Recipe books and cookery books are here to stay. Even with recipes so easily accessed on the internet, we all have those books we return to over and over again.
The ones we inherited from our grandmothers, mothers and aunts. The ones you bought because that particular chef is the trending chef for the season.
If you think carefully about the foods you cook, you will probably see that you go to the same recipes over and over again. They may not all be in the same book but they are definitely noticeable from the food and cooking stains on those particular pages.
I use a lot of books for creating meal plans for clients and my excuse to keep the entire collection is that maybe my client has that book, which means when I have a meal planned, I can just tell them the book and page.
I use the internet a lot to find new and different ideas for old recipes. Recipes like the 1970’s apricot chicken are still favourites but they sometimes need a revamp.
Some of the considerations you need to think about when decluttering your books are:
- How many recipes in that book do you use?
- Do you enjoy cooking? If the answer is no, then find the books with the simplest recipes and the least ingredients.
- Do you have the time to cook elaborate meals? Look at the books that have. Are they complicated or long recipes, and ask yourself two questions, a) do I have the time to make these recipes and b) do I have the money to buy all these ingredients?
- Does your family have health issues? Are there books on your shelf that you can’t use because of these allergies?
- Do you have specific dietary requirements? Does your collection of cooking books fit in with those requirements or are you prepared to take the time to learn how to adapt the recipes?
Why not simplify?
Get yourself a nice binder or you can buy a book from a stationary store specifically for your favourite recipes. My mother has done this and written her favourites in so that old family recipes won’t get lost over time.
Write down your favourite recipes either in this book or onto your computer and store it on a memory stick.
Marie Kondo (an organising expert) says that when deciding where to keep something or toss/donate it, you need to hold it in your hand and then decide a) how does this item make you feel? Good = keep; bad or indifferent it goes. B) What condition is it in? Irreparable then you get rid of it, even if it is repairable but you are unlikely to repair it then don’t keep it. The Konmari method
I have to admit that I do struggle with her method a lot. I have only ever managed to do this with clothes and the occasional kitchen item. This is called the Konmari method.