“No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.”

Laurie Colwin, whose words these are, was, among other things, a food writer for Gourmet Magazine.  I’ve always liked this quote and think of it whenever I am alone in the kitchen.

I love to cook and have lots of cookbooks.   But the image on the right comes from the collection of my friend, Lynn.  Needless to say, Lynn is an excellent cook and a truly gracious host – this is only a portion of her collection.

With all the recipes available on the internet today, why, you ask, do people still invest in cookbooks?

As one who gets recipes from many different sources, including cookbooks, I can think of a lot of reasons to actually buy a cookbook.  First of all, let’s look at internet recipes.  I’m a messy cook and I have a tiny kitchen.  Got the picture?  Liquids splash, flour fills the air.  Trying to keep my device clear of all these mishaps is virtually impossible.  So, I print out the recipe.  Now this creates another problem. Keeping the page on the counter is out.  Not only does it take up needed space, but it gets very messy and hard to read.  It doesn’t hold up in a cookbook holder either.  And then there’s the storage issue.  How/where do I save a recipe that I like?  In the recipe folder on my computer, of course.  But then next time it again needs to be downloaded, printed and the cycle is repeated.

A book is so easy.  Pull it off the shelf, open to the relevant page, and stick it in to the cookbook stand. Voila!  Besides efficiency, think of the aesthetics…beautiful, professional pictures of how your masterpiece will look once you’re done.  What more could you want?

I even enjoy reading books about cooking and chefs and food in general.  If you’re a foodie like me and many of my friends, here are some culinary treasures you may enjoy.

Hungry: Eating, Road-tripping and Risking It All with the Greatest Chef in the World by Jeff Gordinier

Burn the Place: A Memoir by Iliana Regan

Save Me the Plums and Tender to the Bone: Growing Up at the Table, both by Ruth Reichle

And of course, there’s this most memorable and popular book/movie…

Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell.

Do you have your favorite cookbooks or “foodie” digests?