Introduction are in order. Like most of you, I’m a “do-it-yourself” or at least “try-it-yourself” home chef. I love to cook and I want to cook well. This may stem from my need to do everything well, but that is a topic for another blog… maybe even counseling. However, this blog, the one you find yourself reading now is dedicated to my love and fascination with cookbooks. The title The Paperback Chef comes from my desire to learn and grow as a home chef through the exciting world of cookbooks and cooking magazines.
Recently, the wife and I have decided we are going to try and cook everything we can from our cookbooks. No more running to the computer for a recipe if we can avoid it, and no more going over budget because of what we think we want to eat. We want to cook well, within our budget, using recipes from cookbook we already own, can get from the library, or barrow from friends. With any luck, our efforts wont be in vain and we might learn a few things. If nothing else, it will be an adventure.
My fascination with the printed world of culinary resources runs deep and it runs wide . I have a subscription to both bon appetit and Food and Wine as well as a wide selection of cookbooks. I love to read their stories, examine their histories, and drool over their pictures. My desire to cook their amazing recipes is often tempered with fear. Their lists of ingredients are intimidating, introduce items I have never heard of (let alone pronounce) and they use techniques which sound like they have no place in the kitchen, at least not my kitchen. And… let face it. The normal person at home can’t really afford to shell out their hard earned cash for wild halibut, black sea bass, lobster, or black truffles from France just because they want to make a meal they’ve seen in a magazine. There has got to be a better way!
I am convinced that cooking amazing food can be done by normal people in their normal kitchen. Even people on a budget! It may take time and dedication, you might fail a time or two, but in the end you will be a better cook and a better person for it. There is knowledge to be gained and adventure to be had by reading cookbook and magazines, we just have to take the time and effort to get at it.