CLICK ABOVE TO PLAY MUSIC
Music – “Pasta Fazool” from Music for cooking Delicious Recipes to Surprise Vol. 6 (Italian Cuisine) by Alessandro Alessandroni. Released: 2015
As I approach the 5,300 mark in my cookbook collection, it struck me that I have an awful lot of recipes in those books, which, undoubtedly, will never be tried. The sheer magnitude explains it.
According to http://www.morriscookbooks.com, the “average” cookbook contains between 300 and 400 recipes. If one does the math (which I did), I came up with a staggering number of recipes in my collection, even at 300 per book: 1,589,400! Naturally, cookbooks vary wildly in the number of recipes they hold, however, even at a low 100 recipes per cookbook, that still means I have more than half a million!
Not accounting for the “leftovers” factor, my presumed 1,589,400 recipes (at one main course recipe per day), would take my husband and I to a point 4,354 years from now: 6,370 CE (common era), without duplicating a specific recipe. Now, Methuselah he’s not and neither am I, but I wonder if by 6,370 CE will people even be “eating” in the sense we understand it now. Will cookbooks go the way of the dinosaur (not with a whimper, but a bang?) or will they still be around gathering dust in the archives of a quaint but long-forgotten crumbling library, where docents lead tour groups around the catacombs of a 21st century curiosity: cookbook collections?
Marcus Gavius Apicius is frequently credited with having written the first “cookbook”, sometime around the 1st century CE , although the date varies and ranges from 1st century CE to the 4th or 5th century CE. Regardless, he recorded instructions for making all kinds of Roman goodies, experimenting and correcting. At the time of his writing, I wonder if he ever pondered upon the future of such books becoming popular 2,000 years down the road? Perhaps he thought it was just a passing fad, which would be scoffed at in the very distant future. Fortunately, he was wrong! Cookbooks are alive and well, as I can attest to with some authority.
One of the great features of http://www.eatyourbooks.com (EYB) is that on your bookshelf, you can put together a recipe using a multitude of search tools. In my “virtual” bookshelf at EYB, I currently share 3,779 book titles with their “library”. By searching for “beef”, I can locate 10,413 indexed recipes on my “real“ bookshelves. That’s a lot of beef! Of course, I still have an additional 1,519 “real” cookbooks, not shared with the EYB library, so that means even more mind-boggling options.
Narrowing it down to “beef” as “main” course, I come up with a healthy 8,376 recipes. Now, if I want to go to France for my main course beef dinner, I still have a hefty 662 recipes to peruse.
Searching for recipes using “bell peppers” is even more impressive: 16,550 recipes, 8,639 using bell peppers in a main course, and recipes for a Spanish main course dish with bell peppers pulls up 430 possibilities.
Likewise, “chicken” gives me 13,219 recipe opportunities.
“Main course” chicken presents a respectable 10,849 recipes, and eating main course chicken in Africa garners 276 choices.
I used to joke that my husband would exclaim “How come you have all of these cookbooks and we’re always eating the same thing?”, but it really isn’t true. There is truly no excuse not to have an exciting meal any longer with EYB as your guide!