The Reluctant Blogger

Saving the cookbooks
January 10, 2010, 5:43 pm
Filed under: Cookbook Project

When I dreamed up the idea of cooking from all of my cookbooks over the course of 2010 or ditching them, I really wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into.  I felt like I had a lot of cookbooks, but I didn’t actually know how many.  I was pleasantly surprised when the final tally – just over 60 – was less than I’d feared (though, really, 60 is still somewhat ridiculous!), but still glad I’d made the resolution.  Just over a week in to the new year, I’m making good progress.  To date, I’ve already cooked from four at-risk books and have been inspired to try some new things rather than just stick to the tried and true.  I’ll be keeping keeping tally of the books saved on the “Save the Cookbooks” page, though will probably continue to post about some of the more interesting things I’ve made here on the main page.  It’s not likely I’ll write about every cookbook-saving dinner, but I’ll try to do roundups of the highlights from time to time.

One such highlight was the first cookbook-saving dinner: Shrimp Wonton Soup, from Andrea Nguyen’s Asian Dumplings (p. 70; wonton skins, p. 64).  This wasn’t my first time cooking from Asian Dumplings, but I knew this was going to be a cookbook I’d definitely be saving.  So, on New Year’s Day, with nothing planned and my husband occupied with a woodworking project in the garage all day, I decided to save Asian Dumplings. I opted for Shrimp Wonton Soup because I had everything on hand.  Looking back at the pictures I took that evening, there’s still a part of me in awe . I MADE that!  I’ve made wontons before, but have always bought the skins.  But they’re not that good, and these are so good.  So my wonton wrappers are a little thick, and the formed wontons are a little lopsided.  Still, I MADE THAT!  And it was really good.  And it wasn’t particularly difficult or time consuming, either.  Not that we have takeout as an option where we live, but if we did, I’d be done with takeout.

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A New Year’s Resolution
December 20, 2009, 7:22 pm
Filed under: Cookbook Project

I’ll preface this post by pointing out that I’m usually not one for resolutions.  Too many resolutions are of the sort that should just be lifestyle choices – eat better, exercise more, etc. – and never seem to last beyond the first month or two of the new year.  I suppose this is a lifestyle choice of sorts, too, but it seems like the kind of grand plan that I’ll never stick with if I don’t have some sort of accountability.  So, here goes: my New Year’s resolution for 2010 is to cook at least one recipe from every cookbook I own.  If I can’t cook at least one recipe from a book over the course of the next year, it doesn’t deserve space on my shelves.

A few exceptions will be allowed.  For instance, I will give myself an exemption for the condensed soup cookbook from my grandma, since condensed soups made their exit from my diet over the past year.  Anything with sentimental value gets to stay, whether I manage to cook from it or not, though I will try.

Over my long Christmas weekend, I’ll work on posting a list of the cookbooks I own, with the goal of checking off each book as the year progresses.  Can I make it?  Who knows.  But with the motivation of having to ditch cookbooks I don’t cook from, perhaps I’ll actually do it.