To Buy or Not to Buy: Cookbooks

Back in the ooooold days, if you wanted a recipe for a delicious homemade chocolate cake, you had 2 options:  Ask your mother for her great great grandmother’s recipe written on a piece of parchment from medieval times, or turn to your trusty sidekick – your cookbook.

I may have been slightly exaggerating with how old these recipes are, but I believe my point was clear:  You wanted a recipe, you asked for a tried and true recipe from someone close, or found one in a cookbook.

In today’s day and age, however, there are so many more options thanks to the Internet…and television.  While we will always turn to our grandma’s classic (and incomparable) cranberry walnut Christmas loaf recipe, and our mothers will gladly pass their copies of “The Joy of Cooking” down to us (…some day…far from now), we now also have websites from every TV program, magazine, and book, as well as those of well-known chefs, restaurants, and – as you are clearly aware of since you are reading this – blogs.  My current go-to for recipes is the blog.  I like knowing a real person tried (and succeeded in making) the recipe and always read comments/reviews to see tips or suggestions others may have.  Moreover, there is the enjoyment in supporting my fellow bloggers by reading their blogs and such.  I especially enjoy when I read a blog post and they have a baking fail, because that humanizes the obscure blogger and brings them down to my level.  😛

As is clear from this post (and the fact that I am writing at all), I love baking blogs.  Not only are they a great source of recipes, information, tips, and ideas, but they are also a great outlet to vent, share and get feedback on your own successes and blunders.  Moreover, they are a forum with which you can connect to others JUST LIKE YOU, and even – if you are lucky/ skilled/ all around awesome – make new friends!

Me and Daisy Cakes!

Random photo shoot with my pup. Had to share. Love me some Daisy Cakes!  (My boyfriend is definitely not a natural photographer…always blurry!  tisk tisk)

Ok, now that was a quite excited tangent on blogging, but I digress.  Believe it or not, I had a point here.  I think the blog tangent was to explain that, while I love love love blogs, and value the recipes in them, and thoroughly enjoy reading others’ stories, I still wonder about that cookbook.  With millions of recipes now at our fingers tips with just a click of the mouse, what is the need for the cookbook?  Or, I guess, the question I really want answered is, can I justify buying cookbooks still when there are so many free recipes all over the internet? 

This is a very difficult question, you see.  Baking is already getting to be a very expensive hobby, and the one free part is always the recipes.  But there is something very nice and appealing about 150 pages of deliciousness wrapped up in a colorful hard cover and all in one convenient place.  While each recipe in a cookbook does not have a list of reviews and comments from all across the blogosphere, it does have the backing of a publishing company, and, therefore, instant credibility…right?

And anyway, once I read the reviews and decide to try out a blogger’s recipe, it’s not like I print out every review and comment with the recipe.  Of course not.  I only print the recipe.  If there is any adjustment I need to make as a results of comments or the blogger’s notes, I write it in myself.  If I didn’t, I’d be printing out 10 page long recipes, and no one wants that when they go to make chocolate chip cookies!  They just want the facts!

So, what is my verdict then?  Good question.  I do love blogs, and definitely plan to continue to use recipes from blogs, read their baking adventures, and get more wrapped up in the baking blog community.  But I also think I shall go out and buy a baking cookbook (where?, is a good question, since bookstores seem to be disappearing daily).  I’m thinking maybe a cupcake book, but we shall see what my shopping trip brings back.

As for my blog recipes?  My file folder of recipes is getting out of control and I think it is beyond time to organize that puppy into some kind of binder.  That collection of recipes is sure to continue to grow and I need to make sure to keep it in check or there will be recipes everywhere but never where I want them when I need to bake them!

Me smothering Daisy

Daisy loves being smothered by mommy and her hairrrrr!

I’ll keep you posted on how my cookbook search goes, so if you have any baking book suggestions, comment and let me know!  And I’ll most definitely show off my recipe binder once it is assembled.

Daisycakes out!  🙂

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2 thoughts on “To Buy or Not to Buy: Cookbooks

  1. Pingback: Fall Cookbook Wish List | blah blah birds

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