I have been collecting cookbooks for many years, little ones, big ones, new ones and old ones, printed recipes and handwritten ones.
I only wish I had a huge kitchen with tons of shelves to house all my books, but this small area in the pantry will have to do.
So I'm sitting down to work on the menu plan for the next two weeks.
it has to be one of my favorite things to do, because I love nothing more than to pull out my cookbooks and to sift through them, page at a page, finding treasures hidden, certain recipes highlighted and little hand written notes on the side.
I have quite a few that focus on chuckwagon cooking and I'm always impressed by what they could do with such little at hand, makes me want to go back in time and try it for myself.
This next one is one of my favorites, I have such an affinity for old cookbooks, they take us back to a simpler time where people didn't really do gourmet anything, and that right there is my favorite way of cooking.....
Reader's Digest Secrets of Better Cooking was first published in 1973. For me, the best part of this cookbook is not only the recipes but the information included.
Secrets of Better Cooking is designed to help you make nutritious and exciting meals a regular part of our family's life style without breaking your budget.
For the beginner, Secrets of Better Cooking is a complete book of kitchen knowledge that can make cooking easier and less expensive.
And that is all it takes to get me hooked, honestly, I don't need or like fancy schmancy stuff, give me a good old cookbook any day.
Want to know how to de-bone a chicken? No problem, this book includes step by step with pictures. I'm a huge visual person and more often than not the pictures or lack of in a book either makes it or breaks it for me.
But I also am a self proclaimed Anglophile, and therefore I couldn't let these pass by. I found them on Amazon a few years ago and recently, about two or so months ago, my friend Alicia who is stationed in England, sent me another one :)
Favourite Herefordshire and Wye valley, Scottish Teatime, Favourite Isle of Wight, Favourite Irish, Favourite Lancashire, Scottish Country, Favourite Country, English Teatime and Welsh Teatime recipes....you can find them on Amazon still, I believe.
And then there's the cookbooks with the ring binders, the ones that you find at church sales and museums.
While visiting Oklahoma a few years ago, I picked up Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary - Heirloom Recipes and Memories and this one is chock full of not only amazing recipes but stories to match, kitchen tips and even ideas for parties, menus etc.
Mmmm Moist Pineapple Cake
Finally, here's one of the older ones I have, this one published in 1968 and it's a compilation of recipes from Elementary School parents. Oh boy is this one full of goodness.
I am ever so gentle when handling this one because as you can see it's getting really old, the cover is falling apart and tearing and the pages themselves have yellowed with age and feel super thin, like they can easily disintegrate.
This one of the books I'll be using today for menu planning. Again, because it's chock full of great delicious recipes that don't require anything out of this world, most of the ingredients are in the pantry.
Some of the ingredients have changed over the years, some may no longer be available, while others have gotten a make over and that for me is the challenge, to find a recipe that I really want to try but figuring out what I can substitute for this or that.
So, next time you're menu planning, don't just go to the internet, remember that you may have a bunch of wonderful cookbooks on your shelves just waiting to be used.
Don't be afraid to go back in time, don't be afraid to try something new, put those cookbooks to good use, it is after all what you collect them for right?
Though I have to say that my advice above goes for you all as much as it does for me because with the technology nowadays, I find myself too often reaching for the internet for menu planning instead of the treasures that I already have filling up shelves in the pantry.
I'm off to Menu Plan, and read, and learn, can hardly wait :)