When we arrived in New York, we had one small book case filled with the treasured reads that we loved enough to pay to ship from England to America. There were about ten cookbooks and forty novels. But after a year as a food blogger with a growing passion for food, the bookcase was heaving. Books were stacked on top of the case, on the sides. There were some new novels in there, but at some point in the previous year it became overwhelmingly a collection of cookbooks. As I was packing up our books during our move last week I realized I had never cooked out of many of them. Maybe a recipe or two from a book here and there.
Then, as I packed up the kitchen, I pulled a dusty purple folder from the top of my fridge. I had forgotten it was there. Inside were all the recipes I had pulled from the pages of magazines, newspapers and the internet when we lived in England. I had only made a few of those recipes too. I thought of all those evenings I had struggled for inspiration and kicked myself for not pulling out one of my cookbooks or remembering this folder.
My friend Amber who was helping us move also has a blog called Bluebonnets and Brownies. As we dusted off all the books and put them in boxes, she said she had been considering starting a series of posts based on recipes from old cookbooks and recipe boxes: recipes you always meant to make, recipes you used to love, but haven’t made in years.
Her idea inspired me. I cook a lot from blogs, but I wanted to crack the spine of some of these books and makes use of some of these recipes I’ve found in magazines. So this week I’m starting by making this Squash, Ricotta and Sage pasta bake from BBC Good Food Magazine. Stay tuned—in the future I hope to be sharing more of my “forgotten finds.”
However you do it, it’s important to find a way out of your cooking and eating rut. These past two weeks I’ve found new inspiration through travel. I’ve been in the Middle East letting others cook for me. Now that I’m back, I’m inspired to cook and eat a little differently.
Valerie @ Life 4 me by me says
How exciting! I love old recipes, the taste of the past. Looking forward to seeing them.
I have a huge cookbook collection and the funny thing is that I rarely make things exactly as they are written. Can’t seem to help myself – I’m always tweaking the recipes and changing them up. But I love flipping through them for inspiration! Looking forward to your series of posts!
Barbara | VinoLuciStyle says
Funny you should ask. I just had lunch at Nordstrom’s Cafe with a friend and saw they had some of their famous Macarons available for dessert. My daughter works for Nordstrom’s and I’ve touched base with the cafe manager about the possibility of getting recipes to feature on my blog so I asked if I could have that one.
They did get me a xerox copy but also showed me where it’s in one of their cookbooks; so I decided to buy the book too, not sure if I had it.
Well, I do. Have it I mean, how bad is that; so many cookbooks I can’t even keep track!
Guess the good news is I will be having a contest when I make those macarons!
Deb of knitstamatic says
Oh I really like this idea. While I do get inspriation from many of my books I have quite a number that are burried and probably contain a lot of really good long forgotten recipes. Time to start digging!
Kathy - Panini Happy says
This sounds like a great idea. The shelf I’d been using to house my cookbooks – yes, one shelf with way too many cookbooks – recently gave way. As I was collecting the pile from the floor I barely recognized half of them – I’d been excited to try them but I guess never got around to it. Probably time to make them a priority or donate!
Maris (In Good Taste) says
That does sound like a great idea. You will probably fins recipes haven’t changed all that much over the years.
Tickled Red says
I absolutely adore this idea! Boy do I know what you mean by the purple folder. Let’s just say I am weighed down with cooking magazines 😉
One way I have found to get out of the cooking rut is to ask others what they like to make over and over. Also, I love to try new recipes and then I poll my husband and family about whether it is a “keeper” or not. Sometimes I pull out old cookbooks from different times in my life and look in those for recipes I used to make all of the time.