How Do You Cook With Books?

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Books have always been an extremely central part of our life.  My dad used to buy books only available in Europe when he traveled and as you know Alison was a librarian for many, many years.  When we moved from Louisville to Seattle, we moved about 50,000 pounds of books and that was after we made a major purge donation to the local library!  So, the fact that we still surround ourselves with books isn’t a surprise.  The method hasn’t changed all that much only in the months before the holiday season, cookbooks overflow from every direction.  Luckily, our local library, Arlington Heights Memorial Library gathers up every last one.  

We have stacks upon stacks of cookbooks.  Enough that we could build a fort if we were so inclined, although we could never because you can’t read them if they’re covered.  The sheer amount of new cookbooks coming out is so overwhelming that you couldn’t buy them all on your own.  We leave that to the professional librarians.  

There is nothing better than lugging home a library bag full of new recipes.  Each one is gone through and poured over.  Some are not to our taste at all.  While others we find ourselves putting on our list to purchase.  Like Alton Brown’s: Every Day Cook filled with recipes that we wished we’d have thought of first.  There are a lot of repeats to be found in cookbooks.  So, we are tending to look for recipes which add in new flavors.  Or that utilize different techniques that we haven’t tried before. 

Although we still scour the internet for recipes, knowing that there are cookbooks out there makes the job easier.  A published cookbook has gone through trials and testing.  This one of the reasons why we continue to go back to America’s Test Kitchen recipes.  They are vetted to the utmost level so the recipe will turn out right every time.  There are a lot of recipes out there online and in print.  While they are all readily accessible, online recipes tend to be what is currently in season.  With a cookbook, we find more time to plan by partly avoiding the trends.  We can easily create our own flavors for this holiday season.  

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