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Who reads recipe books to unwind!? (or now Chow!)

I have always found recipe books the best way to forget the worries of the day. Especially before bed. News gives ya nightmares. Books you have to concentrate to much. Recipes books you can flip and daydream about making fun new things... Just found Chow and I have to say its taking the place these last few days!

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  1. I do! All the time. I keep a fresh stack of cookbooks by my bed.
    I really like surfing the net for interesting food blogs too. I spend much more time on the internet in food searches than anything else :)

    Welcome to Chowhound!

    1 Reply
    1. re: sedimental

      Thanks! I am amazed at blogs. How do people find the time?! and just now I found my first blog of blogs! talk about rip off lol

    2. I do read recipe books, but I don't think I find them as my sources for "unwinding". I probably spend more time concentration in recipe books than typical because I usually try to compare multiple version of the recipes for the same dishes and try to imagine the efforts of the difference. There it can be energy draining for me to read recipes.

      I do find kitchen knives book and knife sharpening books to be more relaxing -- for me.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        oh yes. if you have actually decided to make one of the dishes you can drive yourself crazy looking up and comparing recipes looking for the common denominator and how and what you think the recipe should work and turn out.
        I did that before xmas spent way to much time over thinking recipes and not actually making anything.
        Its amazing how many variations there can be on a 'standard' recipe.

        1. re: daislander

          <looking for the common denominator>

          Yeah.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Same here.

            Then I look for unique twists on the same recipe that is a standout.

        2. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Chem,
          Which knife books?!

        3. Recipe books, chow and Saveur. Lately my go-to reading cookbook are the Momofuku, not only recipes but little storiess about David Chang's journey to chefdom

          1 Reply
          1. re: YAYME

            I love that. Ill take a look for it. There is a older cook book called 'Mediterranean Light' by Martha Rose Shulman that is wonderful with little stories about how she came across the recipes, very endearing and good recipes!

          2. I do the same thing. Read cookbooks, re-read cookbooks, watch old episodes of Julia Child, read online blogs, and chowhound.

            1. Guilty as charged. First cookbooks and cooking magazines, then chowhound, then bed.

              1. Me too. The only problem is that the timing means I rarely post to CH because I'm worried I'll make some kind of 2:30 am-ish type mistake.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Skippy1414

                  You can always edit! I gave up on worrying about that long ago, just get in there.

                2. Me!! Especially love vintage cookbooks--Amazon has many for free download. This one is fun; ancient Roman cooking: http://www.amazon.com/Cookery-Dining-...

                  The older cookbooks tend to have fabulous, quaint lore about housekeeping as well...how not to get cheated when you have to actually buy your butter, when to start your elderberry wine, how to cure croup with a plaster of (say) boiled onions and anise seed, how to get oxblood stains out of your apron...great insomnia reading. It's like Chowhound in 1820.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: scoyart

                    Neat! Sounds like a book I know called Foxfire. So how do you not get cheated buying butter? lol

                  2. Nope, never. They get me keyed up, not wound down. They tend to be research and concentration for me, not relaxation.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: JMF

                      I think I'm probably the same. When I start pulling them out and surrounding myself on the sofa, it's because I have a "mission." :) Now when I get a new one, yeah, I'll settle down with that for pleasure.

                      1. re: JMF

                        Same here

                      2. Actually a good many food pros and bloggers have gotten into food clouds and/or pairing their menu ideas with music clouds. They create song lists for their readers. I take those clouds and download them to my home system and I find those musical pairings very relaxing and often inspiring. But reading takes time, patience and concentration for me.

                        Have you ever checked out food clouds or the music cloud pairings?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: HillJ

                          Music clouds...food clouds!? Ive never heard this term, sounds magical! going to find out right now! I want what ever it is!

                        2. I have to say I read recipe books constantly. Not necessarily to unwind though. Food thoughts usually keep me awake haha. As a professional chef, however, I don't read recipes to recreate them but rather to just get inspiration for my own creations. Some of which are almost completely unrelated. Chow on the other hand.... This is what I've been doing every night since I signed up

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Mattromine

                            business and pleasure!

                            I usually just get ideas too. I rarely follow a recipe to a T

                            1. re: daislander

                              It's no fun to copy :-)

                              1. re: Mattromine

                                nope and my way is always better ;-)

                          2. The only problem is I always come across a recipe I like and get the urge to cook it straight away!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: TheCulinaryLibrary

                              at say 1 in the morning? if your not near a 24 grocer you should be fine lol

                            2. On a similar note, I usually fall asleep going over a recipe in my head. It could be something I am going to make that I got from a cookbook or a blog or something I am devising myself and fine tuning. This relaxes me and I drift off to sleep thinking of something I love to do, cooking/baking..

                              1. I don't usually read actual cookbooks in bed, but I do have books of food writing – Evan Jones's "American Food," biographies of James Beard and Elizabeth David, all of Tony Bourdain's treasures – either on the nightstand or across the room on shelves. I enjoy reading cookbooks for leisure, however, usually at the dining table, which doubles as our main reading spot, and prefer to buy and keep those examples that are entertaining to read, well-written, and which present a clear voice and sharp point of view. Dumb cookbooks, or – worse – disappointing ones from writers who can do better, go off to the Goodwill or Out of the Closet, or get horse-traded at the used cookbook store up the street.

                                1. Not recipe books necessarily, but I enjoy looking at tastespotting or foodgawker and then reading the subsequent blogs of the pictures that catch my eye.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: EllieS

                                    I've gotten lost for a few hours reading Food52 on airlines.