When we first moved into our little 1920s Craftsman bungalow, I thought the teeny-tiny kitchen was quaint and cozy. I soon discovered that it was also short on storage, shorter on counter space, and generally a nightmare in which to work. My supremely talented husband has tried hard to eke out some extra storage in that space, even creating a cabinet in the soffet above the pantry so that I would have somewhere to stash my cookbooks. The problem? I had to stand on a chair and still reach over my head to get at them, so I wasn’t using them at all anymore. Then we added some shelves to the end of a lower cabinet, and I was able to move a few of my most-used books there, where they would be more accessible.
We’ve been in our home more than five years now, and my dreams of blowing out the back of the house to create a dream kitchen and master suite have been stored practically away in the “20-years-from-now” file. But when I recently started working for shesconnected on a Kobo project, my foray into ereading unexpectedly led me to a workable solution for one of my kitchen storage issues. There are over 500 cookbooks available to download onto my Kobo eReader, where I can read them, store them, access and search them, anytime I want! Some of them are even free, and none of them will take up any additional space in my kitchen, thank goodness.
Now, for the fun part: shopping! I have some good, comprehensive cookbooks that handle the basics, so I thought I’d look for something a little more fun, maybe even quirky. And I found all that and more when I purchased The Cooking Club Cookbook: Six Friends Show You How to Bake, Broil and Bond. Having lived most of my life in the suburbs, I never imagined how metropolitan living can make it so impractical for many city dwellers to cook (efficiency kitchens, hauling groceries up flights of stairs, inconveniently located produce, etc.). The authors of The CCC are six city-living friends who decided to make cooking fun by getting together for once per month theme dinners. The book’s sections are broken down by theme, some ethnic (Spanish, Mediterranean, Asian), some fun (Comfort, Spa, Sexy), some practical (Grill, Quick, Brunch). Each part features an explanation of how the Cooking Club arrived at their choices for the evening, and includes all the recipes that comprised the theme, appetizers, main course, sides and dessert.
One of my favorites, and the one I’m certain to most often revisit since my kids will love it, is the comfort food chapter, “Stealing Home.” On the menu: Mini-Me Mac and Cheese; OoohBaby, It’s Chili Outside; Batter-Fried Chicken Bites; Beaten-to-Within-an-Inch-of-It’s-Life Sweet Potatoes; Penny’s Broccoli Casserole; and Cinnamon Raisin Bread Puddin’. Curiosity piqued? The Cooking Club Cookbook is available in paperback by fine booksellers, and as an ebook from kobobooks.com and Borders.com.