Culling the Cookbooks


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.

CookbooksI 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.

Ready to go
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.

Cookbook 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.

Contributing to Christchurch

Leave a comment

Yesterday we returned to Christchurch for the final night of our trip before flying home today.  This has been our first visit to Christchurch, so unfortunately we have never seen the city before it was devastated by the earthquake in February.

We spent 2 nights here at the beginning of our holiday and on the Sunday we walked around the perimeter of the barricaded city centre.  I found it eerie and quite depressing and did not take any photos as that seemed almost disrespectful.

However, yesterday was quite a different story.  The Re:Start precinct in Cashel Street was humming as people came to celebrate the first tentative steps towards rebuilding the city.  This area has been open for less than a week but the tenacity and optimism were obvious.  The shipping containers which house many of the outlets are unrecognisable once you are inside them.

I know that it will take much more than a small number of retail outlets to rebuild a city but it is a start.  I did my bit by buying some shoes and books.  I bought these ‘Ecco’ brand thongs in Ballantyne’s.  They are really comfortable and will get lots of wear during the summer.  I have other ‘Ecco’ shoes which have stood the test of time.

Naturally, we could not resist having a peek in a bookshop while we were there.  I bought these 2 books at Scorpio Books.  In fact I stumbled on a fantastic bargain as “From the Earth to the Table” was reduced from $60 to $16 and the other one turned out to be from the selection of titles that were free with the purchase of another book.  I will tell you more about both of the books in more detail in a future post.

We will now return home with positive hopes for all of the people of Christchurch.  Here is a final sign of new life and renewal.  We saw this family near the footpath adjacent to Hagley Park as we walked back to our accommodation after our successful shopping expedition.

Dishcloths & Doing My Best


Today I am writing this from Burra in the mid-North of South Australia.  Our holiday is going really well so far.  We have just had 3 nights with our dear friends in Strathalbyn and were able to time our trip to join in a 70th birthday celebration of Sunday followed by dinner on Monday evening for a 21st birthday as well.

We left Strathalbyn this morning  and visited The Duke’s mother, who is in residential care due to Alzheimer’s Disease.  Despite the effects of this cruel affliction she was pleased to see us and it was good to be able to spend some time with her.

Then it was off to Burra , but first we stopped at the suburban shopping centre and stocked up on a few groceries.  As we were walking through the shopping mall towards Foodland I noticed the post office and popped in to see if they had a 4 pack of Sally Wise’s cookbooks which I had heard mentioned on the forum of Simple Savings.  I was in luck as I picked up the last 2 packs – 1 for me and 1 for my sister.  They were an absolute bargain at $15 for a pack of 4 cookbooks.

Our accommodation is very well appointed and even has a slow-cooker so I will be making the most of it and making a casserole tomorrow while we are out and about.  My attempts to maintain my sustainable habits are going well so far.  It is easy to take my calico bags to the shops as plastic shopping bags are not an option in SA.  Why can’t the rest of the country follow suit?

I finished the first dishcloth the other day and have started a second one.  I just do a bit occasionally but it is good to have some handiwork to do when I feel inclined.

More holiday news in a day or so.