Another little addiction of mine, well, of both of ours really, is cookery books.  I Love, with a capital L, cookery books and cooking.  Especially ones with mouthwatering photos to drool over, the presentation of the food in the book is as important as the recipes themselves I think, there’s nothing more boring than a book with no photos in it, is there?  We’re quite lucky in having two major bookstores close to us, Borders and Barnes and Noble, and both not only have great cookery sections, they also have a large area devoted to cheap and sale items and there’s often a section in here just for cook books, and boy, have we found some great bargains!  I’ve never been into celebrity chefs at all, I hate Nigella with a passion I can’t describe!  I’d love to push her supercilious, holier than thou face into a nice big bowl of whipped cream of something!  And Jamie Oliver just plain annoys me, such a sloppy chef, way too laid back and nonchalant in my opinion!!

We keep all of our cook books on the bakers rack in the kitchen/diner, so they’re close at hand and we walk right past them constantly.  We’re up to 1 1/2 shelves full of them… so far.

I can still remember buying my first one, from one of those book clubs that brought books into work for a week and then returned later for the orders.  I was almost 19 and had just left home and I needed a cookery book, there was only so much frozen lasagna and grilled pork chops a girl could eat in a week!  22 years later I still have that book, and I still use it too, but the collection has grown quite considerably since then, you can see it in the photo above on the left of the lower shelf.  It’s the one with the red spine called Simply Delicious.

When A and I eventually moved in together he added another couple of books to the kitchen repertoir, a well used Encyclopedia of Cookery and a 1970’s Delia Smith book his mum no longer wanted!  I don’t think we’ve ever used the Delia book, but the Encylodpedia has been used and abused over the years.  The spine is now broken, so we have to use it with care, but it still gets thumbed regularly.  It’s not just a recipe book, but an encyclopedia of cookery terms and techniques too, it explains cuts of meat and how to make your own self raising flour, how to remove stubborn stains from tea towels and how organise your fridge properly; there’s such an extraordinary plethora of facts, tips and tidbits in this book it actually makes for a really interesting read!!

Don’t think me odd but I often have my nose stuck in a cookery book, especially as the seasons start to change, I like to look and think and plan, I like to remember past favourite dishes and look forward to having them again…. maybe a nice warming casserole for winter, or a light fruit dessert for summer.  Obviously right now the days are getting colder, the nights are getting darker earlier, time to turn the heating back on, close the curtains and get the recipe books out again.

Especially ones like this one, I love my slow cooker, in fact, that should be slow cookers as I have three of them!!

Or maybe some freshly baked bread is more up your street. Nothing to beat it is there?

Your taste buds can travel the world in my house, sample new delights.

Or perhaps a cup of tea and a nice piece of cake is more your thing?  I absolutely adore those little “Favourite” series of books, they’re so charming with their air of nostalgia and lovely old paintings.  I have a few more of them but they’re currently loaned to a friend.  And that last book, Teatime Favourites, is quite possibly the most utilized book in my little collection, I’ve had it for at least 18 years.  I finally mastered the art of good pastry making thanks to this little book, Brian Binns gets my vote any day!

And I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know that green leafed things and healthy foods do often make an appearance too!  From time to time anyway!

It’s not just all about the food either, I have two books on napkin folding!  There are books on pestos, salsa, this one about oils, which also explains how to make them and package them as gifts, we have book son jams and preserves, Christmas, camping, bar-b-qs….. the list just goes on!!

And they’re not just pretty faces either, the papers, post-its sticking out of them and dog eared spines and covers are testament to meals gone by, parties, visits by friends and just a whole lot of good eatin!!!

But I saved the best til last….. if someone ever asked you what was the one food item you couldn’t do without, what would your reply be?  I know what mine would be, my husband knows what mine would be, so do my family and my friends.  In fact it’s a standing joke, I have one friend who tries to make a different dish using this item every time we eat at theirs, she’s had people round and given me all the leftovers that used this one ingredient…… and she drove from her house to mine one day with a tupperware container filled with a new way of preparing this item that she thought I would absolutely love!!!

So what is it, you ask?

It’s very humble,

not at all exotic,

or new,

or different,

it’s been around centuries

and is eaten the world over

it can be bad for us

or it can be helthy for us

depends entirely on the preparation

we can buy it

or grow it ourselves

it’s best not eaten raw (but it won’t kill you)

it’s perhaps one of the most versatile kitchen ingredients

and I bought a book all about it

and I worship the ground it walks on

well, perhaps the ground it grows in would be a better description