No book left unused ...
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I'm about to embark, yet again, on a mission to cook a new dish from every cookery book I own (currently 260). This is my fourth attempt and I don't think I've ever made it past 10-11 books. So I wondered whether any members of this group had achieved this goal, and if so, how - did you have a cunning plan at the outset? Did you just pick a book off the shelf at random each week?
eta - I only have 167 cookbooks so didn't have quite so far to go as you do.
On another note, I've misplaced my mother's recipe box with the ancient handwritten recipes in it. I'm sure it will turn up eventually, but in the meantime I'm desperately searching for a persimmon pudding recipe as it's that time of year. If anyone has one let me know.
I started out with fewer than 20% of my cookbooks tested three years ago (and a lot fewer books than I own now :) ).
I think I'm going to go with the random selection method - plus a lot of my books are full of little slips of paper marking recipes I've liked the look of but never got round to, so this will be the time to have another look at a few of those.
I made a start yesterday with Lord Woolton Pie from Food Facts for the Kitchen Front, which was about as bad as I expected.
eta - have joined cookbooker.com, and am planning to add each book and review each recipe as I go along.
I tend to put in date and a comment like 'Good!' or 'Never again.'
I also have a 3-ring binder where I put recipes I've printed off the Internet or gotten handwritten. I put them in clear page protectors. Have seriously considered typing up all the handwritten & family recipes and using one of those print-on-demand services to make copies for family.
(This is the app's website, which contains the link to the app store.)
I then bake a muffin recipe from each book that has one until I am completely over muffins.
My Favourite so far has been crackers! I never realised they were so easy to make and way tastier then anything I have ever bought.
It's not Derrick, mate, it's me, aka Bunyip! He does computer programs, I do recipes, but we share the library and the LibraryThing membership (the embroidery books are mine too).
I have found that quite a few of the recipes published in The Guardian (which has a colossal archive) also appear in books published by the authors, who I tend to favour anyway. Sometimes there will be a recipe which I like in a book I already own by, say, Nigel Slater, and I find it online and import it for ease of use and finding. It can be maddening not knowing which book it's in.
Similarly I've got quite a collection of Delicious magazines (which I no longer buy). The recipes I've got marked are pretty well all downloadable from the Taste website, with photos too! I am going to go through them, download the recipes I want and then throw them out, clearing a shelf for books!
Speaking of ease of use, do many people take their tablet into the kitchen? I keep my iPad in a nifty bean-bag thingy called a TabCoosh which lets you prop it up on any surface with much more stability than the Apple cover/stand. You've just got to keep it clear of the actual cooking, like a real book really. The kitchen ware place at the market is selling a heavy-based chef figurine - you prop the tablet up across his feet and it is supported by his outstretched arms.
I've made it to book 12 in my mission: favourite new recipe so far is Curried Parsnip Soup (rather a surprise as I hate parsnips); least favourite is Woolton Pie which is not a surprise.
This weekend I am going to attempt Hugh F-W's recipe for parsnip and cider soup. I can't quite imagine the taste, but it has got to be worth trying. We always have cider in the house these days - boutique cider is the coming thing and since I've never liked beer anyway I am encouraging Mr dajashby to develop his interest in it.
Have you thought of consulting a dietician? It seems to me that what you're looking at is adapting your existing recipes rather than abandoning them altogether. When my bad cholesterol started creeping up that was what I did - less butter, more olive oil and so on. It worked.
You don't say why cheese is a problem, but if it's any comfort Harold McGee assures us that it contains little or no lactose. And yoghurt is positively beneficial for lactose digestion.
Okay, here's what I've got saved:
The Food Allergy Mama's Baking Book: Great Dairy-, Egg-, and Nut-Free Treats for the Whole Family
Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living
(these 2 have over 80 reviews each, very positive)
366 Simply Delicious Dairy-Free Recipes
(this one has 4 reviews, three 4 & 5 star, one 2 - because it uses lots of tofu & they didn't like that)
Not a Drop of Milk...: (or Soy)
(only one review but it goes into lots of detail about why it was so great that they gave it 5 stars)
Not Milk...Nut Milks!: 40 of the Most Original Dairy-Free Milk Recipes Ever!
(title says it - uses nut milks instead. 4 reviews, all 4 & 5 star)
Hope that maybe helps you out a little!
(Also, just a note, the links aren't touchstones but links to amazon, so that you could look over their reviews. It's not actually encouragement to buy there or anything, just so you could look over what people had to say about them, which amazon is very useful for)
>33 by dajashby, mlpicou said quite clearly why - her husband is lactose intolerant. Regardless of what this Harold McGee guy says, the main component of (most) cheese is cow milk.
You can't dismiss McGee as "this guy" if you haven't read him. The scientific fact is that cheese, whatever sort of milk it's made from, has had the lactose processed out of it into the whey, and the fermentation takes care of any that remains. Any qualified dietician will confirm this, but McGee is an easily accessible authority that I happen to have handy.
However, as someone who is lactose intolerance, and severely so, cheese DOES still contain small amounts of lactose, which does affect me. I know that the majority of the lactose is removed as the cheese is made, but a small amount does remain in the cheese, and for those with severe lactose intolerance, it does cause problems.
While an average glass of milk contains 9-12g of lactose, 30g of cheese contains up to 0.1g of lactose- much smaller amounts, sure, but it is still there. Do not assume cheese is safe for someone who is lactose intolerant.
My husband and I chose the topic/activity of "Baking" this year for our explorations in our goal of "growing" old together (as opposed to stagnating). Last year was "Art."
Anyway, we take turns plucking a cookbook off of my shelves, and the other one gets to chose the recipe, preferably something to challenge our skills. Easy for my husband as he has not done much cooking.
First cookbook I chose was The Mitford Cookbook, he picked Rose's Banana Pudding, which baked all of 8 minutes in the oven to brown the meringue. Still, he learned how to make pudding from scratch which is good, since he used the leftover egg yolks a few days later to make chocolate pudding. Both were scrumptious.
Second cookbook he picked was Elena's Secrets of Mexican Cooking, I picked a recipe for roasted chicken which called for the chicken to be de-boned then stuffed, something I never have done before. I did two of them, the second one being much easier once I knew where to find the joints, etc. I only broke the skin by the wings twice. This is a recipe I will be using again, but the stuffing will be altered to suit my whims. Delicious, and so fun to serve at the table!
My last recipe was a homemade Parisian flan. It was delish, and I am not buying any more industrial flan, it was *that* good.
How brave of you to tackle the de-boned chicken recipes! I'm glad to hear they were worth the effort.