My name is J… and I am a recipe addict! Or I should say.. was.
A few months ago, after a recent move I made the decision that it was time to sell a rather large cookbook collection I’ve had for over 25 years. Why was I saving recipes from twenty five years ago? Cooking styles have surely changed over these years that more than half of the bookmarked recipes were for things I would never make any more. I was thrilled to find a wonderful cookbook dealer who assured me, my library of 900 treasured books would all go to good homes.. Of course before I made my decision I had to go through them all one more time because there was one favorite recipe that I couldn’t be without. Enough already! Admittedly, this is how a recipe addict thinks, but in addition to my favorite recipes.. I got into the habit years ago, of sticking family recipes into my books as well, along with family pictures that were very special to me. They just brought an instant smile or warm remembrance of a special event or special person, that called for a certain recipe, whenever I reached for my books.
My daughter came to visit in the midst of all this madness and suggested that I put my favorite recipes on to the computer, but I couldn’t even begin to fathom the length of time that would take, and what if I forgot to do backups? Well it ended up taking me 3 weeks to go through each & every book, sort the keepers and separate the ones I would part with.
Yes, I still have a very nice collection, but now actually manageable, and space in my new kitchen. I’ve been slowly putting some of them into computer files.. but it’s just not the same for me. I actually prefer having a book with my hand scribbled marginal notes from years ago in it.. There definitely are memories connected with them and as I gazed at my faded writing and that smudge of cinnamon and butter encrusted on the pages, I’m transported back to that time years ago when I baked my first apple pie for my own daughters during the holidays. And yes, what about all those hand written recipe cards with recipes from my mom’s collection, my Nonna’s recipes brought from Naples? My sister’s famous Leg of Lamb, Uncle Pete’s famous lobster pie recipe? Auntie Ella’s arancine or baccala salad, Jimbo’s fabulous Prime Rib.. or his famous Guiness Beer Brats. I’ll always hang on to those. Whenever I make Ma’s delicious apple pie I get out that recipe card, even though I know it like the back of my hand… and many of my favorites are up on my cooking blog or in my journal for safe keeping.🙂
My newest cookbook, a birthday gift from my daughter, Top Chef-The Cookbook, with an inscription.. ‘this will just be a start to your new collection of cookbooks🙂 Bon Appetit’. So whether old or new, collecting cookbooks and recipes .. like dear old friends, will always remain in this addicts life!