I have a tendency to collect things. Never mind what they are, if they're colourful or potential craft materials they'll somehow find their way home with me. Glass jars full of dried flower petals line the top of my bookshelf next to a variety of different coloured paprika tins, handmade model boats and a raft made entirely of wine corks and skewers are shadowed by a not-so-small model of the Eiffel Tower. Just below sits a long row of cook books. There are two large boxes living underneath my desk that are packed to the very top, a pile almost waist high on the floor beside a wide wooden bench and another rapidly growing on the desk aside my computer.
If you ever find yourself in my company, whatever you do, do not under any circumstances allow me to enter a bookstore. I think there's something so awfully romantic about cuisine-based literature whether it's fiction, a collection of recipes or a bit of foodie porn. You'll be dragging me out by the hair, still clutching desperately at a heavy hoard of coffee table books. I've found ebay to be an indispensable tool for new and used books that would otherwise be very difficult to source or unavailable in Sydney. Books For Cooks is another great site which is sadly closing in a few months (there's currently a 20% off sale so hurry on over), they carry some great books and a few hard to find ones too!
I'm currently reading the advanced reading copy (ARC) of 'Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant' which is a compilation of musings and amusing stories by 26 various writers and foodies, all of whom I assume are from the US as I'm not familiar with any of them. Here's a little excerpt from the introduction to whet your appetites.
"The more I thought about it, the more surprised I was that a book like this didn't already exist. A quick search on Amazon turned up some books on cooking for one, but they tended toward the pragmatic; their focus was logistical and dietary, and not on the rich experience of solitary cooking and eating. I noted with a mixture of amusement and trepidation that based on my search words---"cooking for one"---the website suggested I might be interested in books on the subject of cookery for people with mental disabilities. I didn't find a single book on the subject of dining alone. It started to seem as if we were talking about a phenomenon that hadn't yet been recognized as a phenomenon. It started to seem like anthropology. Or sociology. Or something that belonged on the Discovery Channel."
The book is hilarious at times, a slight drag at others but overall a good way to amuse yourself if you occasionally find yourself in a lonely planet.