Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cookbook Casting Call and Winter Pantry Plan

Like so many of my fellow food bloggers, over the years I've accumulated quite a collection of cookbooks. Some of the cookbooks I use every week and some of the cookbooks I've not touched in months or in some cases years. Heck, I even have a few cookbooks I've never cooked or baked from yet.

This weekend, between bread baking and snow shoveling, I decided it was time to re-organize my cookbooks to make room for some of the newer volumes I have acquired over the past six or seven months. I also began the hard task of culling from collection some of those volumes that I either don't use because I am not that fond of the recipes contained within or that are duplicates. While I was doing this task, I realized that I own quite a few general cookbooks.

General cookbooks are those that are broad based in their approach to cooking and baking and typically cover basic cooking skills with various levels of recipes. The recipes range from appetizers to desserts and these cookbooks are perfect for beginning cooks who are just learning to cook to more experienced cooks, like myself, who want one or two books that we can refer to recipes that are standards or foundation recipes.

While I was doing my book moving and organizing, I discovered that I have seven of these types cookbooks and while I would love to keep them all, I just don't need seven cookbooks that all basically contain the same recipes. So, I've come up with a plan to decide which of these cookbooks I'm going to keep and which ones I'm going to remove from my collection.

I'm calling this plan the Cookbook Casting Call. Over the next seven weeks, I'm going to plan a large portion of my weekly menu from one of these cookbooks and that menu will also adhere to the winter edition of The Pantry Plan. On Saturdays, I'll write a round-up of the week's recipes and how the cooking/baking went.

After I've worked through all seven cookbooks, I'll post a final wrap up and divulge the three general cookbooks I'm keeping in my collection. The other four cookbooks I'm going to offer to readers of The Sour Dough through some means I haven't quite figured out yet but will by the time we are through all seven cookbooks on March 1st .

The seven weeks we are doing Cookbook Casting Call will also be the duration of the Winter Pantry Plan. Starting tomorrow, I won't be buying any groceries except for the following:
Otherwise, all the ingredients for the week's menu will be from my pantry, fridge and freezer. As part of the weekly recipe round-up, I'll also post the results of the past week's pantry plan including grocery costs for the week, excluding the cat products and any catering/baking order products.

Look for our first cookbook, the menu from that cookbook and the first recipe in tomorrow's post. See, I told you we were going to have fun with the Winter Pantry Plan!