Monday, February 14, 2011

Sharing Recipes and Connections

Tonight I've been working on a cookbook. It's a compilation of some of the recipes I just cannot do without - things I make over and over again and that have a story associated with them.

When I write cookbook reviews I often mention that I care nothing about a mere recitation of ingredients. I can get that anywhere. What I care about are the stories that put food and the people who eat it into context.

As I was working on this book tonight I realized there's no reason anyone would need to buy a cookbook today for a recipe. We can get a recipe for almost anything with a quick google search. The programs allow us to adjust the number of servings we want with a few clicks, and a few more will generate our grocery list. So, that's not the motivation to buy a cookbook.

But I buy cookbooks. And I know lots of people do. In fact, a well designed cookbook is something that has a very long shelf-life. Compared to other books, they're one of the longest.

So what is it we're buying? It's more than just recipes - those are the bonuses. I think we're buying a connection. The cookbook I'm writing will be an insight into the life I lead, what's important to me, and the people who have share my life - now or in the past.

It's that peek we're after, that little glimpse at another's life. Then we can feel connected to them because we like some of the same things they do. I think the reasons to share recipes are much the same.