Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Cookery book challenge

This Christmas, another cookery book was added to my collection when Mum and Dad gave me A suitcase and a spatula (which they chose because it's written by a fellow blogger). Although I love it, it did remind me that I still haven't made anything from the book I received last Christmas. In fact, I own a couple of shelves worth of cookery books which barely ever see the light of day.

I do occasionally browse through them but, mostly, I fall back on my file of recipes ripped from magazines. It's so much easier and less time consuming to flick through the folder and just take out the pages I need.

However, it seems such a waste not to use all of these lovely books. I'm not really one for new year's resolutions but, this year, I'm setting myself a cookery book challenge: to make at least one recipe from one of my books each week.

I've typed out a list of 49 titles on my shelves and put the slips of paper in a bowl. Each week I'll draw out one slip and choose a recipe from the book. That slip will then be thrown away so that each book will have its chance in the spotlight. The only books I haven't included are ones which are mainly about cakes - much as I'd like to, woman cannot live on cake alone!

I'm not going to be too strict though and will be excused from the challenge if I've already used my books for another reason. That's what happened this weekend as I had the New Year ham to use up.

On Saturday we had leek and ham risotto using a recipe from Rice, risotto, pilaff and paella by Christine Ingram. The ham had been cooked in coca cola (well, Aldi's cola) and I also used the stock. Although there was no remains of a coca cola flavour, the stock did make the risotto strangely sweet which we weren't particularly keen on.

On Sunday we had ham, eggs and sweetcorn pudding. The pudding recipe is from Rose Elliot's Complete vegetarian cookbook though I was once again inspired by seeing something similar by Nigella. I hadn't tried the pudding before but would definitely make it again and the three together was a perfect combination of salty and sweet (a good sweet this time!).

So, I'm off to a start with using my cookery books and will be posting regular updates so that you can see how I'm getting on, with links to the recipes if I can find them. I'm going to do the first draw later this week and feel quite excited about it! Let the challenge begin!


  1. I tried this last year but I was too ambitious and tried to make 4 things a week, which just had no chance of happening as I work full time. Might try again with just one this year...

  2. This is a really good idea! I have far too many cookbooks but tend to stick to using the same ones! I see we have a lot of the same books...I am also a big fan of Jamie Oliver!
    Marianne xx

  3. Only yesterday I was organising my cookbooks and recipe folders and thinking that I should refer to them more, I look forward to seeing what you'll be cooking.

  4. That's a pretty impressive challenge- I hope you find some lovely recipes to try:)

  5. That is a very good idea indeed! I also have too many cookery books - some used constantly, others barely opened. I've found that planning meals makes me go through my cookery books and put my thinking cap on, but there are still ones that deserve to be used more. x