Today I decided that it was time to bite the bullet and seriously consider what cookbooks I really needed to keep. I did not have a large collection but I knew that there were some that had survived previous attempts to reduce the collection.
I did not photograph the shelf before I removed all of the books but here they all are on the kitchen bench.
I sorted through and recycled lots of loose sheets of paper – scribbled recipes or ripped out of magazines. If I had not made them up till now it is unlikely that I will. Most did not fit with our current eating plan which is mostly gluten-free. Quite a number of the books were very easy to let go of as they were quite dated and the recipes are simply not to our taste any more.
The pile on the right are ready for the op shop bag. The 3 books on the left each have 1 or 2 recipes which I would like to try, so rather than keeping the whole book, I am going to type them into my recipe file on the computer and then the books will be added to the op shop pile.
I keep two binders with plastic sleeves which are for loose recipe sheets but even these had go a bit out of hand so I spent some time refiling them into the plastic sleeves.
The remaining cookbooks have been returned to the shelf.
Some of these books have barely been opened, let alone actually used so I have promised myself that I will use them. In order to achieve my goal, I am going through each book and making a list of the recipes that I would like to try and the relevant page number. I plan to create a spreadsheet of all of the recipes with a reference back to where I can find it. Today I went through 4 of the books but still have quite a number to go. It will be an ongoing project.
The Duke suggested that I just scan the recipes that I want to keep and then get rid of the books completely. That may be an option for the future but at the moment my goal is to actually try out some of the recipes instead of having a shelf full of books that I do not use.
I have a new cookbook on my Christmas wishlist. It is a gluten-free cookbook. I have made a couple of recipes from it and if the rest are as good it will be a worthy addition to my pared-down bookshelf.