OMG!!! This has me so excited! Cookery book addicts line up here.(79 Posts)
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 am so happy I could cry a little bit.
Am confused? They want to charge me for using my own books?
No, but they charge for the service of creating and sorting the database for you. If you own 150+ books, like me, then that is invaluable. Well, maybe not invaluable but certainly worth a few quid a year. the cost of one or two more books, really.
So instead of thinking 'I need a chocolate cake recipe' and I have probably 60 books that contain such a thing - which is the one I need today?' you just open up your database and type in chocolate cake' and it will return all the recipes for chocolate cake that you own, on your bookshelf, or in your kindle. It will tell you which books you need, and the returned list will include, eg, flourless chocolate cake, chocolate chip cake, chocolate brownies, coffee and chocolate, etc, etc, so you don't have to sit there sifting through tons of books and looking in the indexes at the back of each one, only to find that it doesn't contain a chocolate cake recipe after all.
But doesn't Google do that plus new recipes?
Think I might be missing the point.
That sounds wonderful. Like you, I have loads of recipe books and I can never remember what's in them. Thanks.
Not really Bear. Of course you can google random recipes, and you will probably find some of the most well known published ones on there, yes, especially from currently popular books linked to TV series. Plus you'll get some returns of recipes you don't already have, which is a bonus.
But this is different. It's about people wanting to use their own books to best effect but not having the time to sift through them each time. Sometimes I know I have seen a particular thing, but I cannot remember which book it was in and I spend ages going through them all trying to find it. Google may give me a crayfish risotto, but it might not give me that crayfish risotto.
You have to be an avid cookery book collector to understand.
I think it sounds awesome! And a brilliant maternity leave task (timewaster)!
I'm trying to find the site, but it keeps going to a hardcore porn site!
Oh my. I LOVE this idea!
Am now extra sad all my cookbooks are in storage
Think the address is actually:
Crucial difference - 'your' not 'my' - the latter seems to be a porn site!
This sounds great!
But...how does it know you own the books you choose? Couldnt you say you own loads that you don't really, in order to get the recipes?
I've loaded up all my books now. First impressions: it recognised almost all of my books but about 25 out of 70 weren't indexed. I cam live with that. I've started searching by ingredient and was really impressed with the results (although I really wish it linked to at least a recipe synopsis not just the list of ingredients). I may have to delist Larousse Gastronomique though - it does tend to dominate the results as it includes so many recipes!
Would love to hear how others get on with it. Thanks again OP.
Oh my goodness I am sorry about that AndMiffy how unfortunate. thank you for putting me straight.
PinkCheesy it doesn't give you the recipes step by step, it just lists them by name and author/book, and gives you a synopsis of the key ingredients.
It is merely a database/cataloguing system, not a recipe site.
I have explored it a bit more now and I have realised I got it a bit wrong the first time. If you own a book that is not yet indexed you can request it to be, nad your request is logged. The book has to have a minimum number of requests before the site will index it for you. Alternatively you can offer to index a book yourself and then it is on the database for others too. (very time consuming, but frankly I was always attempting to index all of my own anyway, so it's nothing in comparison!)
I have only added about a third of my books so far, and several of the older or more niche books are coming up as not indexed. I still think it's worth persevering with though. Also, looking at their library of indexed books will help me with buying books in future - I will be more likely to choose an already indexed one.
I haven't listed my Larousse Gastronomique yet, and I must admit I did wonder if it might break the internet.
This is amazing, thank you so much for sharing.
Am in exactly the same position of having so many books that just gather dust.
Thank you thank you
I love it, but not sure if I'd pay $25 a year. Would prefer a one-off fee.
Right. There's more. I have also realised that even if you do not own the book you can read its index, and the key ingredients for each recipe. This will help enormously if you are thinking of buying the book online and would really like to know what's in it first.
I'm a subscriber for over a year now. It has revolutionise the way I use my cookbooks! It's helping me to find new and exciting ways to cook with ingredients I have. Like I found a recipe for maple and mustard glazed parsnips when I had a bag in the fridge. I would never have looked into my Delia otherwise.
You won't regret spending the money!
It links to online recipes btw. Really helps when trying to meal plan at work!
That's a fantastic idea! Off to have a look...
It's a dangerous site, I have realised ... I've already bought two more books by authors I already own, as thrown up in the indexing process, to 'complete the collection'! And yet my intention was to use the books I have more!
Now this does sound good and 150 cookery books is bordering on erm.... obsessive but I have found a slightly different solution.
I have started reading cookery books like you would read a proper novel or biography. I find old cookery books the best, things like Elizabeth David, Larousse, EScoffier and also really technical professional Cordon Bleu books best for this. Then I take that inspiration and I find using Google allows me to find the recipes that fit the inspiration from someone more popular like Gordon Ramsey, Raymond Blanc, etc.
It sort of marries the old chefs and new celeb chefs in my head. That said, I have loads of loose leaf torn out recipes from Sunday newspaper magazines and those really do need cataloguing.
150 isn't much compared to some of the big collectors on eat your books. When you look at a book, you can see who has it on their bookshelves, how many books they have. I regularly see 500-800 books on some names! Another feature I love is browse others bookshelves.
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