Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Culling Fields

A cousin of mine cooks a different meal for her family every day. That's every single day. Not "no-more-than-once-a-month", but every day. When I voiced my utter disbelief at this, she admitted that it was partly out of boredom but personally, there'd have to be a few toilets left to clean before I resorted to her approach.

Like many women, I have a slew of recipe books and magazines, most of which languish elegantly in my kitchen. A few years ago I threw down the gauntlet and vowed to try a new recipe every week. (Here, if you don't believe me, and no- it didn't last.) From time to time I'm known to cut out or copy a recipe and place it in my personal meals-that-will-never-be-made folder.

At the moment however, I'm in a culling mood. Clothes that beg the question "What were you thinking?" are piling up in the 'goodwill' bag, and neglected toys have all been given a 6 month suspended sentence. The recipe books and mags are the next for inspection and I have resolved that if, in the next month, I haven't forced myself to make at least 5 meals out of "Jamie at Home" and at least another 5 from my Delia and Nigella library, they're all being donated to the school's used-book sale. The books, that is, not the individuals themselves although I'm sure the school would be delighted to meet every one of them.

Join me in the cull - You know you want to!

15 comments:

  1. My husband buys recipe books, so we have a large number of ones about really healthy eating. But I've never quite got into cooking single shrimps in lemongrass with a slice of pomegranate for my family. I would say time for a cull, except recently, a friend lent me her "More for Less" cookbook, which is all about saving money and saving the planet, but in really practical ways. It goes back to the 80s, but a lot of it is still very relevant - lots of recipes with lentils and beans. Anyway, I told Husband about it, and said it was really good, and it turned out that he'd had a copy when we got married, but it had fallen victim to a previous cull of mine. So I bought another copy (which I do use a lot) - and I still think that's better than having an old recipe book lying around for years, ie to chuck it out when you don't want it, and to buy another when you do.

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  2. yes everyone, please do cull so that i can pick them up at the booksale! i love cookery books (love reading them over and over, cooking a little less) but they're an expensive reading hobby so I'm always scouring the sales for them!

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  3. Jamie at Home is SUCH a great book!!!! Don't get rid of that one!!!

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  4. I like the culling thing. I am currently doing it to my book shelves.
    As far as the cooking thing- For the month of September I am having a once a week soup night, curry night and pasta night. The rest of the week will be a toss up. I too read too many cook books and foody mags!

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  5. Oh heavens I am like iota found that the books I culled a few years ago I need now - fo book club!

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  6. Oh, to have the need to cull! (Almost all my books are currently in storage). Though I might join you in culling the toys. And Husband's folders - now THAT would be a fun conversation to have when he realised all the stuff he never opens has gone to the great recycling bin in the sky...

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  7. I cull many things but recipe books aren't one of them. It would be like cutting off my own arms (even though there are several I never use)

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  8. Here's what happens when you cull--your husband winds up with more space to stash everything he hoards. Don't do it.

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  9. The different meal each day sounds like a great idea! Not easy in practice, however.

    I see no great need for recipe books since the internet came along.

    Culling stuff is great. I arrived in the USA with two suitcases and that was plenty. :-)

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  10. I've gotten rid of all but two cook books and they are old trusty standbys.They tell you how to do the most basic things easily and make it look splendid. They are very comprehensive. One of them dates back to the 40's of the last century. Nothing much has changed. It tells you how to cook for a frugal budget, for one thing, and still make a nutritious meal.

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  11. I did lots of culling right before moving to Seoul, but did bring a few trusty standbys with me, including my favorite, "Saving Dinner," which gives you menus for a week at a time and includes a shopping list!(She has an online subscription service, too, where you sign up and she emails you a week's worth of menus and shopping lists, but I've never subscribed. The book works for me.) Seeing as how we brought only the bare necessities with us and left the rest in storage, you wouldn't think there'd be anything left to cull, but I'm looking around the apartment right now and realizing that it's been creeping up on me. Sounds like an excellent way to spend the morning.

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  12. Can't cook to save my life. Burnt two boiled eggs last weekend - not kidding. Love to cull though and do it in secret when the family aren't looking ha ha ha (insert evil laugh)

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  13. I couldn't come up with a different meal every day! No way.
    Anyway, we like our old favourites in this house.

    I'm all for chucking out stuff. If only I had the energy!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

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  14. i gave a jamie oliver cook-book to a friend when i realized i'd had it for a year and never used any of the recipes.
    i also have that same meals-that-will-never-be-made file!
    :D

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  15. A different meal every day?? Like, once you've had spag bol you'll never cook it again? Weird. No more than once a month I could do.

    I rarely use recipe books - I prefer to make things up, and I don't do much baking, which does call for being exact. Books are handy to scour for ideas though.

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