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Cookbooks: In or Out?

An interesting conversation came up at work today, when I brought up the fact that I was looking forward to the third Pioneer Woman cookbook released yesterday.

Some said that I was stuck in the stone age still buying cookbooks, when there were sites like Pinterest, Chow, AllRecipes, etc., full of (printable, if needed) free recipes. I told them I liked having them as part of my "library".

Do some of you agree with my coworkers or me? (Just curious, since we're all food lovers and chefs at heart, I figured this would be a neutral place to ask)

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  1. I'm on the fence. I like both.

    1. Tell them that while a whole bunch of recipes are available online, not NEARLY all are. I use both resources.

      1 Reply
      1. re: c oliver

        That was my argument, as well. I stated that I used both frequently. That the Pinterest board with my most pins is the cooking one.Oh and I even subscribe to magazines like Food and Wine, and Everyday with Rachel Ray.

      2. Same "argument" can be applied to other hardcopy print material whether it's fiction, magazines, antiques, etc. What you do is your business, it's not *wrong* to have cookbooks.

        Tell your co-workers (esp. the foodie ones) how they would manage looking up sites and recipes while cooking if their Web service provider were to go down, or their wi-fi malfunctions, or their devices fail. Meanwhile here you are cooking away happily with your stone-age cookbooks :-)

        1. Cookbooks are so much more than just a collection of recipes. I love my cookbooks -- especially the ones with my handwritten (and sometimes dated) notes and comments in the margins, and the ones smudged with splattered ingredients. My cookbooks tell stories that transcend the recipes.

          10 Replies
          1. re: CindyJ

            Oh that's a lovely idea, CindyJ. I never thought about actually writing in them. It's weird too, since I always change a little something when repeating the favorites.

            1. re: chefgabs

              My few gorgeous expensive books i'm afraid to write in- so i write notes on a post it on the page!

              1. re: Ttrockwood

                oh that's funny, Ttrockwood. I have post-its all over my other Pioneer Woman cookbooks. Only hers, though. Interesting..

              2. re: chefgabs

                When my kids were young, and I tried a new recipe they liked, sometimes I'd ask them to write a note into the book saying they liked it. Then, the next time I prepared that dish, I'd point out to them that they enjoyed it before, so I'm making it especially for them. There were fewer turned up noses that way.

              3. re: CindyJ

                I write notes in some of my books too! As for online recipes, I store, on my hard drive, the ones I use frequently, along with the URL and other references. Printable or viewable even when off-line.

                1. re: KarenDW

                  I use Pepperplate for storing online recipes and others that I enter manually. And I use Eat Your Books to help me access long-forgotten recipes in long-forgotten cookbooks.

                2. re: CindyJ

                  Oh that is so true! I always get a certain warm fuzzy feeling when looking in my cookbooks. They're like my cooking buddies that know a lot more than I do and they're never snide or smug about it!

                  1. re: CindyJ

                    I write notes in my cookbooks now as well - to remember what I really liked, what I changed, what didn't work, etc.

                    I actually started doing it after my grandmother passed away, and I ended up inheriting some of her cookbooks. She used to write in them and it always feels like she is there with me in the kitchen when I see her notes in the books...and which recipes were always our favorites based on all the grease stains on the pages!

                    Those are memories you can't get from a blog post or other online recipe...

                    1. re: sockii

                      I've never understood NOT writing in cookbooks unless they're some rare edition that you might want to sell some day. What's the difference in that or getting some splatters and spills on them :)

                    2. re: CindyJ

                      I always write in my cookbooks, too, with variations to try or other pertinent notes.

                      Decades ago, the Mr. purposely smeared some oily spice mixture over the page of one of my newly-discovered Indian favorites. Still have the book, and his excuse back then ("it'll give the book character") really did end up true. I also have some comments written by each of us from the 70s--nice memories.

                    3. I agree with you. I still buy cookbooks. I'm an old fogey. Hey, I use technology all day long and at the end of the day, I like to curl up with a good book. Often a cookbook. My iPad is nifty...but paper beats screen in my heart of hearts.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: tcamp

                        i'm with you tcamp (love the avatar, btw!) and, i find it very difficult to compare recipes on my computer - just seems easier to grab a few books and a cup of tea to see where I go with a recipe. Plus, i am really starting to appreciate the photos in recent cookbooks (Jerusalem comes to mind..)