I’m standing in front of my fridge, staring at the contents. I got it together to have pork ready to go, and I know I have some sage in the garden.
What was that recipe I made once? Which book was it in? It involved pork and sage… what was it. Hmmm.
This happens to me, oh, three times a week. I do sometimes wonder what the point of those piles of cookbooks are if I don’t use them. It’s not that I don’t want to, I know the perfect thing is in one of them. It’s just… which one?
Enter the most useful online service I’ve seen in ages: Eat Your Books.
It is this simple: enter your cookbooks, cooking blogs you use, dog-eared cooking magazines propping up the rice cooker into their easy system and you can then search by ingredient, recipe name or cuisine. A list will pop up with all the recipes in your collection that fit.
How brilliant is that?
No, the recipe is not online, as this is an indexing service. However, telling me where to find it is nearly as valuable.
For example, I popped in 32 of my cookbooks, and then ticked off 19 different food blogs I have read at some point. I now have 23,355 recipes to hand. Well, technically I always did, but now I can actually find one of them. Quickly.
You can add five cookbooks to your library for free, but to get the best use out of Eat Your Books, adding your whole library is worth it. It’s $2.50 a month or $25 a year (USD). Personally, as soon as I understood the concept, I scrambled to pay my annual membership straight away*.
I love being able to sort my recipes by ‘buzz’, which means how many people have made comments about each one. It’s a great way of discovering what may have looked a bit lack lustre on the page (or screen) but in fact loads of people make it and love it every week. Not only that, you can then lose a few hours by checking out other users’ libraries and oh… right. I was supposed to make dinner.
Eat Your Books has generously offered up a lifetime membership to their service to one of my readers. Go forth and enter!
Disclaimer: I found Eat Your Books through a friend’s blog and approached them myself about hosting a giveaway. *I paid for my annual membership myself, which was extended to a lifetime membership for hosting the widget you see in the sidebar.