Monday, 23 November 2009

What's the plan?

I own a billion cookbooks - well not a billion, but enough. Actually, I own 42. That includes some specialty ones about cake decorating, and a couple dedicated dedicated to chocolate. Aside from these specialty ones I have a wide variety - from Stephanie's tome, to most of the Bill Granger's, a couple of Jamie's and a few of those $3.95 family circle A5 books. I also love watching cooking shows, but as I work full time I watch the ones I can download on iTunes - my favourite is Mark Bittman (NY Times).

I've tried different techniques 'over the years' (I'm in my mid-20s) to keep track of what recipes I have - at the moment I am using an A4 visual art diary where I write in the tried & true things that you don't necessarily need a recipe for, but appreciate the reminders, for example - my vanilla cupcake recipe (which originally comes from Australian Womens Weekly), or my favourite herb combinations to roast with chickpeas. If I rip a recipe out of a magazine, make it and like it - then it goes in the book!

So, the plan: cook regularly from a cookbook/cooking show/magazine tear out. Regularly means at least twice a week. It means try new recipes. It also means cull the cookbooks I own (I should be able to figure out if there enough recipes in a book to keep me interested) and could be a good excuse to buy some more.

I'm going to start out doing some recipes from one book per week - I don't want to buy a million new ingredients every week so I will look for recipes that enable me to use up all of what I buy without it languishing in the back of the pantry for months.

I will determine how many weeks I 'do' of one book depending on the number of recipes from that book that I find interesting.

Of course, that doesn't mean I can't cook some of my 'regular' dishes that actually come from other books that I own (I can't imagine having to wait for my week focussing on Harumi's Japanese Cooking to eat somen salad). And I can still cook dishes that don't even have a recipe - a lot of pasta dishes, or basic stirfries!

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