Home » The Cookbook’s Special Distinction

Which is your favorite cookbook? You know the one…that book with the dog-eared pages, and sticky something on the binding, and those few pages that pancake together until you give them a firm tug. That book with spatters and smears of various colors which only you, the cook, can still look at and instantly identify.

Maybe it’s the first cookbook you were ever given. Or your mom’s Joy of Cooking. Perhaps it’s the fancier book with pictures you bought in college, when you decided to become a vegetarian and knew you needed to make sure your food was at least looking right. Or that cookbook you raced out to get the night before you cooked for your guy or girlfriend for the very first time, because you wanted to make him or her something special.

Cookbooks are unlike any other kinds of books out there. Beyond the obvious fact that they contain recipes which help us create food to eat, they also are the books that we don’t read ensconced in a chair or lying on the bed. They are books that are read in the kitchen, on somewhat-clean counters, sharing space with vegetables, bottles of oil, packets of meat and cheese. Cookbooks have a distinct purpose, and a room to go with it. They belong in the kitchen as much as the knives, spatulas and spices. With their thick bindings and small print, their pen-drawn sketches or gorgeously-rendered photos, cookbooks are books which have been allowed to cross over…out of the bookshelves and into the frying pan, so to speak.

So where is your favorite cookbook? In a bookshelf in the living room? Most likely not. Most likely it is on the counter, or in a kitchen cabinet, dirty, well-thumbed, smelling faintly of past odors, and right where it should be, ready to be used once again.

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