Saturday, July 21, 2012
The Dusty Shelf (where cookbooks die)
Have you met Dom, author and creator of Belleau Kitchen?
If you haven't, it's certainly not because I haven't tried to introduce you to him. His food has been featured multiple times in the Food Fetish Friday series, he was one of my Tuesday Tutors (he taught me to make these delicious chicken thighs with leeks), and he is the creative host behind Random Recipes where the monthly challenge is to cook random recipes from your cookbooks.
But for this month's Random Recipes, Dom challenged us to something different: to photograph our cookbooks in their natural habitat. Which of course means scurrying around, cleaning up the apartment, and staging the habitat with fresh fruit, plants and natural lighting.
Actually, that first photo is the only staged photo in this post - I don't normally sit at cafe tables sipping water and munching on green apples. Generally, my cookbooks languish on dust-choked shelves, packed in so tight I'm sure most wish they'd been born canned sardines. Because at least sardines have oil and someone eventually bothers to use them for food.
That's not to say my cookbooks are alone in their dusty misery. Boyfriend Javelin's shot glass collection suffers similar treatment (and are used just as infrequently as the cookbooks). Even the gods from Puerto Rico and Hawaii receive no better treatment. Although, they do occasionally inspire interest from the random passer-by, which is more than can be said for the dusty shelf of cookbooks.
Yet how bad can the life of a cookbook be when it's surrounded by phrases like "Peace, love and sandy feet?" or pictures of conch shells and beach chairs? And candles - I mean, not EVERY dusty cookbook can boast a habitat crowned with dusty candles.
I even keep those messy non-cookbook recipe scraps and manuals safely corralled in their own plastic pen away from the real cookbooks. That way they's no accidental disappearances at the hand of territorial hardbacks.
And I do visit my cookbooks, if only to glance fleetingly in their direction while walking down the hall to the office. Or from the office back toward the kitchen. And sometimes I even linger long enough to adjust one of the shot glasses that has inexplicably shifted out of place, no doubt from all the loving strolls past the bookcase.
Sometimes, and I admit it's not as often as a good cookbook owner should, I do pull out one or more volumes to flip through while lounging on the couch. And those lucky volumes then get to spend the next 2 or 3 days sunning themselves on the living room floor, occasionally feeling the loving stub of my big toe as I stumble off to bed.
But I suppose if my cookbooks are truly lonely, then there's really only one thing for it: MORE cookbooks. Or I could just participate in Random Recipes.
So tell me, where do your cookbooks live?
Oh, and if you haven't met Dom yet, now's the time to make a new friend. You should get on that...