I love watching food shows. One of my favorites is Top Chef. I follow it religiously and I enjoy every minute of it. A family member, a fellow Top Chef fan, gave me as a gift a Top Chef cookbook. I was so excited! That is… until I opened the book and looked through the recipes. I think I found 2 recipes that I could probably try in my kitchen. Many of the ingredients are not things you can find in a regular supermarket – unless your super market is some fancy one. The techniques also seemed totally undoable. What a disappointment.
There are three things I look for in a cookbook.
1. pictures – I must have pictures because I need to be able to visualize the end product
2. shop-ability – I’m a working mom/wife – I don’t have all day to chase ingredients all over town
3. do-ability – again, I’m a working mom/wife – I don’t have a lot of time and I don’t have a lot of energy, so it needs to be doable in “real life” – also “pinch of salt” and “salt to taste” don’t really help me
I have to say, it’s hard to find cookbooks that meet all of these things I look for while going beyond the very basics of Betty Crocker recipes. It’s either too mundane/simple or too fancy.
This is why I enjoy the Food Network website and places like Allrecipes.com. And I started gathering my own collection of recipes that I bound together in a binder and clear protectors. Every time I try a new recipe and it works out, it goes into my binder. I wonder if the world of cookbooks, like the world of books in general, is slowly dying too.