It’s funny don’t you think, how we move from one obsession to another? One minute it’s all about a certain colour (mustard yellow for me), then it’s a desperate need to visit a certain place (Europe would be nice), and before you know it you find yourself on a cookbook-buying bender … or perhaps that’s just me?
First I ordered myself a copy of ‘martha goes green‘ (a book I’ve been meaning to buy for ages), then a beautiful book dedicated to all things wickedly sweet (it had me at lemon curd tart), and finally a book filled with healthier (more sensible) main meal recipes. So far only the first book has arrived, and it has already proved itself to be a welcome addition.
There’s much to love about ‘martha goes green‘. The recipes are wonderful and homely, with a good mix of vegan and vegetarian options (although I was sold on this book when I saw it contained a recipe for chocolate mousse – it’s been too long since I’ve enjoyed a vegetarian-friendly version). The other bonus of this book is that it comes with its own drawstring pouch, so it can hang around instead of taking up precious shelf space.
Of course it’s always nice to add to your cookbook collection, but my recent purchases had me wondering whether cookbooks hold more than just the promise of good food or a new favourite recipe. It took me a while, but I finally realised that beautiful cookbooks not only provide the opportunity to try new recipes and experiment with different ingredients – those pages offer a most satisfying blend of comfort.
I’m reminded of a quote from Nigella Lawson, ‘When I can’t sleep I start ordering cookbooks. And I comfort myself twice over by telling myself how useful they are, how they really help my work‘. Well I can’t claim that ordering cookbooks helps my work in any way, but they do provide lovely respite from the troubles and stresses of modern life.
Sure, there is always happiness within a rich chocolate dessert or a tasty savoury dish, but it’s rather wonderful that food-related comfort can be found without entering the kitchen or taking a single bite. By simply turning the page from one recipe to the next, the world becomes a little calmer, a little kinder, and a whole lot more wonderful. Do your cookbooks comfort you too?
PS. On a related, yet slightly different note … am I the only one who never starts a cookbook at the first recipe?