Friday, March 21, 2008

The Great Cookbook Throw-Away

Where would so many of us be now without cookbooks? I pay homage to the wonderful chefs and cooks who create and share with the world.

But I have a secret to share with you. Psst..... I have a bit of a clutter problem. Actually, I’ll admit that “a bit of a clutter problem” is a gross understatement. And to make it worse, I have a constant battle going on inside of me, a little devil who encourages me to hate doing something about it.

Let’s put it this way. My husband, Joe, wants me to tell you that I have a high tolerance for filth and squalor. It’s true.

So, things build up, and my inner battle explodes, and I go on a rampage from time to time. A couple of years ago, my cookbooks were at the receiving end of my battle, and I through almost all of them away.

It wasn't that I had a problem with the contents, I just had a problem with their physical existence.

In my personal opinion, bookshelves are ugly. You get a mishmash of books that don’t go together. You squeeze them on these shelves. Loose papers end up between them, magazines, 3-ring binders. Then you end up with a wall that is full of uncoordinated dust-collectors, and I'm very allergic to dust.

But throwing away all my cookbooks was a good thing, and that’s because of computers and the Internet. I was already using the Internet much more than my actual books. The variety of recipes is tremendous, and just a click away. And I can copy and paste them into a Word document, and store them in the clutter-free file cabinet on my hard drive. I can even store them in multiple locations. Oh, and if I still can’t find what I’m looking for, I can do a search. It’s just great.

Not only did the computer help me get rid of the clutter and dust, but there are such great sites to visit. An original recipe is posted, and then all of the people who make it can rate the recipe and comment on it. They can tell us the things that worked, and the things that didn’t. And they can tell us about the changes they made to the recipe and make further suggestions.

My favorite recipe sites are:


This site is where all of the recipes for Bon Appetit and Gourmet Magazine are stored. They allow you to rate and comment on all the recipes. When a picture is available from the magazine they post it.

This is a recipe community where people post their recipes and pictures. Then everyone can try them out and rate and comment. And, they give you all the nutritional information. That’s cool!

A sophisticated collection of recipes. I just started hanging out here, and subscribing to the magazine. The only bummer is that you can’t rate the recipes. But I think they are trying to stand apart and I respect them for it.

A friendly recipe community. People post their recipes, others comment, rate, and even add their own photos of the finished product.

There is one other site that used to be a favorite. I’m posting it here with a warning:
I’ve been subscribing to Cooking Light for many years now. Recently, however, their online collection has been merged with their sister magazine, Southern Living. I don’t like that. If I’m searching for Cooking Light recipes, I don’t want the high fat and calorie recipes of Southern Living coming up in my search. If I wanted that, I’d go to their site. So all be warned. I am visiting this site a lot less often since they changed it.

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