Sorting Out the Shelves #3

Hello Bookworms!

Welcome to another edition of sorting out the shelves! This week it’s a special feature – cookbooks!

sliced avocado on brown wooden board
Photo by Anete Lusina on

I have tons of cookbooks because EVERYONE buys them for me despite having, you know, the internet to find recipes on. So, I’m overrun with the bloody things and I need to get rid.

Lets play own or re-home!


Vintage cookbooks inherited from my mother-in-law plus New Covent Garden Soup recipe books

Cookbooks should be battered and covered in stains…


I mean, look at the state of the Be-Ro book – that tells you everything you need to know about how useful it is. Seriously, it’s my most used recipe book by far, even though it must be forty years old. It also houses a number of handwritten recipes from my non-husbands since-departed mother and possibly his ex-girlfriend, all of which I’m very grateful for (even though the non-hubs always complains when I use them to make something it don’t taste as good as when his Mum/ex made it). The Marguerite Patten cookbook is even older – it must be getting on for fifty but again I use it all the time. I love how simple the recipes are and how there’s an easy “blueprint” guide, with variations to try once you’ve mastered the basics. There’s also a brilliant “what to do when it goes wrong” section at the back that’s absolutely indispensable when you’re first learning to cook. The soup books are lovely, easy to follow and even though all of the recipes are probably available online I always find it’s easier to use a hard copy book than try to keep a tablet/phone open when you’re in the middle of cooking. They’re all definite keepers!


A totally random assortment of cook books

I’ll just use BBC Good Food…


Clearly, at some point someone found out that I’d bought a slow cooker and got me some recipe books to go with it – failing to realise that there’s really only three things you can make in one and the recipes are all just variations on a theme. There’s also a jam/chutney making book (I might look at this once a year when I have a glut of allotment veg but I’d rather look online) a veg cookbook (too weird) a couple of “British” cookbooks (fancy versions of what’s in Marguerite Patten) a Delia Smith How to Cook book (again, Patten does it better) and a “Mediterranean” book (featuring ingredients that I never own). Off to the charity shop you go!

Do you have a million recipe books that you never use? Are any of them quirky, old or unique? Do you have any treasured inherited recipes that you can’t make as well as your relatives did? Let me know in the comments!


13 thoughts on “Sorting Out the Shelves #3

  1. Hahaha oh dear! This made me laugh. I have sooo many cook books, I just love them… Some, like you, I inherited from family (not my partner’s ex though, he can sod right off! None of her stuff is getting in this house!). Others I bought for myself… I don’t use them all a huge amount… I don’t think I could get rid of them though!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have so many cookbooks and I don’t think I’ve used a single one. I always have the best intentions 🙂 Some even have post-its of all the recipes I plan on trying. Should definitely just give up and unhaul them I like looking at the pictures of food but obviously not willing to do the cooking!

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  3. haha I’m genuinely relieved no one buys me cookbooks- I just prefer using the internet 😉 That said, I definitely could have used a section on what to do when things go wrong- pretty sure I could have averted a number of disasters that way!! haha that’s hilarious about the slow cooker cookbook! Like you said, there aren’t that many options there! Looks like you’ve done a great job of clearing out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I still have a selection of around twenty (pointless) recipe books that I’m hanging on to for sentimental reasons but I’ve cleared my kitchen windowsill so that’s something 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Fun post! I only have 2 cookbooks – a ‘best vegetarian recipes’ someone got me and a Kenwood Chef book that came with the mixer. I like cookbooks for the illustrations, and I like to read recipes, but I’m not much bothered about cooking actually. Now that I’m vegan I just look on the internet for cookies and cakes recipes.
    Marguerite Patten is iconic isn’t she, sometimes the older books stand the test of time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! To be honest I use the internet the majority of the time but those books are great for classic recipes – although it does make you realise how little people knew/cared about saturated fat in the 1970’s!

      Liked by 1 person

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