Someone Else with Shelves of Cookbooks

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If you have been reading my blog this week, you know about my basement project of building new shelves for my thousands of cookbooks.  I came upstairs at one point and started reading the Chicago Tribune.  On the front page of the business section was this photo of Chef Charlie Trotter, and the story about his retiring from his restaurant to return to college for his master’s degree.  Of course what caught my eye was the floor-to-ceiling collection of cookbooks behind him!  “I know it looks like clutter with the books,” he explained in the article.  “Sometimes just by seeing them or reminding yourself of certain titles, it brings you back to something.”  This statement rang true because as my husband and I were moving hundreds of the books to make room for the first row of new shelves, we talked about certain books as he handed them to me.  We recalled when I bought them and where we were.  We talked about some of the Disney cookbooks when I was competing at a Bake-Off in Orlando; or the one I bought on our honeymoon in Carmel and Monterey, and how he liked one of Clint Eastwood’s recipes from his “Hog’s Breath Inn” in Carmel. When my daughter Kara was not quite two years old, she used to scribble in whatever cookbook happened to be on the kitchen table.  I found lots of those.  Chef Trotter is right.  Every cookbook has a story.  The remake of my cellar is a huge project, but it’s also a time to reflect on so many of the books and how they are a part of our lives because of the memories that are contained in each and every one.
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