190 Cookbooks

2018 Cookbook Challenge: Decluttered 29 cookbooks

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.

I began 2019 with 190 Cookbooks
The cards are my way of keeping track of the cookbooks I’ve tested. Blue cards represent cookbooks of which I’ve made at least two recipes. Orange cards represent having made one recipe from that cookbook.
Bread baking books.
I’ve been collecting vegan and vegetarian cookbooks for decades.
PASS: I made the decision to pass these on. I didn’t find the recipes very inspiring.
KEEP: I made some incredible pistachio chocolate cookies, banana bread, and country hearth bread from these cookbooks. They are keepers.
PASS: I made a soup out of the Everyday Food cookbook that was flavorful but not overly inspiring and ultimately decided the rest of the recipes within weren’t unique enough to keep so I’m passing it on along with these two Italian cookbooks that no longer interest me.

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