Apparently, I have a lot of cookery books. At least that’s what Sue keeps telling me. So, I decided to count them. That was no mean feat – they’re scattered around the house. There’s a shelf-full in the kitchen, naturally, and rather a lot in my office. There are a couple of shelves on the landing, and a few appear to have leaked out onto the window sill there. There are three hundred and fifty one books about food and cookery. I concede, that’s a fair few.
A few I inherited from my mother, and Sue brought some along when we moved in together, but the vast majority are ones I’ve bought over the past thirty-odd years. That’s only about ten a year – surely there are worse hobbies a man can have? In fairness, my purchasing has slowed somewhat in recent years. I’m very aware of the lack of space on those straining bookshelves, and I’ve even opted for electronic versions of some just lately. Oh, my Kindle. I forgot about that. Just a moment.
OK, there are another thirty one food and cookery-related books on my Kindle, bringing the grand total to three hundred and eighty two.
I can’t say I’ve read all of these books from cover to cover, but for many of them, I have. As for the rest, I’ve probably read at least a cursory description of every single recipe in them. Some then get to languish on the bookshelf, whilst others become firm favourites, taking up residence in that most hallowed space, the kitchen bookshelf.
As I look along the shelves, I realise that many of these books are very much under-utilised. Some I just never got around to using very much, others just got pushed to the back and completely forgotten about.
So, I’m going to remedy that. I’m going to make a real effort to dust off a few of these books and cook a recipe or two from them. If I work through them all, then that’s a project that will probably keep me occupied for the next thirty-odd years.
As I write this, most of the world is on lockdown. Food supplies seem to be holding up, but some ingredients may be trickier to get hold of. I’ll have to pick and choose what to make, but there’s one thing I’m not short of, and that is recipes.