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Old 01-31-2009, 03:37 PM   #31
Master Chef
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 9,363
I have written 4 of my own, one for poultry, one for beef, a third for pork, and one for soups, stew, & chowders. These are all saved on my hard drive and on DVD's. I also have a host of recipes and techniques place in appropriate folders, and sub-folders on my computer. All are backed up to DVD. When I want something, I just look it up in the proper area, and print it off. That way, I don't have to juggle a book and fight to keep it open to just the right page. I don't have to worry about spilling anything on it. As for hard-copy, I like paperback sized books because they don't take up as much space. I particularly like my 1970's edition of "The Joy of Cooking", though the book is really falling apart after so many years. I rarely use it anymore though, and it's really the only cookbook I 've ever used. The rest of my cooking knowledge came through personal experimentation, experience, and alot of research on the internet and here at DC. But most of my really good stuff is on my hard drive.

Seeeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- http://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
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Old 01-31-2009, 03:37 PM   #32
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: California
Posts: 1,041
I have about 1000 cookbooks in my collection, and I use them frequently. Size is not important to me (except for extremely large or small books, which are awkward to use).

Here's what IS important, IMHO:

1. Large enough font to be easily read without a magnifying glass.

2. Easy to read font -- no script or other nonsense.

3. Each recipe on a single page, or at worst, on two facing pages; I hate cookbooks that require me to turn the page when my hands are covered with food.

4. Easy to follow instructions; I don't mean simple instructions, necessarily, but easy -- each step in a separate, preferably number paragraph.

5. Clear lists of ingredients, in the order they will be used, and preferably grouped by step (i.e., all the sauce ingredients in one group, the filling or whatever in another, the toppings in another); if you mean dried thyme, say dried, and if you mean fresh, say so.

6. Also helpful are weights in addition to volume measurements -- e.g., 1 cup of grated cheese (4 ounces).

7. Times can be helpful, especially for newbies -- "cream butter with sugar and beat for 5 minutes."

8. Photos can be helpful, but aren't essential.

9. I also dislike books that won't stay open in my cookbook holder.

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