Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Cookbook Hunt

Today, Kevin and I went shopping for some last minute Christmas gifts. He had asked that I drop him off at the Half-Price Bookstore while I ran the remainder of my errands. Thinking it would not bother me much, I left him there and went on my way. Not this time though. I kept thinking "Will I miss THE one?" Then I had to tell myself that life would go on, hopefully, if I didn't spend the afternoon looking at cookbooks. Any foodie, worth his/her salt (no pun intended) would be in their glory to be left at a used bookstore with a pretty good sized cookbook section. The same holds true about me. Typcially, when we do stop at these types of stores, we both split up and I naturally head to the cookbook section. Usually, an hour goes by before I see him. And normally, he comes looking for me.

As anyone who REALLY knows me is aware that I normally do not read often unless I am on vacation. As Kevin tells me, its because "I just like to look at the pictures." The exception comes when it involves cookbooks. In my early years, I would buy cookbooks like they were going out of style. I would read them through once or twice and then they would sit on the shelf until I might pick it up to make a recipe. Mostly, they would just sit there because "some day" I would use them.

As the years past, the numbers of books grew until there was not an inch of space on top of our kitchen cabinets. Sometimes I wondered if they would someday fall off of the wall. About a year or so ago, I went through the "collection" and pared them down substantially selling most on Amazon. I made sure that I used the "Would I be lost without this book?" rationale. I was finally able to get the collection down to three shelves on the bookcase in the living room. Success!

Well, a little over a year later and slowly the collection is starting to grow again. But this time I feel it is different because I try and be more selective and only buy the classics. Currently, the book at the coveted top spot on my list is Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Now I know that I could simply find a copy of this book on the web but I choose not to go that route. You see, it is the hunt for the book that I realize is most important. The thrill of finding it tucked amongst those tightly-packed shelves is what really gets me excited. It is the same feeling you get when you run across a "must have" in a thrift shop or antique store. So continue on the hunt and keep searching for the "classics" and "must haves" for your collection. It is those that you find on this quest that will put a smile on your face!


  1. Auntie Meenoor has Julia Child " The Way to Cook ". Any help??

  2. No help....I enjoy the searching and then it has to be an incredible buy as well. Like scoring the big prize!

  3. Hey Steve - I am one of your friends who simply does NOT cook. Won't take long to guess will it? But I wanted to let you know I am thoroughly enjoying your blog! While it is about food / cooking (ugh) it's the family memories, rich descritions of your food escapades and Kevin's always on target comments that I am enjoying! Keep writing. Every now and then throw something in for those of us who think "the fine art of cooking" is stopping at Festival's Deli!

  4. Hi Steve - I'm not a cookbook hunter, but have 4 cookbooks I absolutely love. Everything I have ever made from the cookbooks has been simply delightful. They are the 4 Junior League of Denver cookbooks (Colorado Cache, Colorado Colore, Creme De Colorado, and Colorado Collage). If you happen to run into any one of them in your searches, take a peek and see what you think. They've published a 5th book this year, which I've asked for as a Christmas present.
    Cousin Linda

  5. Hey Lin~ Those types are the BEST. Love any of the church cookbooks and local organizations books. I have one from the Crivitz, Wi Junior League that is another winner!

  6. I will keep an eye open for it when I go antique browsing. There is a nice one in Lomard I will go to on my next day off from work. Next monday by the way Martin Luther King's birthday!



Please feel free to leave your thoughts and comments!