Ladies and gents, I have a problem. Not a problem on the scale of the Euro crisis or our national debt. Not a problem that warrants hand wringing or tears. It is a first-world problem, but it is a problem nonetheless.
The problem is this: my recipe collection is out of control, and it’s taking over my kitchen.
See? Not exactly “red” on the Homeland Security Advisory System. But allow me to explain the quandary I face.
When I saw this week’s theme at the Ball was “hobbies,” my initial reaction was, “Easy — cooking!” Cooking is, by far, my primary hobby, and when I’m not making a new recipe or thinking about a new recipe, I’m writing about recipes and food, whether it’s for a freelance article or for my books (which — spoiler — focus heavily on food and include recipes at the back).
When I cook, I make things like this:
And I love tossing together dishes like this.
For me, cooking is both an escape and a release. Cooking centers me. It keeps me sane.
But when I considered what I might tell you about me and cooking, I thought I’d tell you about my favorite cookbooks. And then I glanced up at the cookbook collection in my kitchen and realized I own a zillion.
Some of you are probably looking at that photograph and thinking, “Psh, she doesn’t own that many cookbooks.” But here’s the thing: I have another shelf of cookbooks upstairs. And see that cream colored box? The one between the mixer and the food processor? That box contains hundreds — hundreds! — of recipes I’ve ripped out of magazines and newspapers. Taken together, I have in my possession thousands of recipes, some of which I will probably never make.
And therein lies the problem. I don’t like loose ends — not in my novels, and not in my life. In theory, I want to make every single one of the recipes in that box and on that bookshelf. But cooking my way through all of the recipes I already own would take years, and then I’d miss out on all of the new recipes that came out over that period. See? It’s a problem.
I feel the same way about books. There are many classics I still haven’t read, but I don’t see how I could ever catch up with all of the old stuff and still read all of the new books I want to read as well. That I stress over this at all surely proves that I am a massive headcase, but I really do think about these things.
What about you? Do you every feel like you’re playing “catch up” with your hobby? Or do you think I’m a total nutjob? (Maybe you shouldn’t answer that…)