I love all kinds of books but there is something especially tempting about a display full of glossy cookbooks, each one promising not only a plethora of yummy food but a whole different lifestyle. When I hold a healthy eating cookbook I imagine the me I would be if I ate fruit topped porridge for breakfast and leafy flavorsome salads for lunch. When I browse through my Vintage Tea Party book I imagine myself wearing retro hair, mastering eyeliner and hosting quirky tea parties for my bohemian friends. Rob’s book of Pasta Recipes conjure up images of late Friday night dinners, with red wine and sophisticated conversation.
But whilst those are nice fantasies, they are not my real cooking life, so to inject a bit of the real me into my cooking books and to remind myself of which recipes work well and which ones don’t, I make short journal entries in my cookbooks.
When I use a recipe for the first time, or on a notable day, I’ll write the date on the page. Sometimes I only review the recipe, sometimes I’ll note who we ate with or what happened that day and sometimes, I will offer my amendments on to the recipe.
I like that these little notes, inject some of our life as a family into these books. In the past it was common for women to create a recipe ring-binder or journal of the family recipes. Now that cook books are more affordable and we store more information in our phones I bet that happens less and less. But I like to think in the future Orla and I will leaf through our collection of cookbooks together, read the entries and remember fun times spent around our family table.