Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Project Cook-Along: Cookbook plans

So I came up with an idea last night. Well, ok, truth be told, I didn't come up with it, I read about someone else doing this. And I'm sure there are plenty of people out there doing the same thing. But I digress. The idea is this. I plan to take a cookbook, start at page one and cook my way to the end of the book. I figure that'll be a great way to find new favorites, a lovely way to experience the author's point of view, and a better use of all these wonderful tomes of knowledge sitting here on my bookshelf.

But it raises a few questions, too. Do I take one book, and not move on to another until all recipes have been tried? If I do this, I run the risk of getting sick of a certain style, a certain cuisine. For example, if I take a Mario Batali book and cook my way through it, and only it, will I be sick of Italian food at the end? Or do I perhaps take two or three, and cook my way through them simultaneously? That might be a better mix of things, but it will also take a lot more time accomplish. Might the reward be worth the extra effort? One proposal I came up with was to take two or three different books, to cook at least one recipe per book each week. That way, I get a good variety, I try two or three new recipes every week, and I still leave time between styles so as to not get sick of any of them. And if issues arise about cooking from front to back of the book, I could always just check off the recipes in the Index or Table of Contents as I cook them. That would give me some flexibility as far as finding the right ingredients in season, or taking into account mood swings and taste changes, but it will also complicate things a bit because someone will have to decide what to cook then.

I'm thinking that for the first round I might use a Mario Batali book, a Bobby Flay book, and perhaps a Rachael Ray book. Good mix, all good cuisines. And, of course, I'll be sure to post my findings and my favorite recipes here.

Wow, just after I posted this, I was looking at some old emails, and came across this website article...about Cook Along Blogs - the exact thing I just commented on doing. Interesting. See, I knew I wasn't the first to think of it! It's a good story, here's the link if anyone's interested...