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Cookbook Collecting

As this is my first contribution to YSL I should note that it was written nearly five months ago. One might ask why it is I am just getting around to publishing it and my response is simple… it is more applicable now than ever [skip ahead to the very end if you'd like but I assure you, you'll be missing out]

My lovely wife has always done most all of the cooking in our home. She is the culinary equivalent of Jackson Pollock and watching her cook is something of a thrill. There are no rules. She simply opens up the cabinets, takes visual stock of what’s in the fridge and goes to work; a little of this, a dash of that, stir, drain and voila! I can only imagine it is an art she learned from her mother and I’m happy to say that I’ve not been disappointed yet (though there was recently an incident involving some jabeñero peppers and a salsa)

Even with all of the improv cooking being done in our home, we have managed to amass quite a collection of old cookbooks which, moreso as of late, are referenced quite regularly. Not only have I recently discovered a new penchant for baking as it sits well with my Virgo personality but my wife and I are making a conscious effort to use actual books for our recipes instead of the internet.

Beyond a simple love of books, there is something thrilling about flipping through the pages of a cookbook from the 50′s or 60′s only to find crusted flour or a chocolaty fingerprint from decades ago. I think about who used the book before me, whether they had a favorite recipe, what their kitchen looked like etc. Each cookbook has its own provenance which makes them all the more special.

It just so happens that I pass a thrift store on my bicycle route home from work each day and I’ve recently made a habit of stopping in to browse their kitchen goodies for things like casserole dishes, serving trays, mixing bowls and random kitchen gadgets. Today, however, I made an extra stop downstairs where the books are kept and discovered a treasure trove of old cookbooks!!

NOTE: The Veterinary Handbook for Cattlemen is not a cookbook. It is, of course, for that rare, but unlikely possibility that I will one day own cattle and find myself in need of some medical guidance for my bovine charge!

So you’ve made it this far, whether by short-cut or a few minutes of reading and I’m sure you’ve extremely curious why I decided to make THIS my first post here on YSL. So without further adieu…

For as long as either of us can remember, Carey and I have struggled with our weight. Although clearly unhealthy, my weight has seemingly fluctuated 30-40lbs/year depending entirely on what is going on in my life and how much time I have to ‘focus’ on healthy eating and exercise. It wasn’t until this year, after Carey and I realized that we’d both become victims of ‘comfort,’ however, we decided to make a permanent change. It helped that this was not only our second year of urban gardening, but also the year I fell in love with urban cycling as the two seemed to go hand in hand with a proper diet and weight loss.

Over the course of the summer, we both managed to lose a significant amount of weight; Carey having reached well beyond her goal, attaining the lowest she’s ever weighed and my own weight being the lowest it had been in over a decade.

With our pregnancy, Carey has been very conscious of her weight. True to form, however, my own weight started to climb just after returning home from our long-overdue honeymoon which brings me to the reason for this entry.

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