Taking up space on my kitchen bench top is a growing pile of books, bits of paper and magazines. This is my ‘working pile’ – a list of things to make for the markets coming up, recently cut out recipes and food articles sourced from newspapers and magazines and the latest edition of food magazines and books with recipes that I’m going to try soon! It doesn’t take too long before this pile becomes very unwieldy and requires sorting out. It’s quite a time consuming job, not only because of the size of the pile but also because I rediscover what’s in the pile and it takes time rereading the recipes and articles, sorting into categories and writing lists of what I’m going to make next and the accompanying shopping lists.
My current ‘working’ recipe books are stored in the pantry. When we renovated the kitchen a couple of years ago the best thing we did was to build a large pantry. It stores not only food but all of my kitchen gadgets and appliances and my ‘working’ recipe books. These are the ones that are currently being used regularly. There are other shelf loads in the house which contain the ‘not being currently used’ books.
Trying to find a recipe in these piles of books can often be a challenge – I know I have seen it somewhere! I have started playing around with Eat Your Books a subscription based search engine for recipe books. By searching through their library you are able to build up a virtual bookshelf that reflects your real one. Many of the more popular books and more recently released ones have been indexed and so you are able to search through your books to find a particular recipe. You can also include on your shelf, magazines and your own recipes. If you have a large collection of recipes books it can take a little while to add them all, although the process is simple. Not all of your books will have been indexed but you can request that they are and if enough people request it the book may be moved up the line. Alternatively you can request to index it yourself.
Eat Your Books will only search through indexed books to find the recipe you are looking for but the number of indexed books is ever increasing. Of the books that I have entered there are probably about a third that have been indexed and the ones that haven’t are generally much older and somewhat obscure! I think it’s going to be a worthwhile resource.