Friday, January 23, 2009

The Cookbook Project.

I love to cook. I love to try new recipes. At times, though, I feel inundated with magazines full of gorgeous recipes and overwhelmed by a bookshelf full of cookbooks, most of which have barely been opened.

I have old and new cookbooks. Generic and food specific cookbooks. Many cookbooks that were my grandmother's. I have cookbooks specific to a country or a region. I have an entire collection of Time Life "Foods of the World" cookbooks from 1971 and Trader Vic's cookbooks from the '40's. I have fancy restaurant cookbooks. Salad dressing, fish, cookies, BBQ, Splenda, sausage...yup, they all have a cookbook on my shelf.


In an effort to not only try new recipes, but also new ingredients and techniques, I've taken on the self-imposed challenge of making one recipe from every single, solitary cookbook on this shelf. It's not quite as daunting as making every recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Childs as documented in the fun book Julie & Julia by Julie Powell. But, still an exciting task nonetheless.

I don't really have any rules, except that I have to go in order, top to bottom, left to right. I will choose a dish that I've never made, uses a new ingredient or a employs a new technique. I hope to make one dish a week.

My goal is to have fun, find a few new favorite dishes, learn some new techniques and come out with a sense of accomplishment. Edit: After thinking more about the project, I also want to become a better blogger and learn to photograph food better!

The first book on the top shelf is actually a favorite of mine and a vegetarian bible to many. It's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman.

Stay tuned!

Oh, and I started a Cookbook Project Flickr group if you'd like to challenge yourself and join in the fun!


sara girlscantell said...

ah ha! i love this goal - the perfect combination of delicious and adventurous!

laura said...

what a cool idea! i love to start a project at the beginning of the year, yah new years resolutions! good luck!

jenn said...

love, love, love the idea. And I think I"m up for the challenge. I'll start first thing tomorrow! Thanks for the inspiration!

pinkbathtub said...

Thanks all!!

Victoria Bennett Beyer said...

Brilliant idea - I have a few cookbooks I need to pull out and use (for the first time) myself.

I did try this a week or so ago with an all-salmon cookbook I bought at a bargin store. The recipie I tried was SO horrific that I promptly sent it up to the Goodwill pile in my closet. It felt almost as good to just get a useless cookbook off the shelf as it would have to discover a new tasty meal. So, if you happen to encounter any failures during your cookbook adventure, maybe they will turn out to be a good thing. :)

Paula said...

I think I'm going to start on this project after my Food:A-Z project. Only have 2 letters left.