When I moved apartments at the end of 2017, I counted all of my cookbooks and was surprised (not surprised) that I owned 219 cookbooks. Wanting to possess only cookbooks to be used and cherished, and not wanting to move that many cookbooks ever again, I presented myself with the challenge of cooking a minimum of two recipes from each cookbook followed by an informed decision whether or not to keep it in my cookbook collection or to pass it on by donating or selling it so someone else can enjoy it.
Throughout 2018, I made numerous recipes and ultimately decluttered 29 cookbooks by years end. As I continue the challenge into 2019, I began with 190 cookbooks. January was cold and dark, and fitting for lots of cooking and baking. I ended up decluttering another 8 books last month. I frequent a local used book store and prefer to sell books for store credit and donating what they don’t take.
While this challenge has at times been overwhelming, I am enjoying the journey. I have eaten some delicious food that I made myself, expanded my repertoire, and rediscovered old favorite cookbooks and recipes that bring back wonderful memories. I aim to finish the challenge this year and look forward to, eventually, having a curated, workable, and much-appreciated cookbook library.