Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Karie Engel's Cookbook Library and Guy Fieri

Who loves cookbooks, raise your hand. I do. I'd better. A few years ago someone asked me how many cookbooks I owned. I'd never even thought about it and off the cuff said, "I don't know, twenty?" She coughed and sputtered and I realized that was a really low number, especially from a restaurant owner and cookbook author. I also realized upon inspection of the many places I keep cookbooks (they don't all fit in the kitchen) that I have perhaps twenty cookbooks on sushi. And I've made sushi exactly three times. The barbecue, heritage and comfort food cookbooks have their own 4-shelf bookcase.

As you may know, we recently moved. We'd put half our possessions in storage two years ago, thinking that we'd move much earlier, and are bringing home little loads at a time, most of which are boxes and boxes of books. I've been pouring through the staggering number of cookbooks like they were old yearbooks. But there are always room for more though, right? I've recently discovered an awesome blog with a cookbook library so you can browse before you buy.

Admittedly, I discovered this blog because the blog author just featured She-Smoke early this month (thank you!). But it really is a gem of information. Check out Karie Engel's cookbook library on her blog "Celebrate Home with Karie Engels." There are plenty of other food-related posts, including recipes and local events and even some celebrity chit chat. I love to learn about other cookbooks out there, especially books that are not from famous people, like mine, and are about the content, not the hair.

Speaking of hair, we all know, poor Guy Fieri is getting it on all sides, from a scathing New York Times review of his new restaurant, to someone putting up a menu parody because someone at corporate forgot to purchase the full domain name. Having not dined at his restaurant, I will not jump on that bandwagon, especially since I know people love tearing down restaurants with little to no regard to the people who put their heart and soul into their business.

Incidentally, Guy Fieri, or rather his people, passed our joint over for his show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives years ago. It was cool to be considered, but I think we were bypassed over a technicality. Our smokers take either pellets or a fine wood chip in a long auger smoke box. The pellets are better because the smoke time per smokebox is longer, but they clog up the works faster (read: more major smoker cleanings, and if you've never done this it's like chimney sweeping with pork grease). At the time we used the finer chips, which we call sawdust. It isn't actually sawdust, it's like wood flakes rather than chips, but the person interviewing me thought that was weird and they decided not to feature us. Maybe that wasn't the only reason, but I've kicked myself more than a few times over my interview skills. This happened before I wrote She-Smoke, and have since learned about keeping it simple for media interviews. I'm still a novice, but not quite the cherubic newbie I was back then.

Right. Back to earth from the Guy Fieri tangent. As someone who is enjoying the simple pleasure of unpacking her cookbooks, I encourage you to take a moment to celebrate your home. While you are there, why not browse cookbooks on Karie Engle's blog? Or watch an episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. I'm a fan of both.


  1. I started getting e-copies of cook books and foodie books to cut down on space requirements but it is just not the same when wanting to browse a physical book, you know?

  2. I know - I love the feel of a book in my hands. It's a completely different experience. The book will never die!