Tips for getting the most out of your cookbooks


We all have our go-to cookbooks with grease-splattered, dog-eared pages that we return to time and again. Other books on our shelves are used far less often, and there may be a few that we've never cooked from at all. At the end of a long day it's just easier to return to a familiar friend rather than take a chance on a new recipe. So how do we break out of our old habits and get more use out of all of our cookbooks (besides EYB, of course)? Literary agent Maria Ribas offers seven tips on getting the most out of your cookbook collection

Since too many choices can cause indecision paralysis, Ribas recommends choosing only one cookbook per week to sample. Ribas knows just how difficult that recommendation can be, saying "Trust me - I've been in that deep, dark place, sitting on the floor, surrounded by books, wailing to the cookbook gods that I WANT TO COOK THEM ALL. This is where insanity is bred. This is where recipe dreams go to die." By limiting yourself to only one book per week you won't be tempted to sit down and read from several books, only to find yourself out of time to try anything. 

Ribas also says you shouldn't treat your cookbooks with kid gloves, and you should be writing notes and reviews in the margins. She believes that cookbooks "should be messy (and tattered, and splattered, and maybe even a little smelly from one too many rounds near the garlic sautéing)," noting that "the only thing worse than a rumpled cookbook is an untouched, unloved cookbook." See more tips on indexed blog The Kitchn »


  • Dianem1948  on  10/2/2016 at 9:31 AM

    So true, so true

  • JFM  on  10/5/2016 at 6:44 AM

    I wouldn't necessarly agree with the "rule" of one book per week. This wouldn't work for me if I want to get the most out of a glut of a seasonal harvest or speciality. We have a large quince tree in our garden and to get the most out of these, I need to consult as many books with quince recipes as possible. I make my bookmarks on eat your books accordingly, e.g. quince, cherries, .......

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