My name is Michelle and I am a cookbook addict. It’s been 5 days since I last purchased a cookbook. I need to take a good, hard look at myself and create a 12 step program. I own over 100 cookbooks and that is not an exaggeration in any way. I have 100 at my fingertips in the kitchen and then I have the Clancy of the Overflow bookcase in the other room – and these are regularly culled! Jamie, Nigella, Donna, Bill and Rick sit on the shelf alongside the myriad of Australian Women’s Weekly books. My problem is just that: they are sitting there gathering dust through underuse. I would buy a cookbook at least once a month and borrow 15 in that month from the library. Then there’s the occasional Savers visit where I’ll pick up some cheapies.

In 2015 a survey of 2000 Britons was done and of those 2000 people they averaged 6 cookbooks each. A study of 4000 Britons between 1980 and 2012 showed that time spent cooking had halved as people fell into the trap of eating ready meals and sandwiches and cereal for their dinners. In 2015 only 40% of people in USA prepared meals at home so that’s 60% eating takeaway or pre-packaged meals.

And that is what I have fallen into the trap of – eating ready meals as we are out at netball with the coffee van 3 nights a week. Often we have jobs on weekends so I can’t catch up there. It’s easy to think that it’s a busy day and you can’t be arsed to cook so you just grab whatever you can find. For me by the time I work in the morning, eat lunch and do some admin-y kind of stuff, then go to shops to restock coffee van its school pick up time then start work all over again. Wednesday was going to be my sacred day off where I could have all day at my leisure and spend my time with pedicures, facials and half naked men feeding me grapes – but guess what I did. Yep the over achiever in me picked up a job that would only fit in on Wednesdays!!

So by posting in here I’m making myself accountable. I’m going to make more of an effort to start jiggling the pans on the stove to avoid the over processed ready meals. I’m going to block out time in my diary so that it becomes a priority not just a by-product. I’m even going to mark a date – 1st April which is when netball has a couple of weeks break leading into school holidays that FB will begin to be flooded with food photos which of course everyone just loves 🙂 And of course I’ve got to get back to my original concept of this blog which was creating my own cafe. I’ve also been a bit inspired by the book Julie & Julia which was made into a movie starring Meryl Streep in which a New York woman decided to cook every recipe in the Julia Child French cookbook and then went onto write a blog about it way back when blogs were first starting.

You can help me out by posting pictures of your favourite cookbooks and what you like to cook. Our family are not a fussy lot and will eat most anything. IBB doesn’t like tinned pineapple, broad beans and cabbage, JEB hates coriander whilst DVB is not a fan of couscous. CGM is vegetarian which provides a really interesting challenge. Personally I won’t touch baby corn or raw banana (yet I find banana cake and banana bread delectable 🙂 I’m going to pick 3 of my most favourite cookbooks, each with a different theme to start with and my target is to make 2 recipes out of each book before I can move onto another book. If I can’t pick 2 from one book well then, it’s time to say Sayonara to that which is taking up valuable cookbook real estate. Oh and I need a name for this Operation – you know, like how SAPOL use really clever ones for their blitzes e.g. Operation Safe Driving so if you have any suggestions send them my way.

Maybe I should don the whites again?

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