I promise I won’t start every blog post for the rest of my life with, “My life is in boxes and I am living with less than half of my earthly possessions.” Except that’s true, and it does make one live differently. Part of what isn’t with me in my current living space is my cookbook collection. I gave serious thought to bringing Ina’s volumes with me, but I couldn’t justify the space they’d take up. I knew I wouldn’t be cooking with enough regularity to make hauling this weighty collection worth it.
*This photo shamelessly taken from Ina’s own Instagram account.
My husband and I packed over 70 boxes and put them into a storage unit. I can tell you the gist of what’s in there (linens, clothes, picture frames, and dishes), but I doubt I can account for much of it specifically. Which has to mean most of it doesn’t matter. I pray it means I will donate even more of our possessions when we open that garage-sized space up in the spring. But I’ll be genuinely excited to be reunited with my cookbooks. And maybe I’ll add a couple to my collection in celebration. It doesn’t make sense to keep them on my non-existent shelves now.
But the other day I was thinking about cookbooks and how much, or more accurately, how little, I use them. When we packed our old house, I got rid of hundreds of recipes torn from magazines and compiled in binders. I never looked at them. And though the idea of “someday” still loomed, something about those dates at the bottoms of the pages (we’re talking publications from 1997) told me that if I hadn’t made them yet, it wasn’t likely they’d ever make it to my table.
I don’t use my cookbooks much more often. When I’m searching for something to make for dinner, I turn to Pinterest, Google, or any number of food blogs. Even when I could open one of my cookbooks to look up a recipe I know I want to make, I often Google it anyway. My laptop is almost always near me. My cookbooks, not as much.
So cookbooks. Are they becoming obsolete? It would certainly save me some shelf space. But I can’t quite embrace the idea.
What do you think, dear readers? When you cook, where do you turn for recipes?