It has come to my attention, after having to reorganise my cookbook shelves for the second time in as many months, that I am becoming rather obsessed with cookbooks and vegan cookery!
I went vegan about a year and a half ago and bought 2 books right away, Rose Eliott’s Vegan Feasts as she was at the time my favourite cookery book author (still love her!) and How It All Vegan as it was recommended so many places online. Since then I have collected 25 more vegan cookbooks, plus the 2 that I still had from last time I was vegan. Plus I have a shelf of other cookbooks (baking, cakes, herbal teas, Nigella Lawson etc) and half a shelf of vegetarian cookbooks. The books come from either Ebay or Amazon mainly, depending on where I can find deals for them. At the moment I have another book in the mail on it’s way to me plus the 4 vegan cookery zines that I’m still waiting for.
Currently on my Amazon wishlist there are another 25 vegan cookbooks, 7 books about being vegan (Meat Market, No More Bull, Raising Vegan Kids etc etc) and 12 books about vegetarian/vegetable cookery, general cookery, jam making, preserving food etc.
Opps, I’ve just had a look through the vegan books on Amazon and added another 10 cookbooks to my wanted list, so make that 35 vegan cookbooks on the wishlist! lol
Whenever someone mentions a vegan or interesting cookery book I immediately go and look it up and add it to my list. The Amazon list includes a few bits that are out of print or unavailable and I don’t always buy my books from there, I just use it to keep track of what I want so if I see something I can check if it’s something I wanted. I also scan through every few days to see if there are any secondhand deals, the book I’m waiting for was over £8 new and I got it secondhand via Amazon for just over £3.
Whenever I buy a book from Amazon I always add a cookbook onto the order, most times the order is actually for a cookbook anyway! lol I so enjoy reading through the books and finding stuff that I want to make.
I also print off recipes and pull them out of magazines. I have a big stack of things that we’ve tried and liked (I throw away this kind of recipes if we don’t like them and I write in all my recipe books to I know what I’ve tried, if it worked and what we thought) and a huge stack of things still to try. I’ve got a notebook coming with some of the zines to write down the recipes I want to keep so that I can get rid of the bits of paper floating around the place!
I am frustrated by the setup of this house that I can’t cook more because the kitchen is a room on it’s own and I can’t see Little One if he’s not there with me (he’s not trustworthy on his own!). I don’t want an open plan kitchen onto a living space (I HATE that kind of design in a house) but I do want a kitchen with a dining area and some space for a sofa so that Little One and future kid(s) can play or I can sit and knit or read while waiting for the next step in a recipe, at the moment I perch on a wooden stool/small set of steps from Ikea! If we had a kitchen that he could play in away from the counters and oven so I didn’t have to watch and keep moving him away or shouting then I would be making my own breads, more jams, chutneys etc etc.
I read an interesting statistic in the paper last weekend. The average English woman spends an average of 8 hours making food per week. In the 1930’s (one of my favourite periods in time through to the 50’s) a woman would spend on average 30 to 40 hours a week making food. Can you imagine that?? I would like a happy medium between the 2 I think, I spend probably 12 hours in an average week cooking or preparing food (cereal and toast for breakfasandwichhich for lunch etc), I would happily spend double that if I had a better kitchen set-up. I would love to dry food, can food and bake bread, that kind of thing really interests me, I’d love to be self-sufficient as much as we could with food as well by growing a ton of vegetables and fruit and canning or freezing them.
These dreams are things I think about a lot and are a part of what we’re looking for when we move to Portland, a back garden where I can grow our food, a kitchen set-up so I can spend time in there doing these things and a house full of good fun and good food prepared at home, plus a community where this kind of ideal and behaviour is accepted rather than being considered odd.
I think perhaps the cookbooks are preparation for this, more time to dream about when I will have time and space to cook all these wonderful things I’m reading about. I’m sure my collection will keep growing.
What are your favourite and most used vegan cookbooks? Shout them out so I can make sure they’re on my list! :o)