2013 Resolutions, 105 Cookbooks

For the past two years I’ve made a resolution that dodges and weaves my most earnest intentions and efforts. It isn’t to loose weight or save more money -though I famously fail at both every year. No, the biggie for me has been to cook one recipe from every cookbook I own.

Doesn’t sound terribly difficult, right?

I own, 105 cookbooks give or take a few out on loan. There are 365 days a year, 1085 meals not to count snacks in a year, so seriously, how hard could this be?



Why? I feel a deep responsibility to these books I’ve lugged around the country with me, building my collection since high school. Moving to the east coast, and back; heavy boxes of cookbooks I’ve moved all over Seattle and down to Portland. Narrowing all the wisdom and excellence between a hardcover to represent to represent a chef, a restaurant, a country, or cuisine with a single recipe is not a task to take lightly.

Take Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles, a book stained with oil, vinegar, and bourbon. A book I attribute to teaching me how to really appreciate eating meat, I just don’t eat that way any more. It seems dishonest in a way to choose Fennel and Tomato Soup as the one recipe I document to celebrate this book.


Every year, this is my stopping point, where I overanalyze my selection and give up under pressure to return to epicurious and wholefoods.com for all my meal inspiration.

Clearly, my goal needed a little tweaking, so instead of seeing this challenge as one recipe to rule them all, I am simply going to use one recipe as inspiration, as a jumping off point for a plant strong diet (which I should clarify includes meat, just less than 3oz per serving).

If I run across a recipe that fits my current diet, I’ll make it, I’ll share it. But no more trying to vegan-ise Dorie Greenspan’s love letters to butter cream and more butter. Those recipes don’t need me to tool around with soy margarine and coconut butter- there are far better recipes out there written to use these ingredients in a way that makes them shine. And that little piece of freedom sets this goal with in my reach.

So here is to 2013. To my goal/resolution that took 2 months to think through. I’m feeling pretty confident about achieving it this year, even if I only make 105 different plant-strong salad dressings.

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