How lovethiscookbook came to be
and how our kitchen unknowingly turned into testing grounds for over a hundred different cookbooks.
In 1999 I moved in to my forever house which was a fixer upper with great potential for an amazing space and kitchen. I was watching lots of food network and was inspired to become someone who could cook. It looked fun on TV, and better yet, you got to eat all the great food you made.
Just to give you an idea of my cooking baseline at that time, I was struggling to figure out how to fold the prepackaged crescent rolls (who knew years later I would be making homemade popovers).
2003 brought my 3rd pregnancy and the kitchen renovation I had been waiting for. We used a great kitchen designer who recommended that my design include a floor the ceiling book shelf.
After the renovations were complete, my goal was to fill this bookshelf with an incredible collection of cookbooks.
I started buying cook books most of which were written by food network chefs because at that time they were the only ones I had been introduced to. It took years to fill the shelves and as time went on the internet and bloggers came into the picture introducing me to new cooks, new recipes and new books.
Each blogger or website would post lists several times a year featuring their favorite cookbooks. I would order every single one from every list from the library and cook from them sometimes checking them out 3-4 times until I could try every recipe that interested me.
I would wake up on days thinking to myself “I should have tried that key lime pie recipe in that specific book I had last week and then would go back and check it out again just to make sure that I was not missing the recipe for the best key lime pie on earth.
The full book shelf did not stop me from continually looking at cookbooks because by this time it was simply just what I did and who I am. With the lack of space, I did have to create a new rule which simply was I had to get rid of a cookbook in order to purchase a new one.
My criteria for a book worthy of buying was one that had at least four recipes that were good enough to make on a regular basis. So, I kept trading up, switching out average books with those that were superior.
When my friends would ask me, what had I been up to lately I would frequently talk about the books I had been cooking from. I would post piles of cookbooks on Facebook with comments like “too many cookbooks not enough time”. I would post my favorites online telling friends which books I loved and why.
Many purchased them without question knowing that if I cooked from them and liked them that they had to be good. I got texts from friends asking me to recommend a cookbook for their sisters’ birthday or which salad they should bring to the party they are going to on Friday night.
I loved every minute of it.
I did things like making a complete French dinner with my best friend out of recipes from Julia Child “The Art of French Cooking”. Why read a novel at night when you can look at a cookbook which is so fun and relaxing? Don’t get me wrong I do read novels but there is a soft spot in my heart for cookbooks and everyone that knows me knows that is true.
One day I recently stopped into a fantastic local book store and asked them how they selected which cookbooks to put on the shelves. The answer was that there was no real science to it.
This, my friends, is where the light bulb came on.
I realized that I was a cookbook connoisseur and was qualified to give advice on which cookbooks were good, why and better yet I could even tell you which recipes to make in them. My motto is why would you want to keep making a marginal meatloaf when there is a great book with a phenomenal meatloaf recipe on the shelf just waiting for you to buy or borrow.
I had been doing this for over a decade when I decided to do something online with my cooking. I looked online a lot of bloggers had the word cookbook in their title but they were really talking about recipes and not about books. This is when I decided that there have to be other people out there like me (and I hope you are one of them) who love cookbooks and so simply this is how lovethiscookbook came to be.