I was browsing the net this morning looking for a recipe I knew I had, but I could not for the life of me remember which book it was in. That is such a familiar tale for me - I just end up reading them off Google which sort of defeats the object of all the rows of (150+) cookery books I own.
Anyway, guess what I found?
I am always trying and failing to catalogue my books by recipe type/ingredient but it's just so laborious, and I have often said to my DH that I should invent an app or website that does it for me. Well I don't need to now because someone already has.
You pay a small subscription (will be well worth the money imho, I opted for the $25 per year unlimited access) and you click on their vast library of listed books, choose the books that you own, and the indexing is automatically done for you. Providing it has already been indexed by someone, which most of the well known books have been.
If you own a book that has not yet been indexed by someone else you can do it by scanning/importing the info, then others who own the book can benefit from having had you do that for them. So it's like file sharing in a way. The only difference is that you must already own the book - it doesn't give you the recipes, it just allows to you search all of your own book collection by ingredient or recipe type, and will give you an immediate list of key ingredients. What a time saver! (I know, I'm sounding like cheesy infomercial now but I can't help it) I don't know about you but I end up going to the same five or six books over and over because I am overwhelmed by choice and the task of searching through them all, when I need to have something on the table in under an hour.
So, if you have a green pepper and a lump of cod and some tomatoes in the fridge and you don't have time to go through all of your books you just go into your personalised www.eatmybooks.com database and type green peppers, cod, tomatoes and you get an instant list of all your recipes that use those things, and which books they are in. And you can sort them into various sub categories/themes, link to facebok, link to pinterest, include favourite blogs or magazine clippings, and add your own family recipes that live in your head.
I listed my books on Friday night, and I'm loving it. I've
(1) Looked for the recipe for gooseberry suet pudding that I've been meaning to try and find - it's not at all where I'd have looked. I'd have been in Rowley Leigh / Simon Hopkinson and other male cheffy books. It was in Tamsin Day Lewis' pie book.
(2) Found that the simplest recipe I own for Sea Bass Fillet purchased this afternoon is by Michelin starred Shaun Hill. I've never bought it before, but I knew I'd be able to find a recipe when I got home.
(3) Found something to do with the other half of a packet of lamb mince I put in my online shop this evening. Meatballs in Tahini from Ottelenghi.