Or should that be addiction?
As I mentioned in a previous post I seem read a lot of cook books. Luckily for me the library’s in Cheshire are a really good resource for those of us addicted to cook books but who don’t have a) the space for 100’s of cook books & b) the disposable income to buy every cook book we like the look of. My local one has a good selection and if they don’t have the one you want in chances are you can find it on the online line database, reserve it and they will deliver it to your local library for only 80p! Don’t get me wrong I own my fair share and there are still plenty out there I would love to own. But using the library allows me to read a greater number than I could ever afford to buy.
There is certainly lots of benefit to owning cook books. I love to sit down an flick through a cook book when I’m in need of inspiration. They’re also good for reading when you just can’t get to sleep, they’re some how quite relaxing. Owning a book is also a benefit when like me, your food likes and dislikes and the type/complexity of dishes you like to cook is constantly expanding. For instance, yesterday I couldn’t find much inspiration for my field mushrooms in my recipe file (where I file all the recipes I keep from books I’ve borrowed or pages from magazines) as I have only started eating them this year (I was brought up on button mushrooms and disliked their rubbery texture and lack of taste and wrongly assumed all mushrooms were as bad).
On getting a new cook book (either from the library, as a gift or purchasing it myself) I will often read it from cover to cover in one or two sittings, I’ve even been none to read them in bed instead of my current fiction choice!
Yesterday I was spoilt for choice! I had a hard job picking just a couple that I could easily carry home. There were books by the river cottage, Nigel Slater, Nigella Lawson (I’ve yet to read one of hers but they had “how to eat” which I thought I had read was good), several by Tana and Gordon Ramsey and many more I had been on the look out for. I finally settled on Jo Pratt’s In the mood for food (which I had been looking out for) and Donna Hay’s Simple Essentials – chicken. I also got Andrew Whitley’s Bread matters which I had reserved.
Donna Hay is new to me, I think I have read her name on the odd blog or two but other than that I don’t know much about her. The book is full of gorgeous pictures of chicken dishes that sound so simple to prepare – chicken will definitely be on the menu next week! (assuming Tesco’s have any free-range birds in when we do our next shop). Recently I have stopped buying chicken portions favouring the whole chicken route instead as this seems much more economical but I do crave some of the casserole or other chicken dishes that use chicken pieces or simply chicken breasts – can anyone recommend any good poultry shears for under £20? amazon have 3 pairs ranging from £9.99 (Judge), £11.26 (Taylors eye witness) and £16.59 (Oxo good grip) but I no very little about what to look for or which of these makes are likely to be the best. Any help appreciated. UPDATE – I found a pair of poultry shears in TX Maxx for just £2.99 (masterclass professional is the brand), I haven’t tried tham yet so I will have to hope they are any good!