Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cookbook Confessions

I have to confess I am feeling a bit guilty about a purchase I made yesterday at Costco. Yes, I know only too well the dangers that lurk on those skyscraper high shelves of badly displayed items, and have fallen into temptation on more than one occasion. For those of you card carrying Costco members you know the drill all too well. You enter the store with a list in hand, having made a pre-entrance vow to not purchase one single item that isn't on that list. You start working your way up and down the aisles, discouraged to find that several items on your list have done the "Costco vanishing" act. The problem is, for each item that poofed since the last time you were in the store, three new items of even more interest have been added. By the time the cashier adds it all up you have $350 more in purchases than you had planned. Oops.

So it is with some pride that I can say yesterday's purchase was actually planned. I love each and every Canadian Living cookbook I own, and the latest issue of the Costco magazine said this fall they would be stocking a new Canadian Living cookbook called The Vegetarian Collection. I was a happy shopper when I saw it had made an appearance amongst the stacks of books in my favorite Costco aisle.

In the afternoon I sat down with a cup of tea and some just-baked oatmeal cookies and perused its pages. I was not disappointed! Who could be with delicious offerings like this?

So why was I feeling a bit guilty over this purchase? After all, this new cookbook has great recipes and the price was very reasonable. Well, the problem is I already own several cookbooks. Actually, more than several. Here is a peak into one of the oversized cupboards in my kitchen.

Please note what this picture does not show. This is only the front row of cookbooks. Crammed in behind is another row of cookbooks that have currently fallen out of favor. If that was all it might not be so bad, but there is also this drawer.

And this one. Keep in mind these books are the top of stacks that sit four deep!

Clearly an intervention of some kind is needed, so this fall I am forcing myself to undergo the "Two Weeks, Two Cookbooks" treatment. Under the strict guidelines of the plan every two weeks I will choose two cookbooks to use. Any recipes I make can only come out of those cookbooks, or be something I make up myself. I am hoping this will keep me from going back to the same "favored few", and force me to get to know what's inside the pages of all those stacks and rows of culinary possibilities I have taking up valuable kitchen space. Exemptions will be allowed for birthday and Thanksgiving cooking, and for desserts. The thought of choosing the first two seems overwhelming, but hopefully as I move forward in my recovery it will get easier.


  1. I like to think of cookbooks as an inspiration. I have been known just to read them.

  2. That's a great idea--committing to using the recipes. We have a few cookbooks that currently serve no purpose other than occupying space. The soup looks wonderful--my mom used to make a really nice butternut squash soup.

  3. Hi Karen, just stumbled upon your blog and Love it. I can totally relate to your hand knit sock fetish, as I often wear mine over top of regular cotton socks in the cold winter months.
    From my perch in the office I can see my stack of cookbooks which equals 9! A grand total of 9! So if you want me to send you the postage to Vancouver, BC I will happily peruse your hand me downs ;)