Cookbooks elicit a very personal, emotive response in me. The ritual of cooking is enveloped in a security blanket. When I see a cookbook, I am immediately transported to my younger self, in a kitchen, watching my mum and maternal grandmother create tangible magic from words.
I see the photos in cookbooks, (and no cookbook is a respectable cookbook without photographs of the food), and I am enveloped in that blanket. The kitchen is truly the heart of the home for me. With Italian blood, I am inclined to nurture through food. Cookbooks are intrinsically linked to my childhood and the memories of learning to cook, of learning to feel when cakes were baked, of seeing the recipes I had followed become a meal which people liked.
I still own my first cookbook. Ironically, it does not contain one photo. I also still use the simple recipes that I know work and I know how it will taste. This increases my feelings of nostalgia and warmth of childhood memories. As a collector of recipes, the cookbook can provide a cultural or family history through the stories told about the recipes. The importance of recording those recipes passed down through the generations and the personal stories that surround those recipes has only just resonated with me after the loss of my grandmother earlier this year. While I have some of her cookbooks, the stories that inspired her when she was cooking have been lost.
A cookbook on a shelf is a possibility waiting to happen. To transform those words into a tangible, edible creation that can be appreciated and eaten knowing the alchemy that has gone into creating the meal. This is why cookbooks inspire me. They make me want to try different things, to present a meal that can be eaten with pleasure and to make my own stories about my cooking experiences, which I will now record for the generations in my family come.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
I have discovered that my passion is cookbooks. Whether they provide a practical solution to eating or inspire me to create food that reflects myself and my mood, the cookbooks I have accumulated have become a passion. I am on the verge of collecting all types of cookbooks. In discovering my passion, I have also found excitement in the thought of collecting.
In beginning to research this topic, I have discovered a plethora of web content that reflects a renewed interest in cooking and recipe books. The success of cooking shows on television such as Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules appear to have ignited a basic need into a creative endeavour. The cookbooks that I have begun to accumulate are a reflection on the skills that I have gained and the type of food I like to cook.
The cookbook collection I intend to begin has led me to look seriously at the cookbooks I own and the stories the books themselves tell. I have become interested in the culture and heritage of the books I have and the possibility of the collection becoming a story in itself as it not only speaks of the cooks and chefs themselves, but also of myself and the journey that is created by the simple preparation and sharing of a meal with people in my life.
Monday, August 16, 2010
I have been thinking that I will do my assignment on cookbooks. I have found I am beginning to accumulate quite a collection of them. My only problem is I have no where to put them. When I build my dream house (yeah, right) I will have a customised library room, with a whole wall set aside for my cookbooks, what library worker would not like that!