Me and my cookbooks - Sarah Hodge

Sarah HodgeWe're pleased to present another installment of the "Me and my cookbooks" series. Many EYB members have told us they enjoy meeting members and special guests through this feature. We'd love to introduce more people, so if you'd like to be featured, just email us at info@eatyourbooks.com.


EYB Member Sarah Hodge boasts an impressive cookbook collection. Even more impressive is the energy Sarah exudes about her hobby. She tells us about her favorite cookbooks and her blog featuring cookbook reviews:

I currently teach and write for a living, but reviewing and collecting cookbooks is my real passion. In addition to being an Amazon.com Top Reviewer and Vine Voice, I am a member of Blogging for Books and NetGalley as well as a guest cookbook reviewer for several websites including Mediterranean Livings. I greatly enjoy testing and photographing recipes and introducing my readers to cookbook authors and cuisines that may be less familiar. Through social media, I've been able to connect with like-minded cookbook lovers around the globe and have made many new online friends who enjoy collecting and sharing their favorite cookbooks as much as I do. In late 2014, I launched my blog Bundt Lust as a place to share my cookbook reviews with a wider audience and use my other social media feeds on Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram to promote new titles, share cookbook giveaways, and pin recipes that catch my eye.

When I moved cross-country in 2006 after finishing grad school, I had only a few cookbooks to my name (including a Spanish-language one I'd purchased while studying abroad). After settling in, I began to collect cookbooks that appealed to me. At first, I wasn't very discriminating and purchased mostly bargain titles. As time went on, I became more selective about the types of cookbooks I was looking for, and enjoyed the pursuit of rare and out-of-print titles like Please to the Table  and Mama Nazima's Jewish Iraqi Cuisine.

My collection currently numbers at about 350 and I specialize in Jewish (particularly Sephardic) cookbooks, Japanese and Taiwanese vegetarian cuisine, monastery cookbooks, heirloom cookbooks, Middle Eastern / Mediterranean cuisine, Junior League cookbooks, Impressionist art-inspired cookbooks, and baking books. Some of my favorites are fundraiser cookbooks by local museums and organizations, including Just Plane Delicious from the San Diego Air and Space Museum, FCSLA Slovak-American Cookbook, Taiwanese Homestyle Cooking and the Senshin Buddhist Temple Cookbook.

As I frequently travel for work and pleasure (I've lived in five countries and have visited several more), I love collecting local cookbooks from my various journeys. In addition to English, my cookbook collection features cookbooks in Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, Hebrew, and Chinese and is spread across six bookshelves arranged by cuisine / region. EYB is my first destination to research new and unusual cookbook releases from around the globe, and I enjoy acquiring hard-to-find overseas titles like this year's IACP-nominatedCyprus: A Culinary Journey (so far, I'm the only EYB member who has this on their Bookshelf!). Other recent acquisitions include Anatolia, Gino's Veg Italia and the Honey and Co: Baking Book from the UK.

My other passion in addition to collecting cookbooks is taking hands-on cooking and baking classes both at home and abroad. I've taken more than 80 cooking classes in the United States, France, Japan and Taiwan focusing on everything from classic croissants in Montmartre, Turkish cuisine with Ozlem Warren of Ozlem's Turkish Table, Japanese vegan cuisine with Elizabeth Andoh (author of Washoku and Kansha) and Taiwanese steamed buns and desserts with a local cookbook author and cooking expert. It's a fantastic way to learn about local food and culture while meeting other international travelers, plus I can share my newfound culinary knowledge with friends and family once I'm back home.

Eat Your Books has been a tremendous resource that I love being a part of -- I was honored that my blog's "Best of 2014" roundup was included in last year's EYB feature, plus I have been fortunate enough to win several cookbook giveaways. I love being a member of such a vibrant group of cookbook collectors and I look forward to learning and growing with the EYB community!

4 Comments

  • mziech  on  7/17/2015 at 12:45 PM

    I also like Me and my Cookbooks a lot! It is great to meet other members who are also passionate about their collection and their interests in cookbooks. And a great way to explore other people's collections. Sarah and I have a great deal of cookbook interests in common (esp the hard-to-find oversees titles) but we only have 4 books in common. Also I checked the link to her blog, which I will follow from now on. Keep the next installment coming!

  • manycookbooks  on  7/19/2015 at 11:05 AM

    Well, Sarah, as it looks like you too are hooked on cookbooks, better lay in some more bookcases! I'm at 4,749 and no sign of stopping soon! Some people read fiction, some read cookbooks and I am definitely the latter, but also use them and love cooking. Go, girl, go!

  • sbh2006  on  7/20/2015 at 4:52 PM

    Thank you for the kind words; my collection can be accessed at http://www.eatyourbooks.com/member/sbh2006 There are also MANY titles in foreign languages (particularly traditional Chinese) that I was unable to index as they were not in the database! I'm also happy to answer questions about any of the (more unusual) books at my collection; you can reach me at bundtlust@gmail.com.

  • JuneHawk  on  7/21/2015 at 4:41 PM

    I love these features! It's nice to get to know, in a way, people just like me. Before EYB I thought I was a nut for owning so many cookbooks, now I know I'm just a nut in a large bag :) I can relate to buying cheap books, then becoming more selective as years went by. Now a book really has to impress me for me to buy it. Thankfully, or perhaps not according to the wallet, there are so many amazing cookbooks being printed that it's easy to be extremely selective and still grow your collection exponentially.

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