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How do you store your cookbooks? - Page 4
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Magazines, I basically purge once every couple months. I might keep one or the other recipe or even entire issues, but mostly I throw them out. I hardly ever make the same thing twice, so there's little use for me keeping any given recipe around. I'd store it and foret about it and never make it again anyway. There are millions more that I have not even read yet, why stick to one I've already made? I don't read the same book twice either and hardly watch the same movie twice (with some exceptions).
I do "read around" in cookbooks just about every day though, and my wishlist on Amazon is well fertilized too, it grows like weeds!
Create your own cookbook, taking a bit of this and a bit of that. It might differ in size, but then you can work around that with computers if it's a real bother.
Typically the books never enter the kitchen.
I use them as research, jot down the recipe in part or in whole, then take that to the kitchen.
My books look brand new, though they are well used.
Seriously, as your cooking skills develop, you'll find yourself in the same boat as the rest of us---maybe even become like those of us who read cookbooks the way others read novels.
Jim, I'm impressed. My cookbooks are in the kitchen all the time. In fact, there are two 6-foot shelves in the kitchen that carry some of them. The rest are in custom-built floor-to-ceiling shelving units. Those bookcases are in the hall, only cuz there's no room for them elsewhere.
When I decide on a recipe to try, that book goes into the kitchen with me. If it's a keeper, I then type up a recipe card---along with any adaptations I've made. I also write notes and comments right in the books. They are, after all, tools.
What astounds me, in hindsight, is how little they get messed up by spills etc.
In terms of arrangement, I'm similar to Chris, but not quite as organized. The books are arranged by gross category, and grouped within the catagory as necessary. For instance, all of the Meditarranean cookbooks are together, further broken down by country or region as necessary. Baking would be a category, broken down by bread and other baking. And so on.
Though I'm not as religious about it as I should be, when something turns out exceptionally tasty I enter into a recipe program called Big Oven and tag it as "favorite". Overall I like the program because I can either type the recipe in manually, copy a recipe into memory from online, or put it onto my printer and scan it in. There is a small utility that allows one to highlight a portion and assign it a place. For example, mark out the list of ingredients with the mouse and click on "ingredients", then highlight the directions and click on "directions". Really kind of neat.
This question was inspired by Kimmie's post at the "form over function" thread.
We all have a collection of cookbooks which probably doesn't get smaller. How do you sort them? Where do you keep them (kitchen counter, cabinets, closets, stand alone shelves, shelves on the wall)? Do you have a cookbook on "display" in a plate holder? Do you have blank recipe books you write your creations in or keep them on your computer? Do you use them all or do you trade unused ones at the used book store?
As long as Home Depot has 1x12 oak, eye hooks and chain, and I have wall perimeter, I've got room for more books.
You can run this around the entire house if you want, since very few people will hit their head on a shelf that's almost 7 1/2' off the ground.
An added benefit is that some stainless rod and eye hooks get you space for all those utensils that never seem to find a good home.
Madame, here's a little secret for you. If your kitchen cabinents are standard installation they are hung a foot lower than the ceiling, with a soffit filling the opening. Remove the soffits and you've got as much "shelf" space as the length of your cabinets. Plenty of room for books, and less-often used cooking equipment, etc.
I am sooooo lucky to have a super computer geek hubby He digitally converted all of my books. We have a mini laptop in our kitchen. I have a little database I can look up by book,author or recipe...I even have all my family recipes stored in it. I add new recipes all the time...I love it! Now I have room for more cooking stuff :) Sad for my books that are sitting in boxes waiting...
Went to cooking school hoping to get definitive info. Did not work. I have almost 2 doz books now in my rented room, in less than a year! Yes I have an addiction. I read a cookbook from cover to cover and flag the recipes I want to do with post-it notes cut up 5 times. What I haven't figured out is how to source a recipe I tabbed that I know that I want to try, but can't recall which book.This can be years later after first viewing! I sort my books by baking, ethnic etc. I now pencil a checkmark in index if I've done a recipe, untab, make a penciled note on recipe page rating it or suggested changes.
I haunt the thrift stores and found I had bought some books more than once!
At home when I am overflowing for space, meaning I want to buy a new cookbook, I take out the books with the fewest tabs, review the tabbed recipes to see if they still interest me, untab or scan the recipe into computer. Then, I donate the book back to the thrift shop, or public library if they are intersted. If you think this is pricey I find it much cheaper than paying overdue fines at the library! The library is now my biggest resource, however, while I am out of town in my rental apt. They have a lot of the books I have at home but some of my thrift store finds are obscure and unique. Each author has their own philosophy, palate, and technique tips that one assimilates into ones own repetoire that you can't get from any one 'bible' cookbook.
My cookbooks are my babies. I have completed my chef's course and I still am still addicted to cookbooks but do not have to own them all.
I have become very, very selective now.
I have pared my collection down to about 300 now!
Annecho, I go through a similar process. One thing that might help: instead of cutting up post it notes, they make what are called post-it flags. These come in an array of colors, and a couple of sizes. You can even get them as part of a combo pack that includes a matching-color highlighter.
You might find that color coding can help when you go back searching. At least it will limit the number of books you have to search through---providing you can come up with a system that works for you.
Something else I've learned to do. Through my work as a book reviewer I'd gotten in the habit of taping a sheet of notepaper to the frontispiece. As I try recipes, I write down it's name and page, along with notes and comments about the recipe and the dish. This has been so beneficial that I now do it with all cookbooks, not just those I'm reviewing.
For me it works much better than merely checking off that recipe in the contents.
Unfortunately, it's no help looking for one of those to-try recipes.
They are stored nearly everywhere, a bookcase in my bedroom, which has overflowed to another bookcase in my bedroom. Magazines are next to chairs, recliners, piled on desk, in the computer, flat surfaces and magazine racks. I do not have any in my kitchen, because there is no room in the kitchen. I have a great, quite small galley kitchen that was built to house me and my beloved kitchen tools, we take up every last inch of space. I carry the recipe book into the kitchen, or enter the recipe into the computer and print it off, I'll make a notation in the book if it's good, note substitutions if any were made. If it's not good, notation as well and wiped off the computer if that is appropriate. But throw away a cookbook, that is not something I can do without a struggle.
Like most people they are everywhere, I do cull them from time to time. Though I never dispose of as many as I buy so my collection always grows. The magazines as many have said are the biggest problem, I really wish the publishers would offer cd with a years issues or more burnt on them. A few non cooking publications do this and it saves so much space and you still have all those back issues.
I have around 100 cookbooks dating back to the 1930's. Some of the WWII cook books have some neat stuff in them. There were a lot of shortages, and they tell you how to get around some of those shortages.
I have them stored on several shelves of my book case. I also have my Master Cook software, and around 20,000 recipes in several collections.
Nope, I will never make all those recipes, but it's nice to search through my MC collection for inspiration. The wife, and I once went six months, and NEVER had the same thing twice. We make out two week menu's. Sometime we choose a cuisine, and only make that, Other times we mix it up. In winter we always have a different soup every week. Sometimes we say "LETS PLAY", and put something together based on the proper proceedures and techniques we have learned from our generous Chef friends, and Foodies.
Ya got to feel sorry for folks that say, Oh today is Monday so it's spaghetti, or Wednesday it's meatloaf.
FOOD IS COOL!!!
So many amazing meals developed by wonderful creative chefs, foodies, and straight up home cooks, and so short a life to enjoy them.
Lord, please save me from more cookbooks!
My wife and I have a collection of a several hundred cookbooks. Important reference tomes are kept in book cases in our study. Older parts of the collection take up space in a bookcase that covers an entire kitchen wall. The remainder appear to be forming a wall atop dresser in the master bedroom.
It has finally gotten to the point where we seriously need to discard some. This in it self can be a problem in a home with 2 cooks! I want to keep books that include historic notes and assorted trivia on the dishes or cuisine, where my wife wants to keep only books that reflect her personal interests (anything related to Christmas, railroad/dining car related, the esoteric list goes on...) It is important to go through your collection periodically though, it's surprising how many duplicates you can find.
Check out Foodies on the Prowl!
I keep some of mine on top of the fridge. some are on a bookshelf in the living room. magazines are stacked in my bedroom trying to find a home. an inordinate amount seem to wind up on the nightstand next to my bed and spill onto the floor. i have no idea how that happens. i also go to the library and check out books flag recipes in them and put them on my computer. i am in the process of printing out favorites and putting them in page protectors in a three ring binder sorted into categories. this will take a very loooong time. but i think it will be worth it.
I keep my cookbooks with the rest of my "library" on the bookshelves with all of the classic literature that my husband collects. I've tried to organize them before, but that never seems to last long. I love my vintage cookbooks that have been passed down by my grandmother or mother. My prized possessions though are the hand written family recipes I have in two traditional recipe boxes and one 3 ring binder. There is nothing more wonderful than seeing my grandmother's hand writing when I make her scratch noodle recipe or my own chicken scratches from a child in 4H or Home-Ec class when I cook. Some day maybe I will archive these all electronically, but for now, I just love the smell of a musty old 1940's Better Homes and Garden's book or the tattered Swan's Down Best of Cakes book with hand-written notes.
- How do you store your cookbooks?
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