can add them to the list of ones to share. We might even get to a point where we have so many terrific ones, we need to do a “Cookbook Of The Week!”
I’ll start with this post. My cookbook for this month is one that I bought years ago – and one of the few I have purchased new. It is titled The Foxfire Book of Appalachian Cooking. It appealed to me because of the stories of folks from the hills of Appalachia. In fact, I’ve bought this twice (I lost one in a move) and have also given several as gifts – it is THAT GOOD!
This book, for me, really embodies the spirit of doing things “the old way.” This book, published in 1984, has pictures and stories of many folks who have now passed on. With the publication of this book, the authors have shared a way of life that is virtually unknown to many folks today. Writing about canning over a woodstove, hauling water from a nearby stream or grinding wheat to make flour are all tasks these people did regularly as a way of life. It seems like it would be a hard way of life, but in many ways it was also a simpler way to live.
There are several bread recipes in this book to share with you over the next few posts in our COOK group. In the meantime, check the book out here and see what you think.
And let me know below what you think about the idea – and if you have any favorite cookbooks you want to share!