My First Cookbook
In my first year of high school was when I got my first cookbook. Many readers will be familiar with “Cookery the Australian Way” and it’s sure to be found in many homes. My version still has the vinyl wrap with burnt orange flowers that was fashionable at the time (yes, this was the 70’s!). I often reach for it even when I know it won’t be able to help me. It’s really comforting to flick through the stained familiar pages while looking for ideas.
Apart from this old favourite I don’t use a cookbook that doesn’t have pictures in it. I love to know what I am aspiring towards. It’s the same if I’m searching the internet looking for ideas. My interest is piqued when I see the result, then if it looks appetising I look at the ingredients then the method.
I really can’t look at a list of ingredients and think mmmmmm, this will be great. I’d never succeed on the Great British Bakeoff as I’d never be able to follow Mary or Paul’s instructions alone. I’d need a photo of the final product or I’d be lost. Well, in truth, I probably wouldn’t make it past the trial stages as I am not a confident baker.
Over the years I have been given some beautiful cook books and while I’ve been keen to jump in and try something new and adventurous I must admit I’m often a bit overwhelmed. Even if I don’t cook anything from these amazing cookbooks they always provide inspiration.
The increasing influence of the internet
More often these days I turn to the internet for recipes and inspiration. Recently I found out that even though online recipes are growing exponentionally, the number of cookbooks sold are also on the rise. I find that really amazing. I would more often use my iPad in the kitchen as I follow a video recipe, than open a cookbook. What is it that cookbooks have such a universal and irreplacable appeal?
When I do start searching for recipes online, I lean towards looking at recipes that also have “how to” videos attached. I find it easier to match a new recipe with all those other factors that impact on what happens in the kitchen: how tired I am; how much time Ihave; are the ingredients readily accessible.
This preference I have for recipes with photo’s has been tested while I search for steam oven recipes. I have a Bosch combi/steam oven and there is an online cookbook that is easily downloadable. But apart from random photo’s of raw ingredients, there aren’t any photo’s of the final product. Oh, and it’s written for the American market so the temperatures and weights need converting. It’s not all that helpful for someone who needs to see a photo and is used to working in the metric system.
Looking for Cooking Inspiration
I turn to the internet mainly. Currently, there aren’t a lot of cookbooks available for Steam and Combi cookery. It is amusing when I spot a combi steam or steam oven manufacturer suggesting that dough is proved in warm area in the kitchen. They don’t mention placing the dough in a steam oven on 30 or 40 degrees to prove in the dough in a consistently even temperature for an exact amount if time. Why would it not be part of the recipe?
When looking for a new recipe where do you look first? And where do you normally find the recipe that you will actually use?
Let me know,
PS Here is the latest version of Cookery the Australian Way. It comes with photo’s.