Kitchen Cookbooks

It would be nice to have a full wall of shelves near the kitchen table, filled with cookbooks ready to be perused – and returned – right in the room in which they are used. I don’t have that. I do have a library, and there are several shelves full of cookbooks, but it’s nice to have a spot, even if it’s counter space, for currently used books.

When we were designing this kitchen and filling a secondary wall with cabinets, I traded a wider bank of drawers for a turned base. Easier with a picture:

Accessible to the working area of the kitchen and hidden from the table and guest area, it’s never neat and tends to gather dust as a busy corner, but it’s great to have. The top is stuffed with planning papers, the occasional cooking magazine, appliance manual, and recipes I’ve printed. The shelves are not, by any means, favorite cookbooks, but a mix of currently used, new-to-be-read, or simply resting.

Cool Waters is kind of fun for jazzing up water or plain soda. Marcella Hazan for many reasons but recently her pasta gorgonzola, and Tender is a gigantic, beautiful combination of gardening and recipes. The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper is a fun read, and I hear there’s a new one, must look into it. Do you know Super Natural Cooking and its sister on the shelf below, of 101 Cookbooks?  La Tartine Gourmande, also new and a nice blog. Mark Bittman. Of course, Mark Bittman.

There are two tiny paperbacks I bought in Italy, which I never use but love to see there on the shelf. Over the winter I made a delicious chickpea stew from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and a cake from Martha. More Mark Bittman. Between him and the slow cooker book is my recipe journal, where I try very hard to record recipes I want to make again so they won’t be lost forever in the flurry of sticky notes marking pages. Love Mollie Katzen’s Vegetable Heaven.

I don’t dislike the cookbooks I haven’t mentioned – I would give them away if that was the case – I just haven’t used them recently, or perhaps enough. Now, it’s nearly 9 a.m., and it is time to figure out what’s for dinner!

2 Responses to Kitchen Cookbooks

  1. My cookbooks sit on top of my fridge. I wish I had a more decorative place to keep them, but it seemed like the most logical place for them. My only issue with cookbooks is that, while I love to have them, I have so many of them that I forget what is in each one. I think to myself, “I have a recipe for that,” but the thought of paging through all those books to find it puts me off. Perhaps if I had a better place for them, then I might use them more often.

  2. The fridge makes sense if there aren’t any cabinets above….and if you can reach! (I do have a really tall husband and children. They are handy to have around.)

    If I really like a recipe I’ve used, I try to write it down in full or at least note the book and page. Like you, I don’t like having to search for something I once saw. I like it best when I pick a few books and make a list of recipes to try, then work them in somewhere. When I’m online, though, I use Evernote, which is fantastic for recipes, and everything!

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