Last year we had to move twice in the space of 6 months. You know what my partner’s biggest grumble was? Not the extortionate fees we had to pay for a removal company. Not the stress of the upheaval and all the work involved. No. None of these things. He did, though, spend a good month or so after each move moaning about having to transport my cookbook collection. I get it, they’re heavy, I’m protective about them getting damaged. But I mean all girls have their vices right? Sure, it might be easier if I were addicted to buying fountain pens or stamps. But I’m not. I’m a cookbook addict, and proud. For the next move, as my collection has grown further since, I may just need to sweeten him up with a new PS4 game or something.
To date my cookbook collection stands at 170. I had lost count and actually thought I was on more than that so it came as a disappointment when I did a stock take and tidied my shelves up. They sit in my dining room which is open plan with my kitchen so works well for recipe raiding. I am soon going to need to invest in another bookcase as you can see these are now pretty well stocked and I will also need to upgrade them, look at the bowing on those shelves! Dad, if you’re reading, I can hear you giving me a telling off already.
On top of my left bookshelf sits a fake flower arrangement with some copper fairy lights in which looks ever so pretty in the dark, a huge Zara candle and a photo frame containing snaps of mine and Tyler’s trip to the Lake District last year. On the other side is a cactus which I only remembered to water when doing this post, a stone heart ornament which is actually meant for the garden, two kitchen themed plaques that my mum bought for me and my radio which I never use as I never get signal. I thought that was the whole point of DAB no?
So allow me to introduce you to my ever growing, much loved collection of cookbooks.
The top left hand shelf starts with my Jamie Oliver books. I’m yet to purchase them all but am still working on it! He has another book due this summer which I’m already very excited about. I particularly love Ministry of Food and 15 Minute Meals. Jamie’s Italy is the one I use the least.
The row then moves on to Gordon Ramsay which are Tyler’s favourites for recipes, a couple of Rick Stein’s which I’ve only just purchased, the two gorgeous books from Sabrina Ghayour, Persiana and Sirocco which are absolutely stunning, a couple from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, three from Gino D’acampo (Gino’s Pasta is a must buy!) and then two Sainsbury’s cookbooks which are surprisingly good. This is one of the most used shelves in my collection.
Beneath that sit some huge hefty bible style books, my favourite of those being the USA cookbook. It has some great sounding recipes in there but unfortunately no pictures. Next to the bibles are a few random books including Posh Toast, which as the title suggests contains recipes for things on toast, and The Pooh Cook Book which is utterly charming and smells of an old house. I think I bought that from a boot fair. At the other end of the shelf is a pile of everyday, simple cookbooks which I very rarely use.
The bottom shelf of the left hand bookcase is home to my much prized Nigella Lawson collection. I have every book she has released but annoyingly not all from the same editions so they are all of different sizes and styles. Nevertheless, I love them and treasure them. How to be a Domestic Goddess was one of the very first cookbooks I purchased and is my go-to whenever I’m in the mood to bake. I adore Kitchen, the recipe in there for Chocolate Bread Pudding always comes to mind, and Nigella Express introduced me to Rocky Roads. It’s also not Christmas until Nigella Christmas moves from bookshelf to coffee table, as is the case every year, normally in October. Yes, I love Christmas.
Next to Nigella is Nigel Slater. I have 5 of his books, plus two more in the paperback collection next-door. Tender Volume 1 is a vegetable bible and Tender Volume 2 is the same but for fruit. I adore these books, and Nigel’s writing style in general. He can write about something I’m not particularly even fond of but once I’ve finished reading it all I want to eat is whatever he has been writing about. Maybe Nigel could start a campaign telling kids to eat their vegetables, it worked for me with aubergines!
The books at the end of the shelf are ones I purchased in packs and don’t get used all that much.
Onto the top shelf on the right hand side, this is my healthy and vegetarian section. This shelf also gets used quite a lot. My favourite books here are the two Leon books (I really need to get more of the collection!), Lorraine Pascal’s Eating Well Made Easy, Davina’s 5 Weeks to Sugar Free and both of the Deliciously Ella books. All of these are my go-to options when I want guilt free snacks. I love the muffin recipes from Lorraine Pascal, and Ella’s Raw Brownies are one of my favourite things ever. The Hemsley Hemsley cookbook was such a disappointment but as other people rave over it so profusely I’m going to give it another look soon and see if I can change my mind.
The books at the other end of the shelf are more diet books, mostly from my days of Weight Watchers and Slimming World. The Slimming World Fakeaways book is brilliant whether you’re following the plan or not. The Weight Watcher’s ones are less so. There’s two cocktail books on this shelf are I had no-where else to put them. I do love a good cocktail.
The second shelf down on this side is split into two categories. On the left are some random cookbooks featuring global cuisine. There’s one from Crete in there that I picked up on holiday and an authentic book about Parisian cooking, the rest are mostly Italian. On the right are a plethora of baking books. The Couture Chocolate book is a dream to look at, the Cadbury Chocolate Cooking book is a delight to cook from.
The very last shelf holds a random assortment of cookbooks, mostly from Celebrity chefs. I like this shelf a lot. Baking Made Easy from Lorraine Pascal has the best brownie recipe ever, Cravings by Chrissy Teigan makes for a jolly good read, Levi Roots’ books bring a touch of much needed sunshine on even the gloomiest days and my latest purchase, Perfect Plates in 5 Ingredients by John Whaite looks promising from an initial flick through.
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my collection of cookbooks and that it was worth the hour it took me to tidy up! I would love to know what your favourite books are and what’s missing from my collection. Really, just leave me a comment and give me an excuse to go book shopping!