Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Cooking Simplified, I Hope

True confession…I have 40 cookbooks, give or take a few.  And this is after purging many over the past couple of years.  Until now I thought I just couldn’t help it... I LOVE buying cookbooks, both new and used, and have received many as gifts and even inherited a few.  But I am going to try to stop, or at least slow down.

Although we do have a lot of dinner parties, most of my cooking is just for two.  My favorite suppers are a bowl of homemade soup or a piece of fish with vegetables and salad.  After a day at work I don’t open a book and make a complicated recipe.  Yet that is what is in my library- a plethora of books with recipes that call for lots of ingredients and chopping.  Even the simple, Quick Weeknight Dinners-type takes at least an hour for me to throw together.  And then there is the planning of the week’s meals, my invariably forgetting a few things at the supermarket, and trying to figure out when I’ll have the time to make something and should I double it for leftovers?  It just seems like too much trouble.

So I’m going to experiment for the month of February and see if I can simplify by using just one cookbook. After the holidays I brought back my aunt’s copy of the 1997 edition of Joy of Cooking.  It is virtually untouched and she has no need for it anymore. Yes, I do have a Joy of Cooking, 1975 edition, but I’m giving it to the library book sale.  It has some notes in it, such as made this for playgroup 1988 (Butterscotch Brownies) but all the same I’m not keeping it. The later edition is truly updated, with more uses for tofu and the like, and it has plenty of ideas for soups and fish.

In addition to the above mentioned cookbooks I also have a large three-ring binder stuffed with tried and true recipes that I’ve cut out from magazines and newspapers or received from friends.  I also have a folder overflowing with more clippings of things I want to try.  Too much!  Perhaps I might cheat a little and use my binder, but that’s it, I promise.

Check back in a month to see how the one cookbook experiment worked.  And for those of you who can just open the fridge and throw something together, I’m jealous.

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