In an effort to store less, I’m seriously considering a major reduction of my cookbook collection. I of course have too many.
My trunk novel’s protagonist was someone responsible for feeding an entire community through winter, in an unindustrialized culture. So, I have a lot of cookbooks related to that: Colonial American cooking, Medieval cooking, butchering, root cellaring, etc.
This came about in part because a gent I’d met had a character in his novel, a tavern owner, doing a marketing survey before industrialization, which simply wouldn’t have happened. Starvation was no joke in those days! Marketing surveys as such didn’t exist accordingly. The result is that I have a slug of premodern era cookbooks. Those are an easy cull, fascinating though I find them.
We also really only eat meat as a condiment these days, 3 times a week or maybe 4 at the most. So meat-centric cookbooks are probably another easy cull. (When I learned to cook, the way you started meal planning was determining the meat first, then the rest of meal around that.)
Along with those, I’d actually like to reduct the ENTIRE collection. The way to do that would be to copy the recipes I think I’ll use most into some type of house notebook or card file, and then eliminate the books.
I have a designed card, based on a commercial one. (I tried a cut/paste, it didn’t work.) The top of the first side is divided into 3 columns: measure, manipulate, and areas. This is directly related to the self-cleaning cooking posts. The bottom 1/2 of the card is the precooking actions
I have “weird” symbols on many of my recipes. The on-going self-sufficiency index. I wrote a post about that here. That’s represented by 3 numbers, separated by slashes: 3/8/29, for example.
Another is something which shows up looking like a ratio, as this: 5:3, which is how many ingredients are used to create how many precooking pieces. I started doing this when I was working. I would do things like saute onions in the morning before I went to work and then come home to finish making dinner.
There is a type of food indicator: E S or D (entree, side or dessert).
And a list of month numbers, 1-12, so that I know when the ingredients are at their freshest.
Lastly there’s the source of the recipe and the page number.
This sounds really complicated, it isn’t in practice. Much harder to describe than use!
The other side of the card is divided into 4 columns: Qty, Unit, Ingredient, Procedures.
The bottom edge of the card has the name of the recipe spelled out again, for filing.
These are set up as 4 x 6 cards. The reason I haven’t made the cards is that I really need to change the format that it can fit on 3 x 5s. I have a 4 drawer file box I can use for those, but not for bigger cards.
Maybe make the cards hold less, linked by a recipe numbers maybe?
Recipe 1, Tools (card 1 front) Preprep (card 1 back), Cooking Instructions (card 2, front & back), Misc. Info, (card 3, front and back).
If I can get the cards printed by a computer, that should work.
I’ll have to talk to DH about it. Much of the work I had done for this is in a program I’d we don’t have running. I’ll research the upgrade and put it into the budget queue. Then retrieve the data I’ve already got.
In the meantime, I can go through the cookbooks I use now which I didn’t have, then, and get the data and do the obvious culls.
So, I’m off!
I’m not well, but for the first time in almost 2 weeks, I’m not hacking, wheezing or sneezing. I actually feel pretty good. And by comparison with yesterday? I feel terrific.
I am throughly tired of being sick and tired!