My friends and family who know me well know that I have a “slight” obsession with cookbooks. It’s not just for the recipes, it’s actually for the stories, photography, AND the recipes.
My love affair all started waaaayyy back at the Medicine Hat Children’s Library; it was in the basement at the time… that’s how long ago. I would head down the stairs, stop and take a look at Bugtown and b-line for the tiny selection of cookbooks. My all-time favourite was Peter Rabbit's Cook Book, this small hardcover book provided lovely drawings, little stories and recipes. If my memory serves me correctly the peter rabbit stew (no rabbit involved, just Peter’s favourite hamburger soup) was my go-to recipe. I would take this book out again and again.
Further cultivating my passion was a precious book not found in the library; the community Riverside School collaborative cookbook that my mom and her fellow parent councillors came up with as a fundraiser, it was a mainstay in our home and is still in my collection. I loved that I knew the people and recognized the names next to the recipe. Each person taking time to submit their favourite recipes they thought others should try. I would make up little stories about each recipe. “So, and so’s fathers’ recipe from the east coast” “A family favourite that we make for every picnic.” I felt like this recipe was giving me insight into each person’s life and their love for it. I felt a connection to their own families and truly cherished how special that is. I add community cookbooks to my collection any chance I get. This is a full discussion I love to rattle on about.
I continue to nurture my love of cookbooks and enjoy a healthy personal collection; I love to read the stories of how the recipes came to be, or where it came from, or what kinds of magic happened to bring it into this world. I don’t always make the recipes, maybe for lack of time or maybe because of the hard-to-find interesting ingredients, but I do make an effort to make a few recipes from each book. This is how I choose to bring the world into my home. Through the food and the personal stories these books share with me. The quick reads are guaranteed to nurture my soul and they give me insight into different cultures and the lives of people that I fantasize about one day having the chance to meet.
Right now, I am enjoying and highly recommend:
- Farm to Chef: Cooking Through the Seasons by Lynn Crawford
- Indian-ish: Recipes and Antics From A Modern American Family by Priya Krishna
- Feast: Recipes and Stories From A Canadian Road Trip by Lindsay Anderson & Dana VanVeller
Get your free library card
Get a library card to borrow these cookbooks, or whichever books you enjoy reading. If you have a card that needs to be renewed, you can do that here for free. If you need a new card, give the Library a call to get signed up: 403-502-8525.